Filed under Classroom Climate and Organization

I’m Not Creative. . . .

I’m Not Creative. . . .

Recently I had a lovely lunch with a relative who shall remain nameless (but he knows who he is!). We talked about many things, including the stunning wildlife photography he has been doing since his retirement. He is becoming particularly adept at photographing birds in flight, with amazing images ranging from dueling goldfinches to bald … Continue reading

It’s Worth Doing Badly

It’s Worth Doing Badly

I have a friend who is known for her wise, often humorous, sayings. One of my favorites is, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” Apparently, according to my web search, G.K. Chesterton said it first. “Wait a minute,” I can hear you thinking, “Isn’t it supposed to be, ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing … Continue reading

Listening, Math, and Mathematical Questions

Listening, Math, and Mathematical Questions

A friend of mine has been working to improve her middle school math students’ listening. They are focusing not just on “paying attention,” or listening to the teacher, but on listening to one another as well. It is challenging and important work. Listening is not just a matter of good manners and a calmer classroom … Continue reading

How are you curious?

How are you curious?

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Albert Einstein   I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity. Eleanor Roosevelt   Curiosity is at the root of so … Continue reading

The Motivation Equation: Make Sure We’re OK

The Motivation Equation: Make Sure We’re OK

I recently had a disturbing conversation with a young teacher who is one of the brightest people I know. My friend has been teaching for six years in high-stress environments. Like many teachers, her life is very full. Because her teaching assignments seem to change yearly, she is constantly preparing for new classes. She takes … Continue reading

The Motivation Equation

The Motivation Equation

Doesn’t every teacher dream of setting students’ minds aglow? We envision classrooms full of enthusiastic students, digging into new ideas with vigor. Sometimes it even happens that way. Sometimes. And, despite some teachers’ “just tough it out” approaches, students’ enthusiasm is important. Without it (and the effort it inspires), in-depth learning doesn’t happen–and neither does … Continue reading