making connections

It’s Up to Us: Bridging the Distance between Home and School


While you may not see them, the parents or guardians of your students are in your classroom every day. As the primary caregivers of your students, they influence how your students think, feel, and react. Even though the ideal parent or guardian would be informed and supportive while providing a stable home environment and supervising […]

Enjoyment: The Forgotten Lesson Plan Component

happy kids

I once taught in a school wher we had to use a standardized lesson plan template that was a helpful guide, but was pretty limited to just the basics. What was missing from that lesson plan template—and indeed from any lesson plan template that I have ever seen–is a section devoted to adding in enjoyment. […]

Teachers, Do You Know What the R Stands For?


The first time it happened I cracked up. The little girl’s response took me totally by surprise. And then it happened again. Awesome! Totally awesome! I remember like it was yesterday. A young girl, probably about six years old, walked past me wearing a hat with the letter R on it. I, being the outgoing […]

How to Make a Teacher Smile


Riding home from a friend’s house on a warm Friday night with my daughter is a privilege I know I wouldn’t have much longer. She is only twelve, but it won’t be long before her Friday nights are spent socializing with her peers while I anxiously await her safe return. So I cherish every moment. […]


Picnic basket 01

Ian was still working on his state reading assessment as lunch time approached. His classmates had finished and surprisingly remained quiet as he worked. During that time, this little boy, who has all the signs of ADHD – but no diagnosis, and no medication – twisted around in his seat, bopped to an imaginary beat, […]

Best Year Yet (a short story)


This happens every year. I’m always wondering where the summer went. If only I had one moremorning to sleep in. I wish I had spent just one more weekend at the beach. I still have three books on my Kindle that I haven’t gotten to yet. Once school starts next week I don’t know when […]

Why Wouldn’t They?


Heading into this school year I was a little bit worried about how my son Derek would handle things. He had never been to public school and for the most part, has been sheltered his entire life. His experiences up until this year have been wonderful and have helped shape him into the child that […]

See Them. Be With Them. Learn From Them.


“Forever Is Composed Of Nows” – Emily Dickinson This is the third post in the “Breaking Sticks” series on unstructured play and lessons I learned as a father and a teacher from my 2 year old son Adam playing with sticks while we were out on a walk one sunny day. Please click on the […]

Mrs. Jones’ Class


I was completely taken by surprise. Nothing like this had ever before. The fact that I didn’t see it coming made it that much more special. I have clicked the word publish well over a hundred times before. Each time not really knowing what type of reaction I would receive. If any at all. And […]

Brain Hacking 201: Moving Information from Working to Long Term Memory


Having things is neat. Some things we need to survive. Others fulfill certain wants. But all things eventually crumble. It is this impermanence of tangible objects that has me convinced a meaningful life is made up of memories not things. Memories become stories we tell our children, grandchildren, and , if we’re lucky, great grand […]