Poetry in a Pennsylvania Classroom

Chandler’s poem about a gold chain
is a sinker on a fishing line
in the classroom where fluorescent
lights suck smoke out of my lungs.
Smoke that I inhaled 20 years ago
is falling out of my mouth,
it is smearing the chalk on the board.
This smoke has been lodged behind my voice box.
I turn the lights off and barbed wire appears,
it cuts my desk in half and stops me
from telling Chandler that I don’t know
what to do about the man in Wyoming who got …

How to Turn Elementary School Teachers into Emotional Detectives

Strengthening the Bond Between Educators and Pupils Can Get to the Root of Behavior Problems and Bullying

About four years ago, I found myself asking a question many teachers ask their students: “Why would you do something like that?”

I was sitting down with a fourth grade …

The Best Teachers Aren’t Heroes

But We Still Don’t Know What Exactly a Great Teacher Looks Like—or How to Build More of Them

We’ve all had bad teachers—and many of us have had great teachers, too. It seems as though it should be simple to figure out what the great ones have in …

How a Teachers College Dean Makes Great Teachers

It's Not Enough to Recruit Smart People. We Need Our Students to Learn the Theory, Get in the Practice, and Receive Lots and Lots of Mentoring.

I was 20 years old when I graduated from college in 1967—the first woman from my family to take courses past high school. My cousin Adolfo was my only other …

How Do We Keep New Teachers From Flunking?

Push Student Teachers Harder, Stick with Them Once They’re in the Classroom, and Integrate Them Into Their Schools' Communities

Teaching elementary or high school is not an easy job. But teaching teachers is tricky, too. Teacher preparation programs have to strike a delicate balance between theory and practice. And …

Is My Disability the Most Interesting Thing About Me?

How I Learned to Write About Cerebral Palsy without Preaching, Selling Out, or Being Forced to Become a Beacon of Inspiration

I’m awful at the art of the retort. My older brother tried his best to teach me about comebacks, but the lessons never stuck. Insults leave me stunned and silent. …