student empowerment


When you get a group of talented, enthusiastic, and passionate educators together to talk about school-wide positive behavior support in the summer, great and exciting things are bound to happen. And that is exactly what occurred the other day, a few weeks before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. I am fortunate enough to […]

How Does Curriculum Fit with Personalization, Technology, and Empowerment? And a Few More Questions.

I often find myself demonstrating this-or-that edtechtool to rooms of educators using content I taught in the classroom. Thanks to the The Great War YouTube channel spurring my interest, I often use World War I content. As I demo a tool or strategy, I will ask the audience a World War I-related question. This is […]

I Pledge Allegiance…


Friday was an interesting day for my students and myself. We saw a demagogue be sworn into arguably the most powerful and important position in the world. We watched an inaugural address that basically said America was terrible: our schools are “flushed with cash” with students “devoid of knowledge”, our people are on welfare and […]

Empowering Students to Take Charge of Their Learning

Growth mindset. Student learning objectives. Student success. These terms are referred to frequently in education today, but how does a teacher empower students to take control of their own learning and feel like they are active participants as opposed to simply being consumers in the classroom and school in general? As the end of a […]

Innovation Doesn’t Have to Be Complex: A Simple Tip to Make Practice/Review More Meaningful

math worksheet

How can I learn about my students and help them review concepts in a way that is engaging, empowering, and helps them build relationships? Help students review and practice while observing students’ skills as formative assessment by using a technique called “Answers Around the Room”. Students complete a worksheet-type practice set, and the answers to […]

Making the Switch from Extrinsic to Intrinsic Rewards


It’s hard to imagine that there’s a teacher anywhere who hasn’t heard by now that intrinsic rewards offer children more than extrinsic rewards – that, in fact, extrinsic rewards can have long-term negative consequences for kids. Still, gold stars and praise and other such rewards have a strong hold in the classroom. Part of the […]

Universal Truth: We Create Our Own Reality


This is the third post in the Universal Truth Series. Please check out Universal Truth: Everyone Has At Least One Superpower and Universal Truth: We All Have The Power To Change The World if you enjoy reflections on simple but powerful existential truths. Reality is what we make it… Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, student, […]

Why Students Plagiarize and How You Can Help


Thanks to the internet plagiarism is all too easy these days. And with all the pressure students are under – their demanding schedules and an unprecedented fear of failure – it’s not unexpected that they would be tempted t take the easy way out. But do students fully understand plagiarism and its cost to them? […]

Creating the College Bound: Helping high school seniors become college freshmen


Seniors need to grow independence. It takes scaffolding and trust. Creating both allows them to better prepare for what comes next. This column originally ran theUFT’s NY Teacherin the fall 2012. Four years of high school is coming to a close and soon 12th grade students will be taking the first of many steps into […]