Busyness Is Not A Badge Of Honor

After devoting the vast majority of my writing and thinking to education-related issues and other publishing platforms in the past year or two, I’ve decided to revive the ‘Stew! Out of curiosity, I used Medium to post my latest effort.  Thanks for reading!      

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…

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?”…

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…

Emphasizing the Gift of Attention

Like most teachers, I’m a few weeks into the school year.   I’ve dealt with shifting rosters, a classroom change, opening-school paperwork, and trying to establish a positive, productive classroom culture. Though my classroom actions and procedures, I’ve implicitly and explicitly emphasized certain behaviors and values, like collaboration, being on time, and organization. What’s new…

Should High School Students Have Jobs?

Here’s a typical scenario that I’ve witnessed over and over again during the last several years as a high school teacher: JP is an average student, receiving mostly B’s and C’s in school.  He wants to save up for a used car–perhaps a Honda Civic Coupe–and be able to pay for his iPhone bill. He…

Europe, 10 Years Later: In the Moment

I strolled through the Vrijdagmarkt in Ghent, Belgium, last Sunday morning, still slightly hungover from a sprawling bike scavenger hunt through the city the previous day.  A veteran farmer with white hair and red, calloused hands hawked different breeds of laying hens to the city folks.  Sidewalk cafes slowly became magnets for those looking for caffeine,…