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My very good friend, a fellow educator, sent me this quote yesterday, saying that when he read it, he thought of me and my teaching style: If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work. But rather teach them to long for the…

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The biggest surprise of my teaching career: Many of my students would remain in my life long after they had left my classroom. Some have become longterm babysitters for my children. Some have stayed in touch via email and social media. Some continue to share their writing with me on a regular basis. Some have…

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“Most people are bullied because they’re better than the people who bully them.” – Simon Cowell A reader sent me this quote by Cowell, who judges singing shows on television. Except for clips on YouTube, I haven’t watched a singing show since the first season of American Idol back in 2002, but I remember Cowell…

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In the midst of my math lesson yesterday, I leaned over and switched on the document camera. This is a device that has replaced the overhead projectors of my childhood. Place a document or object of any kind under the camera, and the image will appear on the Smartboard. A very useful tool in the…

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While playing golf, one of my friends explained that years ago, when he and his friends played golf together, they had a rule: If you don’t hit your tee shot past the lady’s tees, you have to play with a pink ball for the rest of the round. “That wouldn’t be consider very woke by…

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The last day of a school year can be a strange day for both teachers and students. On the one hand, it’s a celebration. Students and teachers looking ahead at long, lazy summer days. But it’s also bittersweet for most of us. A breaking of a family that will never be whole again. For my…

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Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. Wondering what to do to express your appreciation for your child’s teacher? I suggest the best gift imaginable in this piece for Slate:

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When I was growing up, teachers would take attendance by calling your name. Students would either raise their hand when their name was called or audibly respond to indicate that they had arrived safely. When responding audibly, the vast majority of us would use the word “Here!” On rare occasions, you’d might find yourself in…

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A 2017 study found that working near people who are good at their job makes you more effective at yours. Sitting within 25 feet of a high performer at work improved a given worker’s performance by 15 percent, while sitting within 25 feet of a low performer hurt their performance by 30 percent.  Role models, it…

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Occasionally I will meet an adult who has somehow been convinced that America’s “common core” curriculum is rubbish. They look at the way that their child is solving a math problem, fail to comprehend the method or rationale that their child is using, and therefore assume it’s stupid. It’s more than likely that the adult…

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