Three Responses to Failure

Things go wrong. It's a fact that we have to embrace and learn to live with if we want to be great teachers. I've learned some of my most valuable teaching lessons from classes or activities melting down in front of me. Adversity is inevitable when we work with other people. We have disagreements withRead More

A Letter to Students and Parents

I began writing my course audit for AP Biology this week, which is always a fun thing to do. Part of my course description includes a short letter to parents and students at the beginning, so they have glimpse of my philosophy on the class and school. I also looked back at a course auditRead More

Heroes and Villains

We have a saying in the science department here: students lack mental stamina. They are faced with problems, and instead of working together to find an answer, they give up entirely. "This is too hard" and "I don't know, so I'm not going to do it" are frequent responses when I assign something that requiresRead More

Power in Online Video

I've had a crazy week. On Tuesday and Thursday I worked with Brett Clark and Brian Bobbitt sharing the Flipped Classroom with almost 100 teachers and administrators across the district. It was an insane couple of days, but everything came together (including a student panel...they were awesome) and I think everyone that participated learned somethingRead More

Why I Teach

Before Thanksgiving break, I gave my classes a short evaluation. It was totally anonymous and they were asked about things they liked, things they disliked, and things they would change. To be totally honest, reading the responses was both easy and difficult. Some were good and gave constructive criticism on how to address issues I knewRead More