In the responses to several of my previous posts, many comments focused on the debate of whether children need rules, or whether children are better off with free choice and have the ability to make correct decisions when free to do so. ...Read More.
Which of the following are real choices?
- You can stop fighting or go home for three days. It's up to you.
- You can do your work now or sit in the office for the rest of the class. The choice is yours.
- You can either stop interrupting or be quiet for the remaining...
All of us have had major classroom disruptions that try our patience and push our limits. These incidents can threaten our sense of control and generate fear of looking weak to other students. We fear that other students might do the same thing if we don't take a strong stance. Couple these...Read More.
A sense of wonder and the need to predict -- these are two of the qualities that enrich all of us. We wonder about big things (is there life on other planets?), smaller things (if I write to a friend that I've had a falling out with, will I get an answer?), and smaller yet (what will happen if...Read More.
Classroom discussions have been a staple of teaching forever, beginning with Socrates. I have taught using discussions, been a student in discussions, and observed other teachers' discussions thousands of times -- at least. Some have been boring, stifling or tedious enough to put me to sleep....Read More.
Jake's hands were clenched and he had a weak smile on his face when he told me the joke his friends were laughing about. "I laughed, too," he said, "but inside I was filled with fear, fear that they might find out." Jake, a tall, slender high school junior, was...Read More.
I have visited and trained in schools in every state in America, and at most of these sites, I've had a conversation with teachers and administrators similar to the one below:
Me: How many rules do you have?
Answer: (proudly) I only have one rule...
Welcome back to school. I hope everyone had a fulfilling summer and is ready to greet our new school year and eager students for the beginning of what will be the best year of teaching in our lives so far. I spent part of the summer writing a new short-form book for ASCD (in production, due for...Read More.
I love May. The weather is as close to perfect as it will be all year in most parts of the country. The songbirds have returned to sing to us. My favorite sport, baseball, is in full swing. And best of all, May is both my birthday month and my sister's. And for educators, the arrival of May...Read More.
In my last post, I promised readers a special post on a topic of great importance to me. Fighting cynicism is that topic. It is one of the most important issues for me and needs to be one of the most important goals for all schools. Cynicism can rot out a school the way termites rot out a...Read More.