Absent Students Should Not Make Happy Teachers

I had a class a few years ago that in 180 days of school there seemed to be only a handful of days in which the entire class was in attendance. There were several factors which seemed to contribute to this “problem.” The class met 1st hour, which meant that absences were higher than classes … Continue reading Absent Students Should Not Make Happy Teachers

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Safe Classrooms in the Age of Intruder Drills

180 days a year, I go to school and bust my ass to ensure that my students feel safe inside the four walls of my classroom. I can only do so much on duty in the gym or in the hall during passing period. But in my room, our room, we literally create a family … Continue reading Safe Classrooms in the Age of Intruder Drills

Confronting Religious Bigotry in the Classroom

In June of 2017, in a post called “LGBTQ Advocacy in Oklahoma Classrooms Part II,” I wrote, “LGBTQ issues are non-debatable in classrooms of districts with inclusive nondiscrimination policies. Space should be made in all classrooms (especially Social Studies classrooms) for student expression of a variety of opinions on numerous civic and political issues. There … Continue reading Confronting Religious Bigotry in the Classroom

‘Mr. Baker Lets Us Do It’

A recent post at Spoon Vision entitled, “’Take Your Hood Off,’ and Other Teacher Microaggressions,” upset more than a few people and resulted in almost 30,000 views in the last ten days. Much of the criticism was constructive and resulted in some very important self-reflection on my part. I especially appreciate those educators of color … Continue reading ‘Mr. Baker Lets Us Do It’

Classroom Management or Something Better

In my last post, “Social Justice Teaching in the Content Area,” I hinted that although adapting principles of social justice to fit inside a given curriculum is very important, social justice teaching ultimately has a much bigger scope. Teachers interested in social justice issues will inevitably move beyond critique of standardized text books and creative … Continue reading Classroom Management or Something Better

Best Practices for Inclusive Classroom Language

Teachers communicate in numerous nonverbal ways including facial expressions, body language, posture, proxemics, etc., but verbal language will always be an essential part of the teacher-student relationship. The exchange of words is and must remain central to the learning process. To be sure, even when it is clear that a class is not paying close … Continue reading Best Practices for Inclusive Classroom Language