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January 13, 2014

'Breaking Bad': A Cautionary Tale for Teachers in the Wake of Walter White

Guest blogger John Choi was addicted to the hit TV show Breaking Bad. Now that the show has ended, Choi manages his withdrawals by analyzing both the inspirational and more ominous lessons the main character Walter White—meek high school science teacher turned ruthless drug dealer—teaches us.

April 04, 2012

Keep It Clean: A Principal's Quest to Put Drinkable Water in His School

Water. Every living organism needs it to survive. One of my least favorite principals used water as a weapon. Of course he would deny that. The water cooler in the main office was expensive to maintain, he'd say, and it was a discretionary item, not a necessity. He told his staff to stop filling...

March 21, 2012

Parent-Teacher Conferences: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

She was so mad that her face was red, eyes tearing, and imaginary puffs of smoke were coming out of her ears. She didn't have an appointment with me, but there she was. In my classroom. Screaming. In my face. Why did you fail my child? I tried to explain. Why did you fail my child! After unsucces...

February 08, 2012

Bathing, Debating, and Education Blogging in Washington D.C.

A Capitol Hill aide reads my blog, and last Thursday we discussed education policy while sipping coffee in a Congressional office building. I spent the next day at the feet of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and other successful writers, learning how to better my blogging skills. I ended my trip...

October 26, 2011

A Tale of Two Teacher Evaluations

As one of my opening lessons on science lab safety, I use a scenario of students who create utter mayhem in the lab with glimpses of them also being safe. This anticipatory set is fun to read and students quickly identify things they should never do. By the end of the lesson they have internalized a...

September 21, 2011

I Am Overweight: An Authentic Assessment

There, I said it: I'm 5'7'' and 198 pounds. That makes me a good 30 pounds overweight. My supportive husband calls me "voluptuous," but my middle school Advisory students say I'm "chunky." My mother calls me "healthy" and "big boned," but my girlfriends tell me I've got a lot of "junk in my trunk."...

August 31, 2011

Dead Child Walking

Some friends from church and I periodically do a community prayer walk, engaging people on the streets to find out what's going on and how we can pray for them. On the evening of August 26, I approached a group of teenagers and asked them how things were going. That's when I met Monique (not her rea...

August 24, 2011

Teaching Without Training Wheels: A Back to School Message

It was time to take the training wheels off. In fact, it was long overdue. My nine-and-a-half-year-old daughter had been too afraid to ride her bike without them, yet too embarrassed to ride with them on. Her friends were riding with no hands, and the 6-year-old girl on the corner had ditched her ex...



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