If your district’s like mine, we’re both trapped right now in the long March toward spring break. Some days, we just need to catch our breath and Vanessa, my science department friend over at Biology Roots, has put together eight tips to keep in mind if you’re in need of a sub day. (#7 is my favorite!) Continue reading

Teenagers are self-absorbed. I get that. (Heck, most adults we know are also pretty focused on themselves, no?) Nevertheless, I’ve been troubled in the past few weeks with some of my students’ inability to give concrete examples as they try to support their opinions. Continue reading

The Supreme Court is in the news today, as Judge Neil Gorsuch was officially announced last night as the president’s nominee to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat. Looking to emphasize the importance of the court in my students’ lives, I launched a discussion last week about the upcoming changes to the bench and what rights […]

One thing that surprised me during last spring’s testing season was the heavy use of computer-voice instructions and listening passages on our state’s Common Core-style exam, the SBAC. I hadn’t really taught listening as a specific skill set, yet my students’ scores told me that they needed help there – badly. Continue reading

Fast forward to next Friday, mere hours before our two-week winter vacation begins. What are many teachers throughout the school doing? Pressing “play” on their DVDs, white-knuckling it to the 3:00 bell. You know it’s true. Last year, when my fourth period freshmen arrived, they bragged that they’d spent the morning watching Elf and Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and then they asked which movie I was going to show. Sorry, kids, I’m not that teacher. Continue reading

`Tis the season for graduation speakers to start preparing remarks as they’ll soon populate podiums across the land, hoping to reach the hearts of our freshest graduates buried under all those layers of polyester. Continue reading

While co-chaperoning the Competition Civics state meet earlier this month (a favor to my hallway bestie, the team’s adviser), my stupidity was embarrassingly apparent. The weekend was filled with two dozen of my school’s sharpest seniors citing Constitutional case law as they debated with actual working lawyers and I pretty much stood around the periphery, pretending to know what in the world they were talking about. Continue reading