self management

Why Do Teachers Experience Compassion Fatigue?


Towards the end of a Tibetan Buddhism meditation lecture on compassion, a woman in the back row raised her hand and asked, what about compassion fatigue? Before the instructor could reply, the woman added, I am a teacher. I do my best. I care for my students, but it gets to the point when I […]

How to Handle Classroom Management Like a Referee

As I was watching my favorite hockey team the other day, I noticed something that struck me during one of the brawls that (for whatever reason) still occur in the almost every game. I was amazed as the guy wearing the black and white striped shirt held two huge athletes at bay and got them […]

In The Next 5 Days


Sometimes the thought of right now can be overwhelming! We have so much going on in our lives that we feel we cannot add one more thing to our already full plates. I did not write this post to convince you otherwise. I wrote this post to suggest a different way of thinking about things […]

Chronic Illness and Self-Care: Arts, Crafts, and Music Can Help

art materials

One of the side effects of teaching is that we often give up our hobbies, our crafts, even our art for our job. Our jobs are so overwhelming that we often sacrifice our music, our art thinking we don’t have time for it, not with needing to make another parent phone call or write another […]

The Rocking Chair: A Leadership Reboot

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In August of 2015, I summited the 13,770 foot Grand Teton. I had attempted the climb over 12 years before, but was turned back because of weather and it remained an unmet personal goal over the years. Thanks to a push from my cousin last winter, we decided we were going to attempt the “Grand” […]

Kids Tuning into Themselves, Others, and the World

Kids look into the mind’s mirror, see themselves (maybe for the first time), and write about what they find. How scary is that? This is “Reflections,” an application of “Music Writing,” which introduced adolescents to the wild world of inner experience via music, and how the mind’s eye, like a giant spotlight, illuminates events as […]

Cheaters Never Prosper


I am often asked what I believe to be the biggest problems in education, and without hesitation, my reply is always cheating. According to a recent Stanford study, 86% of high school students admitted to cheating on a test in school. In the same survey 66% of middle school students admitted to cheating. When asked […]

‘Contemplation’ Strikes Emotional Chords with Kids

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It’s 12:35 p.m. I’m picking up my 6th grade class from the cafeteria. You can cut the heat with a knife. The kids are sizzling. We walk upstairs. I’m waiting for something to happen. Two boys start shoving each other and refuse to “stay hit.” Two girls curse out their respective mothers, fathers, and grandfathers. […]

The Gap: What We Think We Know, What We Really Know, What We Do


ONE: This week I learned that I don’t know anything about “rigor,” and apparently I’m not alone. (I would normally say, “I don’t know jack about rigor,” but I’m really trying to be professional here.) When Barbara Blackburn closed her interview with Vicki Davis by saying that there is a broad “lack of understanding of […]

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