Can You Imagine Schools Without Sports?

Americans are known throughout the world for being competitive people. We like to win Olympic medals, build the biggest houses, and maintain a superior military force. We have the most human and natural resources any nation has ever known. But do we have the best schools?   Perhaps we have the very best at the…

School Segregation Persists, But Not In Louisville

If you’re a black public school student in Chicago, there’s a 70% chance you’re in an intensely segregated school (90%+ minority student body).  Similar trends occur for Latino students in Los Angeles.  Examine enrollments in many urban districts across the land and you’ll see similar trends suggesting that despite our country’s status as a melting…

Don’t Overuse ‘Good Job!”

If you finish your homework, I’ll give you a candy bar.  But if you don’t finish your homework, you’ll get timeout. If you be quiet, you’ll get five extra minutes of kickball.  But if you don’t zip it, you’ll lose those five minutes of recess.   Last post, I wrote about the ineffectiveness of traditional…

We Are Owned By What We Possess

You want to live a life that matters. You believe that there is more to life than stuff, spending money and being in debt. You want to live consciously. This means you want to be present in every moment. You want to live deliberately. -Mark Lowe, Minimalist Lifestyle blog I don’t desire to live in a tiny home,…

Classrooms Without Borders

Imagine a 30 by 30 room, with students sitting silently in rows, ostensibly listening to lectures, text messages covertly being sent inside hoodie pockets, and whispers here and there.  Eventually, completion of multiple choice exams at the end of an instructional unit measures learning.  Sadly, this probably sounds familiar.  While there is a time and…

Reflections: Is Grammar Worth Teaching?

I teach English and I write professionally, but I don’t remember how I learned grammar.  I’ve always been a reader, and my father is an excellent editor who helped me with many high school and college papers.  But as far as former classroom instruction goes, I have zero recollection of effective teachers and teaching methods…