Category Archives: adolescence
Whenever you ask young adolescents about the adults in their lives, their teachers, administrators, their bus driver, the lunch ladies, they always focus on some quirky detail that is the part that becomes the whole. Continue reading
Amazing educators, when you ask them, “What do you teach?”, they reply, “I teach kids!” Great teachers love kids. They love the students in front of them and they understand the sacred nature of their professional responsibility to nurture the academic and personal development of kids. Great teachers know that relationships are the most important thing; not homework, not tests, not awesome lesson plans, but relationships. Continue reading
Are there areas of your practice as a leader or teacher that you haven’t figured out? How are you modelling your learning? How can we be transparent about the process as we learn new things and try to find answers to life’s essential questions? Continue reading
rincipals and teachers can create singular moments for kids everyday. Like the Brooklyn Nets, these are our schools, classrooms, hallways, gyms, and cafeterias. We are in charge of these settings. We can do extraordinary things to create lifelong fans of learning and of our schools. Continue reading
For every adolescent who encounters fear or conflict or love, there is a person, real or fictional, whose life is described in words and whose experiences can help them realize they aren’t the only one. When kids read books, they come to recognize that the world contains innumerable thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Continue reading
When Sandy Hook happened, I was certain that something would change. Six and seven year olds! If as a nation we were not willing to do something to address gun violence in our schools following the deaths of six and seven year-olds, I told myself, nothing would ever change. How could we not act!?
But we didn’t.
Actions follow our beliefs. If there is one piece of advice that all middle school teachers must follow it is this, “Middle school kids are different, don’t expect to succeed with the same strategies that might work with elementary or high school kids.” Continue reading
Remembering Dates I share a birthday with Ludwig van Beethoven, December 16. That’s probably why, when I want to play classical music on my Amazon Echo I normally ask, “Alexa, play my Pandora Beethoven station.” Of course Beethoven is awesome, … Continue reading
Any middle school teacher knows that one of the most exciting but challenging aspects of the job is the frenetic pace of life with the kids here. The executive function portion of the adolescent brain, the part that slows things down so we don’t make poor decisions, hasn’t fully developed. As a consequence, middle school kids seem to be operating at 78 rpm while the rest of us are at 45rpm. The engines in their brains have more acceleration than brake.
Our most enduring memories are forged during our middle school years. I was very saddened by the passing this year of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. I feel like I grew up with Ali. I was ten when The Fight … Continue reading