March 2014 Archives

In the beginning, I too was that starry-eyed, 22-year-old teacher who couldn't stop talking about all the amazing projects, hands-on learning and after-school activities I was going to lead. I just couldn't figure out why so many of my veteran colleagues on the Navajo Nation would listen, laugh and kindly give my brilliant ideas a smack down. After two months of teaching, I got it. The school wouldn't give me more teaching time. I was told I had to follow the Scholastic reading workbooks verbatim. My students didn't want to do after-school activities. Above all, I really sucked at teaching. ...


When the knife attacks happened in Kunming last weekend, I was traveling through the city for work. As my colleagues and I scoured the Internet for news, rumors and updates from friends, I thought about how I wouldn't have thought twice about bringing up the subject with my students in the United States, but in China, I would pause hard before discussing it in-depth with anyone, much less my students. The last thing I'd want is for the wrong thing to be said, the wrong conclusion to be made and trouble to be had. That is why I asked Jiang ...


My brother taught me my first major lesson about education in the fall of 2005 when he became the unofficial mascot to my students on the Navajo Nation. Until that point, I had spent the better part of my life horrified by my younger brother's antics and irritated by the attention, money and heartache my parents poured on him. But when I became an educator, I finally realized that it wasn't the tutoring, behavior plans or even love that got him to succeed. It was his own vision for what he wanted, his grit to get there, and the confidence ...


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