Wealth As Community, Time, and Freedom

I’ll be the first one to admit it: I value financial security and material comfort, I save for retirement, and I sometimes worry about finances. But after reading Ben Hewitt’s book Saved: How I Quit Worry About Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World, I’ve been inspired to blog.  Like Bill McKibben’s Deep…

What Do You Do Without A Screen?

I’m not sure when I realized a determination to continue to learn and do things that do not actively require a digital screen.   This desire to be present and hands-on could have been fostered at an early age; I remember putting on a plastic hard hat and hammering away on rocks, shards of stone…

Thailand: Idealism and Reestablishing the Travel Bug

While strolling around a village about 45 minutes outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, my wife Rebecca and I got inevitably lost amongst the dry rice fields, the occasional passing motorbike, and dogs popping out of every other driveway to inspect each flourish of activity. The landmarks on our hand drawn, photocopied map–phone booths, wood carvings,…

Why Value Education When I Have Everything I Need?

I’m not too worried about the recent PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) scores, which revealed that American teenagers are lagging behind their counterparts all around the globe. I’m not worried about being outperformed by Estonia, Poland, and Ireland in reading, and I’m not worried that we’re only one spot ahead of Lithuania in math.…

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A Priority: Changing How We Talk About School

The following post first appeared on my Bluegrass Dispatches blog at the Center for Teaching Quality. In 2008, one of my first published articles challenged the dominant discourse in education. I was fed up with the way many of my colleagues and administrators conversed about teaching and learning, believing their words stifled innovation. I heard grades, standards,…

Show Me Respect, Or Else!

A few weeks ago, two students showed up for English class a few minutes late–not the first time–and shuffled into their seats, smirking and tossing their backpacks to the floor. While I began to explain the lesson, a hand shot up from the back of the classroom.  “Mr. B, can I go to the bathroom?”…