Transform How Kids See the World

One of the biggest mistakes that we can make as educators and adults is to let kids go through school thinking that learning only happens at school.  In fact, it should be made clear early on that school is where you get the tools, and the world is where the real learning happens. Unfortunately, with the…

Why Do We Suffer in Silence?

There’s a natural tendency in us to seek pleasure and to avoid suffering.  We have to instruct our mind that suffering can sometimes be very helpful.  We can even speak of “the goodness of suffering.”  Thanks to the suffering, we begin to understand.  And because we understand, we can accept, we can love.  Without understanding…

Getting Beyond “Yes” and “No”

If we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us find comfort in thinking that we have some control over our lives.  Being predictable is often perceived as better than being unpredictable, and many people set up their lives so that routine prevails and surprises are minimized. When we meet somebody new, we often call upon…

Data Privacy: Should Parents Control Who Sees Their Kids’ Data?

I recently came across this article in my local paper.  It describes two mothers in a nearby community who have started a petition to “stop the New York State Education Department (NYSED) from sharing confidential information without parental consent and violating the privacy rights of students and parents”. My knee-jerk reaction was to jump on the…

Reflective Intention-setting for Kids

Each December, we are barraged with images and articles encouraging us to set resolutions for the new year.  This year there seemed to be an additional set of articles about “all the things” successful people do.  In almost all of them, setting goals is near the top of the list.  I don’t know about you,…

Don’t Grow Up To Be “That Guy”

Using public transportation to and from New York City each day has given me ample opportunity to observe a wide variety of human behavior.  It has also allowed me to build up a surprising amount of angst towards particular behavior that seems to be repeated over and over. The following list encompasses some of the…

Stop Telling Kids They’re Smart

What do you think of when you hear the word “smart”?  What does it mean to you?  More importantly, what does it mean to be the opposite of smart? When I was young, I had a pretty easy time with school;  things came quickly to me, I never really needed extra help or support, and…

5 More Minutes? Please??

Just five more minutes!   When is this going to be over?   When is lunch?   When is Grandma going to be here? Time and its passage is a concept that takes some time for children to develop.  Because it’s so abstract, young children will repeatedly ask when something is going to happen and…

The Amazing Liquid Timer

Mesmerizing, right? The bubbles aren’t even moving, and you just want to stare at it.  I know. Of my six-plus years in the classroom, four were spent in an integrated co-teaching classroom.  For those who don’t know, an ICT room has two teachers, sometimes paraprofessionals, and children with IEPs and without.  One of the perks…

The Hats We Wear

“A teacher wears many hats”.  Yes, having spent some years in the classroom, I can confirm that this is true.  However, we’re not the only ones.  Anyone who regularly spends time with young children must have about a thousand different hats in order to come anywhere close to meeting the myriad of needs children have…