teacher-student relationships

Coauthors

At school, we have a new program that allows teachers to monitor students as they work online. One cool feature allows us to simply shut down a student if he is not on the assigned site for the day. It is fun watching their reactions to being instantly blocked. Another great feature allows me to […]

Ninety-five Percent

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On the first day of school, Ronaldo entered my fifth grade classroom, a few hundred decibels louder than his peers. I asked him to quiet down and find the seat I had already picked out for him. He looked at me, smirked, and sat down. The boy was a restless child who had yet learned […]

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 […]

Boot Camp

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The social skill of the week was “Asking Permission.” My seventh graders were writing about an experience that had involved their use of this skill. The room was quiet as they filled out their index cards and as I prepared for the day’s lesson. I looked up and scanned the room. Everybody was on task. […]

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 […]

Paper Turkeys

hand turkey

Twenty-one paper turkeys (looking suspiciously like twenty-one first grade hands) flocked together on the window at the entrance of Mrs. Dodd’s classroom. The finger-feathers on each glistened in colors never intended by nature but ever so vivid in the giant 64 crayon box with the sharpener on back – colors like “magenta,” “Caribbean green,” “periwinkle,” […]

Your Classroom: You Make the Weather

Here’s a recent conversation between my wife and me: Danielle:“Don, it’s freezing outside, wear a coat.’ Me: It’s not that cold. Danielle:It’s windy? Do you know how strong the wind is? Don, the wind is blowing 50 miles an hour. Me: Is that a lot? Danielle: Don, think about driving a car, 50 miles an […]

Long Time, No See

principals office

Stocky kindergartener Leonard was sent to my office on the fourth day of school for hitting another little boy and for refusing to do his work. He was to return several more times that first month of school for similar transgressions. Visits with his mother were somewhat encouraging – and behavior problems subsided – but […]

Race Car Driver

race car

Valerie stood in my doorway and quietly tapped. “Here’s the file you asked for, Mr. Ramsey,” she said. “New boy, Gonzalo Pomelo, eighth grade, Mrs. Duarte’s homeroom.” I took the file and thanked my secretary. As I opened to the first page, she added, “By the way, he’s here in the lobby waiting to see […]

The Healing Power of Children

statue of liberty

I headed to the District office for the usual Tuesday morning Leadership meeting. I had just heard about the first Tower attack. Like most people across the country, I was in shock. A television newscast in the board room was replaying the first plane’s assault. A few minutes after my arrival, the Superintendent entered and […]