Secondary Education

Collective Nouns for Students

Teaching high school students is exactly like this. Humor aside, there is a real conundrum in working with people that are not quite children and not quite adults. On one hand, adolescents can handle complex and abstract concepts and apply their knowledge in incredibly innovative ways. On the other hand, the …

Critical ThinkingGovernmentLesson PlansSecondary Education

Thesis and Evidence – teaching the 2016 election without bias and with the Common Core

There is no one more intent on making America great than a U.S. history teacher. Calculus teachers might struggle to make their material relevant, but history teachers do not. Students still complain, asking “What’s the point of learning this?” But, unlike higher math teachers, we have an answer. Because one …

EducationFeminismPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Bathrooms: for trans students who have considered suicide when the rainbow is not enough

bathroom – a room in a public place with a toilet and a sink sex – the state of being male or female as assigned at birth gender identity – a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female transgender …

Critical ThinkingCultureSecondary Education

White Teacher, Black and Brown Students: Race and Representation in the Modern American Classroom

This Olympics, Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win Olympic swimming gold. Her tears during the medal ceremony were moving, and her words at the press conference following it even more so. When she said, “The gold medal wasn’t just for me. It was for people who came …

red and white stop sign
FeminismPedagogySecondary Education

Sex Ed: Teaching consent

Trigger warnings: Sexual abuse of children   As unexpectedly as a virgin giving birth I found myself in charge of teaching sex ed to 6th graders. It’s been an interesting (and sometimes depressing) experience. We don’t have any of that “Abstinence Only” crap over here and while the parents were …

Exclusion, Segregation, Integration, Inclusion
EducationPedagogySecondary EducationSpecial EducationUncategorized

Competing needs

Author’s note: I’m sorry this got posted in an unfinished version. I swear I’d finished it, but somehow my last additions got lost and an unfinished but saved version got posted.   I’m a big fan of inclusion as a principle in school. If you’re not familiar with the concepts, …

Sunrise over Inyo, CA
CultureFeaturedHigher EducationSecondary Education

Our Cultural Obsession with College is Misguided and Dangerous

[Content note: youth suicide, mental illness]     One chilly morning in my Junior year of high school, a boy who sat a few desks behind me in my AP Calculus class came into school early, parked his car in the student lot, set up a video camera, recorded himself …

Secondary Education

Logical Fallacies

I recently found myself in a position where I needed to directly teach logical fallacies to my students, for the first time. As I spent hours researching, preparing materials, and actually teaching classes, I learned quite a few things. First, they’re difficult. Really difficult. It is easy to present an …

Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogySecondary Education

Is Bill Nye teaching creationism? Should debates on origins be forbidden in science classrooms?

Brandon Pettenger is (was?) an Arroyo Grande High School science teacher in the Lucia Mar Unified School District of California.  Apparently he had students watch a recording of the recent Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate as to whether or not creationism is a legitimate scientific alternative theory to evolution by Natural …

A statue of Columbus in Barcelona, pointing west towards America
Secondary Education

¿Hablas español? ¿Sí? ¿Cuál?

As you may remember, I recently went to the German “Hispanistentag”, the biannual congress of Germany’s and Austria’s researchers on Spanish language and literature. The section I was in was about the different varieties of Spanish and what to do with them in school.   Spanish is spoken by around …