The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Snow Days!

My first grader ran around the house screaming in joy when he woke up this morning. He’s already learned what snow days are, and how exciting that they can be. I’m not going to lie — my fellow teachers and I LOVE snow days. What could be wrong with an …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Don’t You Dare Make me Pledge

Every day, I cringe a little bit when I hear it. The Pledge of Allegiance. My whole class of high school freshmen stand , hand over heart, and recite it. My 6-year old proudly recalls how he says the Pledge in his first grade classroom. And no one really seems …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: My First Day of Teaching Bible Lit

I walk into the classroom, already defensive. A room packed with pious-looking students stare at me, holding their thick Bibles in their hands. Nervous, I stand in front of the room and stammer that I’m teaching the Bible… as literature. I tell them that we won’t be engaging in philosophical …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Where You Should Put Your Penis

Back in college, I was a volunteer rape crisis counselor. I had months of training, and I was on call for a few days a month. Basically, if a person (almost always a woman)  was sexually assaulted and went to the hospital, I went with her. If that person needed …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Change a few words?

In Oklahoma, a Jewish high school student and his family face threats and intimidation from angry white people after the young Jewish student had the courage to report the unconstitutional display of a page from Mein Kampf  in his public school classrooms. On Saturday, May 11, Jewish student Elijah Ross, a junior at …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Coming Out At School

Q: How do you deal with your atheism as a teacher? Do you tell coworkers, parents and students, or do you just keep it to yourself? For the first semester at my current job, I was really quiet. I talked to the kids, of course, and I made awkward conversation, …

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FeaturedThe Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: I Defile my Question Virginity!

I’d like to start this week’s column with a question from a loyal reader. (I suppose I can’t actually call someone a “loyal” reader when this is column #3, but it makes me feel better.) Anyway, Belinda from Oklahoma asks, “What are some ways of handling separation of church and …

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Higher EducationSecondary Education

Sensational: It’s the Secular Student Alliance!

You see them as you walk down the halls at any high school in America – fliers for Christian groups abound. “Come to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes!” “Join the Before-School Prayer Group!” It’s enough to make a secular teacher feel a little bit ill. If we look at the …

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FeaturedReligion

Separation of Church and State? Not on MY watch!

Earlier this week, a state judge in Texas, ruled that cheerleaders at public high school football games could make and carry banners with Christian religious verses on them. These banners would be held for football players to run through at the start of the game. Judge Stephen Thomas, in his …

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Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans: Creative Writing and the Egg on my Board

I know people scoff at me when I tell them I teach Creative Writing. To be honest, a part of me probably scoffs at me, too. I’m always anxious to throw in, “Oh, but I teach other classes as well – English 9, and electives.” In some way, I think …

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