FeaturedSecondary Education

Saul and the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Once, I had a freshman in one of my English classes. The kid was big, and kind of awkward, with dark curly hair and glasses. Socially, the other kids tolerated him, but he wasn’t popular or anything. He would yell out comments on a daily basis and would often ramble …

FeaturedPrimary EducationSecondary Education

“Shut up and Let the Christians have their moment!”

There are many things that we, as teachers, have working against us. There are antiquated systems and people who don’t give us respect. There are state standards and angry parents and students who just don’t care. But, just to make our job even more complicated, there are also legislators who …

Captain Picard covering face
FeaturedPedagogySecondary Education

Cheating Scandal in Atlanta; or, The Ones Who Got Caught

By now you’ve probably heard about the two-year investigation that resulted in 35 Atlanta educators’ being indicted Friday in a massive cheating scandal. (If not, you can read about it here.) What these people did was wrong, not just legally but ethically, as changing student scores on standardized tests obfuscated …

FeaturedPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Classroom decorum!

I’ve always been pretty lucky with regard to student behaviour, not only because I teach at the university level but because I’ve been able to cultivate a kind of ‘stage persona’ that students generally take seriously and rarely challenge or undermine (a benefit, as my my female colleagues’ very different …

Critical ThinkingFeaturedHigher EducationLesson PlansPedagogySecondary Education

Lesson Plans: Goodnight, Sweet Skeptic

Most of us are familiar, at least tangentially, with Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. At the very least, we probably know that the eponymous Hamlet has some problems. We may also know (or think we know) that one of those problems is a tendency toward indecisiveness; readers/viewers declare …

Critical ThinkingFeatured

Teaching the Letter “A”

A little known secret about academia (and a serious flaw, I might add) is that many university professors receive little to no training in how to teach. Sociology poses a unique challenge because the entire discipline is built on deconstructing that which we take for granted as normal or even …