Who’s the Adult in the Room? A defense of Two Choices Technique and the Gangsta’

Why Two Choices Technique? Who’s the adult? This post will be written as an open letter to Mr. B. [you can see his full letter in the comments section of Two Choices and the Gangsta’]. This post and many of my writings in general are dedicated to any teacher or parent who has tried the … Read more

For Educational Policy: Reject Standardized Tests, Embrace Facts Part 1

One more issue to be polarized over – Standardized Tests Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We need to assess, evaluate, judge, test or whatever euphemism makes you comfortable. Many of us just don’t absolutely need what currently is used for standardized tests. We just got through testing (and graduation) season and a … Read more

How School Broke My Heart

Everybody Has a Story Talk to anyone, and no matter how great their childhood memories are, everyone can come up with some story of heartache caused by something at or about school. It might have been a mean teacher or a school bully . Maybe it was anxiety over some subject, grade or test. Whenever … Read more

Consequences: Parents #4

Consequences What are the consequences of your actions? What are the results? Is it valid or appropriate to use the word consequences when talking about a child’s behavior or achievement in school? I used the word. You be the judge of the results. The IEP Meeting I got called into the IEP (Individualized Education Program) … Read more

The Standing Desk

The Standing Desk: A Variation on Two Choices Technique Molly was in my Special Ed. class. She, like most of the students in that class, was autistic. She also suffered from a neuromuscular disease that left her wheelchair bound. Part of her IEP (Individualized Education Program) was that she was to spend a few minutes … Read more

School Is Funky

Classroom management can be disrupted by the funky nature of kids. Yes, school is funky!  Now, I’m not talking about funky as in the syncopated stylings of a James Brown or a Tower of Power.  No, no dear friends.  I’m talking about the kind of funky that leaves sticky fingerprints all over the place, or … Read more

Every Child Can Learn?

Blues singer Otis Spann once sang, I tried to tell the city boy what to do, But it looked like to me he just couldn’t learn. ‘…he just couldn’t learn.’  You might get away with saying that when singing the blues, but for teachers, we can never say a child can’t learn.  It’s considered giving … Read more

Excessive Force

Shocking video “Next on the nightly news, a shocking video of excessive force used on a young, mentally handicapped child.  We warn you that the video you are about to see is disturbing.  It shows two adult males (a middle school administrator and a teacher) forcefully wrenching the arms of a much smaller 13 year … Read more

When You Can’t Fix Stupid #2

I was stupid. I’ve said it before.  We all do stupid things.  One year, during an icy winter in Chicago, my van was spinning its wheels in a parking lot.  My brother and I got out to push the van off the ice, leaving the van driverless.  That was stupid.  The wheels caught and the … Read more

It’s a beautiful story but…

This is a long one but I think you’ll find it’s worth it. I don’t like having my emotions manipulated without my permission.  I do frequently give my permission.  I have a fondness for Frank Capra movies.  I can recite lines from “It’s a Wonderful Life” before they are spoken on the screen and I … Read more


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