Respect on the street
EducationPedagogyPrimary Education

#StopBashingTeachers, a charter school’s equivalent to #PoliceLivesMatter

There’s a video of a New York charter school doing its rounds at the moment in which you can see a teacher verbally and emotionally abuse a first grade student. If you love kids, if you’ve been abused as a child yourself, that video makes you want to cry, puke …

Red rose

A Rose by Any Other Name…

Names can say a lot about us. Even though our parents did not choose for us the way J.K. Rowling did for her characters (you could think that the parents of Remus Lupin were asking for their child to be bitten by a werewolf), they still had their reasons for …


Crime and Punishment

Two things cropped up simultaneously in my Twitter timeline this week. One was the outrage over the brutal assault of a black teenage girl by a white police officer in class that you sure all heard of. The other one was less prominent and I would have missed it if …

Required Readings

Better sex ed, #saidnoschoolever, exceptional U.S. history, Salaita updates, and more: Required Readings, 08.09.15

Let’s begin this week’s Required Readings with an entry that doesn’t actually require reading and that you probably shouldn’t view at work. On a recent episode of Last Week Tonight, comedian John Oliver skewered the sad state of sex education in the United States—noting “There is no way we’d allow …



It started last year during a study period. The upcoming tests were serious business and my job was just to be a teacher in the room. Technically, it is the students’ time to use as they see fit. Disruptive behavior isn’t allowed, but if a student wants to quietly play …

A Prison Cell
EducationSecondary Education

Be Careful What You Wish For (Especially When It Involves Prison)

It’s something many teachers will have said or though at some point, often in the aftermath of a confrontation with a particularly difficult or aggressive student. Once they leave here, they’ll be in prison within a year. There are some students who go beyond “normal” misbehaviour. The ones who radiate …

Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Sooo…hungry!!!

A lot of the classes I teach are at night. I mean really at night.  Sometimes I don’t get out of work until after 10 pm.  This means that these classes can start right at the dinner hour or during the long evening hours when people are tired. In an …

A computer sign-in screen
Pop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: Access Denied

Time out. A phone call home. Copying out the school rules. Detention. Exclusion. A move of class. All popular high school sanctions, all designed to mould behaviour in a particular way, and all very often quite ineffective. Anyone who’s worked in an average high school for even a short amount …

Required Readings

Scholarly publishing a-go-go, digital literacy, the Aaron Swartz case, and pre-K suspensions: Required Readings, April 1, 2014

If I were feeling more clever and less fuzzy brained (no more late-night ice cream), I’d have whipped up a fun faux Required Readings for April Fool’s Day. However, when a state votes to keep on the books a creationism education law declared unconstitutional more than 25 years ago and …

Primary EducationRequired ReadingsSecondary Education

Charter school admissions, parents and homework, zero tolerance and using videos in the classroom: Required Reading 3/20

Okey dokey-here’s what we’ve got: Some of the ins and outs of how Charter schools  can select their students. The issue of Backfill. Are parents  helping kids with their homework really helping? Really? So called “zero tolerance” has a lot of ridiculous aspects, like this kid who got suspended for …