My (education) birthday wishes…

            Today is my birthday. For the past few years, I have told my students that I am 29, with surprising success—not because I look 29, but because teenagers are sometimes easy to fool.            This year, I am going for 30, and I’ll probably spend the next few years at that age.            However, my birthday... Continue Reading →

Teacher pay…

In nine years of blogging, I think that I have written about the financial side of teaching twice. Today will be the third--and I imagine that my total count for teacher-finances-blogs will stay at three for a few years after this. Here’s the deal...I don’t like talking about money for two reasons: I would not... Continue Reading →

An excerpt from my speech at the Celebration of Accomplished Teaching

Here are some great comments from Beth Maloney, AZ Teacher of the Year 2014. I was really inspired by this speech, especially when she said: “Get your message out there because if you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you.” Teachers, this is a powerful call to action. Get your stories out there! And if you are considering pursuing National Board Certification, I highly encourage you to begin the amazing journey!

Beth Maloney: Daring to Teach

Image With Carolyn Warner, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, champion of students, and one of Beth’s heroes. P.S. She gave me a kiss after my speech and said, “Way to go, kid!”

On February 1, 2014 the Arizona K12 Center hosted a fabulous event to recognize and celebrate Arizona’s newest National Board Certified teachers and Master Teachers.  I was thrilled to be invited to speak.  Here is an excerpt from my keynote:

Welcome to the family!  We are many, but we speak with a unified voice, especially when we say congratulations.  You have elevated the credibility of our profession.  Take the time to let this achievement land. 

There was a recent study that asked: What does the public want to see from their teachers?  The 3 P’s: passion, professionalism, patience.  You have dedicated yourself to those.  And you proved you can follow directions really, really well.

I recently had the…

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“I know you’re busy, but…”

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how special the ability is to make people feel special. If it’s sincere, it might be one of the best qualities a human can have. It’s certainly one of the most important characteristics of successful teachers. The reason that the topic is on my mind is because... Continue Reading →

Do Something!

Well, this blog is definitely not about religion (and I don't want to turn anyone off), but I heard a great song on Christian radio yesterday that deeply connected with me as a teacher. The song is called "Do Something" by Matthew West. In my personal and professional experience, teaching often aligns with faith because... Continue Reading →

For everyone, but mostly teachers :)

One thing that my district does well is to support teachers in getting professional development from outside vendors. This week, I have been at the 31st Annual Effective Schools conference, and I have learned effective, innovative ways to approach teaching--as well as being reaffirmed that some of the traditional ways that teachers reach their students... Continue Reading →

Shawshank Redemption, hope and uncertainty

One of my classes just finished reading The Shawshank Redemption, so--of course--it’s totally on my mind. What most people don’t realize about The Shawshank Redemption is that it’s about hope. At it’s core, hope is the force that drives Andy to escape. Red is hopeless; he doesn’t believe that he will get out before there... Continue Reading →

Conspiring Against the Future…

Yesterday, two girls were talking in my classroom after class had ended. The gist of it was this: Helen made Jackie (fake names, of course) promise that Jackie wouldn’t let Helen return her boyfriend’s call if he happened to call later, because she was mad at him (but—deep down—I am sure Helen wished that he... Continue Reading →

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