Building Relationships

I’m tired…

“I’m tired.” This simple, honest statement was made by a teacher in my elementary building at a recent committee meeting. The teacher’s comment was echoed by others in the committee, and to be honest, was echoed by me as well. February and March are long months, and not just for teachers, students, and principals in […]

This Is a School That Trust Built


Schools are microcosms of our society. They reflect what we are, like it or not.  Schools are also places where children and adults have the ability to connect and support each other on their life’s journey.  Within these schools, we’ve talked about the importance of building capacity and emphasizing academics as ways to improve the […]


On the first day of school, I observed my class of seventh-graders. All thirty were listening attentively to my every word. Having been a teacher for over three decades, I knew this “honeymoon-phase” would not last forever. I commented on all the new shoes adorning my students’ feet. Then I noticed Sergio who was wearing […]

Empty Classroom

The final day of another school year has quickly come and gone, and summer vacation is but a few hours old. The desks have been cleaned and stacked. The books have been packed away in cupboards. Student work has been taken down and handed back to kids to either take home or add to the […]

Little Conversations

Kids will not work for you unless they trust you. If they trust you, they will enjoy being in your presence. The longer they are in your presence, the easier it will be to form lasting, productive relationships. And the more genuine relationships you have in your school, the more positive your school climate will […]

Dinner for Nine: A Meal for Many

My seventh graders were in the process of researching information about Jackie Robinson in order to create an expository essay. Together, we were reading the book, 42 is Not Just a Number, by Doreen Rappaport. In the first chapter, the author writes of how Robinson’s family did not have much money when he was a […]

Lunch Break

Sergio seemed a bit out of it yesterday and today. He looked tired, sad…just out of it. I think I asked him about twenty times if he was okay. About twenty times he said he was fine. Today he showed up the same way. “I’m just tired”, he said. Sergio is one of my favorite […]

The Fresh Start Journal

Whether you are a first-year teacher or one who has been in the profession a while, a new school year is always a promise of a new beginning. You are given a chance to reinvent yourself and the things you do for your students. You are given the opportunity to make a difference in the […]

Unfinished & Unpublished Until Now

Since January 23, 2017 up until now, I have been busier than I ever have before. New job beginning on January 23, 2017 (interim elementary principal), my wife and I celebrating the birth of our third child on January 24, 2017, back to my old job on March 13, 2017 (6th grade teacher), back to […]

The Red Thread

red thread

Doris and Carl Malone sat at their usual table in The Forgotten Crumb enjoying the performances of slightly inebriated patrons searching for their fifteen minutes of fame at the karaoke microphone. The couple had met here nearly twenty-eight years before, fallen in love, and married on the very stage that was now a platform for […]

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