A Student I’ll Always Remember

I admire parents who bravely navigate the challenging world of raising a child with special needs. Children with Autism in particular bring a unique set of  joys and trials. A friend of mine occasionally shares glimpses into her world as a parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome.  She wrote about a particularly challenging day and labeled it as one of her daughter’s “Days of Despair.” Her story reminded me of an experience I had with a very special student named Alex. His parents Click here to read more!

What Everyone Should Know About Teacher Tenure

Before you read this blog post, please stop and reflect on your reaction to the topic of teacher tenure. I bet you have an opinion. In fact, I’m guessing you not only have a strong belief about the topic, but that it’s fueled with at least a little emotion. When it comes to teacher tenure, very few people are undecided on their stance. People either believe it should remain a pillar of education, or be abolished. No doubt, the recent Vergara ruling in California has fueled the ongoing teacher Click here to read more!

The Secret to Self-Esteem: It’s Not What You Think

Kids really are the best teachers. A year ago, my then 17-year-old daughter, taught me an important lesson in a short conversation. It went something like this. “Mom, I got a 97 on my engineering test, the best grade in the class.” To which I replied, “That’s awesome! It must be that great math brain of yours.” “No mom, I just didn’t give up. Most of the other kids just quit.” I –-after feeling a little humbled, stated, “Oh, well, great job persevering then.” It Click here to read more!

Parenting: The Art of Preparing to Let Go

Parenting, just like life, is more about letting go than anything else. Sure, parents love, guide, encourage, teach, model, and continuously serve in a host of other important roles. However, in the end, it's all about preparing children in order to send them into the world. Today, I’ve chosen to veer from my usual educational focus and share a personal reflection on parenting. Successful parenting is, after all, not just about school. As a parent and teacher, I have spent years exploring Click here to read more!

Empathy: The Solution to Bullying

Shootings, suicides, violence, and emotional turmoil are all sad results of bullying. It’s hard to get through a day in the media without hearing a story about bullying. It’s a complex social issue plaguing kids, parents, and schools across the country. According to Wikipedia, “Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others.” In addition, many other definitions, including Bullying.org, also mention the descriptors “repetitive” and “ongoing”. Bullying Click here to read more!

What is a Learning Disability?

Imagine writing an entire essay with your opposite hand. Now imagine that this essay is a timed assessment that’s worth twenty percent of your grade. How would that feel? Would you be frustrated? Writing with your opposite hand is a simple illustration of a complex challenge. Although not identical, this exercise simulates what some people with learning disabilities (LDs) feel when trying to perform an academic task. They are capable, but struggle with producing what they know. In the United Click here to read more!

How to Talk to Teachers: It’s Not That Hard

We all know how important communication is in relationships. Yet, I would guess that every parent has a story of parent/teacher miscommunication. As the pressure increases on teachers to do more with less, communication is more important than ever. Everyday teachers are bombarded with meetings, paperwork, planning, grading, and numerous other “extra” duties. On the other hand, parents are also busy with work, getting kids to soccer/dance/music/baseball (fill in the blank), baths, meal planning Click here to read more!

4 Ways Parents Can Support Teachers

Teaching is a profession like no other. The rewards of touching the future through children's  lives are simply magical. There is an inexplicable feeling that comes with knowing that you have made a difference in a child’s life forever. However, the teaching profession is under fire. Unless you’re a teacher, it’s hard to understand the effects of the ongoing pressure, unrealistic expectations, media and public scrutiny, shrinking resources, political agendas, and increased responsibilities Click here to read more!

What Happened to the Second “R”?

Our country’s children need a writing revolution. Writing, along with art, physical education, music, and a host of other critical subjects, is a casualty of education reform. It has been on the back burner for decades. The second of the three “Rs” (reading, writing, and arithmetic) is missing in action. What’s the result? Thousands of young adults enter college and careers unprepared for the demands of written communication. Most importantly, they enter adulthood without knowing how to Click here to read more!

Why Proficient is Not That Important

“This is so stupid. These test results aren’t true. I’m better in math than language arts, but somehow I got a crappy math score and a pretty legit language arts score. Plus, the state’s goal of getting all students to proficient is literally impossible!” ~ my 17 year old daughter, Alexandra. This was my daughter’s reaction to her state test results. There’s such wisdom and truth in what Alex said. Standardized test scores provide limited information on student learning. Test results Click here to read more!