Seeing Play as Privilege

I was standing at the edge of large hole, collectively dug by four third-grade students. Two were continuing to dig, while one peered in curiously. The fourth student was collecting some kind insect larvae ....more

What I Miss Over the Summer

At the end of the year, we are all “done.” Done with the kids, the administration, the testing, and even each other. The kids pushed us to a breaking point and we not only crossed it, but are holding on to the branch with only one hand. End of the year evaluations are coming in and they are very stressful, but not as stressful as the standardized test scores ....more

Summer Planning and Pinterest

Pinterest Logo Pinterest. Love, love, love this site! And who doesn’t? ...more

How to Keep Kids Reading All Summer

Each fall teachers ring their hands and furrow their brows at the lack of reading their students did over the summer. We bemoan the fact that the summer reading lists we hand out are shoved in a backpack in June and not looked at again until, well, for many kids, never. Many teachers lecture high school students for not reading the required summer books either ....more

Inclusion Students – The Elephant in the Room

There has been great controversy for many years over the inclusion of special education students in the regular education classroom. Some parents are afraid that inclusion students will negatively impact their child’s education. Mainstream...more

Student Mentors

It seems like by the time everything gets settled, the school year ends. Then in August, new freshmen arrive and need to be “broken in” to the high school climate. While we have amazing freshmen teachers to help with the adjustment period, sometimes they are not enough ....more

Implementing Art Across the Curriculum

I started teaching back in the days when supplies were limited and you saved everything. I remember days when I taught kindergarten with only toilet paper rolls, markers and a package of rainbow construction paper, which was expected to last for the first nine weeks, with the possibility of getting wiggle eyes to add to the pot the second nine weeks. With the introduction of the internet (yes, I remember the time when it was first introduced) the variety of ideas and lesson plans is immeasurable! ...more

Hosting an LGBQTA Prom

Last month the rural Vermont high school in which I teach at hosted a well attended LGBTQA prom as a culminating festivity for the 9th Annual Queer Allied Youth Summit. It was a first of its kind for our county, our community and our school; its success lay in the hands of a few teachers, a classy administration and coordinated activism from a large body of students. (The acronym: LesbianGayBisexualTransgenderQueerAlly) Senior student activist, Tommy Lockamy, began planning the weekend long summit with two educators who advise the largest Gay, Lesbian Or Whatever (GLOW) public school club in the state ....more

Planning the Last Unit

This is the time of year in which students’ impetus to volunteer, join clubs, school wide activities,...more

Charter Schools Have Lost Their Way

picture courtesy Charter schools were first conceived in 1988 by then American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker. Shanker hoped to open up schools that would be led by teachers who would use innovative methods to help children learn. The idea was to allow students to come to a charter school even if it was not in their neighborhood, thus allowing a mixture of students from different economic classes as well as different races to learn together ....more