Teachable Moments

Years ago, a wise teacher offered me invaluable advice.  When I bemoaned my failures in the classroom, my impatience, and my inability to portray God as the perfect authority, he clearly understood my lament.  Then speaking out of his experience, he offered these wise words:  “Those are teachable moments.  Our students will also fail in life and we get to… READ MORE

It was a Hard Day

Tuesday was a very difficult day.  I was exhausted by the end of the day and felt as if I hadn’t done anything right. How do I handle a very trying day?  How do I respond so that I can go to school the next day with motivation and a good attitude, ready to teach again? I had just read… READ MORE

Unexpected Visitors

The outside classroom door stood propped open to invite the fresh morning air.  Just beyond the open door, our school garden flourished and we wanted as much contact as we could with the fresh air and colors. We now sat in back of the room finishing our devotional time with prayer.  Suddenly, a mighty chorus of bird singing interrupted our… READ MORE

A Dream Come True

A number of years ago, while sitting in a class taught by Mr. Brubaker, I listened to his story of raising a garden at school. The story always intrigued me, since I too love to garden. But a garden at school? How would that work? Thus, the dream lay dormant – until this past summer when I got the chance to try it. The plots of soil just outside...

I Hate Grades

I hate grades. Well, not exactly. I hate the way students (and parents) are conditioned to think about grades in too many cases. A good grade—or at least a passing grade—is often viewed as an entitlement, a ceremonial rite of passage, an affirmation of the student’s human dignity. These are so far removed from the significance that grades are meant… READ MORE

Are You Ready?

Are you ready for school to start? When people asked me that, I didn’t know how to answer!  I was fine with school starting, but my classroom was certainly not ready.  I was eager to be working with the class, but there were a lot of other things to do first.  Yes, I was ready to start, but I would… READ MORE

The Gift of Responsibility

In 1963, a prominent American psychologist, Erik Erickson, proposed that life could be divided into eight developmental stages: infancy, early childhood, play age, school age, etc.  In his theory, the fifth stage of human development, which he called adolescence, occurs between the years 12-18. Recently, psychologists and sociologists in the western world have been suggesting an extension of our society’s… READ MORE

Location, Location, Location

  While the summer can potentially put a stick in your spokes, you love teaching, and search again for something to give this year an exciting face-lift. Looking for inspiration, you blow a very thick layer of dust off The Seven Laws of the Learner, but that is no help. I have an idea for you. A number of years… READ MORE

Buzz Into a Good Book!

During Book Week, we had a lot of fun celebrating books and reading.  Mystery Readers visited classrooms to read to students. The entire school took time to read every day. Students participated in “Bug on a Book,” and each class set a goal for how many books they could read in the week.  The theme was “Buzz into a Good… READ MORE

More Is Caught Than Taught

We look forward to fresh-faced students eager to learn showing up at our classroom door in a few weeks. Hopeful faces and inquisitive minds thrill a teacher’s heart that, hopefully, this year children will easily absorb puzzling fraction problems and endless phonics rules, making teaching pleasant. Many of us know from experience that fresh vigor soon slumps as we establish… READ MORE