Let’s Keep It Real In Education


I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy. — Marie Curie Translation: If you want things to change, get your ass off the couch and do the work. That’s what Marie did. In a world full of men unwilling to accept a woman, an atheist, and a person who followed […]

How School Kills Creativity And How To Fix It


First, we kill our students creativity. Next, we ask them to be creative and wonder why they have such a hard time. We always aspire for our students to move away from fact regurgitation and move toward higher level thinking and deeper understanding. When we ask students to brainstorm and generate ideas, provide solutions to […]

She Ran Away


We didn’t do anything. She transferred here from a different school. I don’t know why. She was mostly quiet, but it was not difficult to get a smile out of her. She said she wasn’t good in science, but was killing it in chemistry, perhaps the hardest science of all. I’d like to think that […]

Homework Doesn’t Work. Now What?


When I started as a brand new teacher in the Chicago Public Schools some 13 years ago I came across a poster on the wall of the attendance office, that explained the “Grade x 10” formula for assigning homework. So, a first grader should have 10 minutes of homework each night (1st grade x 10), […]

Sweat The Small Stuff To Find Your Teaching Zen


Hey, I have a story for you today. It’s about what happened in my 6th period Chemistry class today. 6th period is the very last of the day at our school, which is ideal for teaching abstract chemistry concepts. Especially today, because the temps hit 80s and all my shorts-and-T-shirt-clad students really wanted to be […]

To Grade or Not to Grade: That is the Question


Let me begin with some context. I am an English department chair at a high school named by U.S. News as one of America’s Most Prominent High Schools. We have a high graduation rate and high test scores. I offer this only as a means of context for the endless and daily conversations I am […]

Change? … What Change?

I like to chat on Twitter and seems we are always talking about the same thing … “How things need to change.” Ever since I started teaching 13 years ago there was always this discussion happening about change. “Teachers need to get with it and change!” … “The system is flawed and we need to […]