Backyard Civil War

In 2015, one of the best years of my teaching career, I taught 7th-grade Humanities in a tech academy setting. Part of the joy was the freedom to create curriculum. (Once in a while there is someone who thinks a teacher-created curriculum is a threat to western civilization, but those voices usually belong to those who don’t understand agency, autonomy, and professionalism.) Sitting down with a partner, myself, or a PLC we strive for engagement, purpose, and relevancy. The rigor is embedded in the engagement, and engagement doesn’t always look like what is on the evaluation check-boxes. Teacher-created curriculum is…

Make Stuff, Not Subscribers

Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take Please read this post that provides an excellent example of then and now–before smartphones and their dopamine enhancers embedded into our psyches. I’ve been the classroom teacher who has witnessed this first hand. The students who find out that I have a Youtube channel and never, ever ask me what’s the content, but always “How many subscribers do you have?” (Currently 52.) The students who graffiti on any free surface: AMOS@(Snapchat username). The students who looked at me blankly when I suggested they use their Snapchat filters to create a monstrous…