Teachers Who Love to Learn

I’ve just spent the day at Collegiate School in Richmond, working with teachers on inquiry learning. I came away knowing the students at Collegiate are in good hands. Good hands.

And that’s such a good feeling. As I watch twitter, read blogs, and browse news headlines, it’s easy to get discouraged. About kids, teaching, school. Life. But today I was able to work with teachers who are digging deep to find ways to reach kids. It’s not so hard, is it? We know what matters. And it’s not the tests we give at the end of the year.

We spent some time talking about questions…and this popped up in my reader today:

“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
― Albert Einstein

Yes, the questions.

Zombie Writing

I had a good session with one of my writing students yesterday. We’ve been discussing the difference between writing a summary and writing a persuasive essay. He’d recently watched Becket in history class, assigned to complement their study of the middle ages. We worked on a summary of the movie before moving onto “taking a stand,” something he’s asked to do in DBQ’s (data-based questions).

I decided to help explain the difference in the two using The Voice, a quirky television show I’ve become somewhat addicted to. I asked him to summarize the purpose of the show, and then to explain which team is the strongest, using details from the show to back up his opinion.

He hadn’t been watching The Voice, so he found it difficult.

“What shows do you watch?” I asked, thinking we could switch gears.

His face lit up. “The Walking Dead!” he said, starting to summarize the show. “It’s about…..”

Well, you get it. The exercise worked well, and I learned more about zombies than I want to know.



A Crush

Brene Brown speaks to me. She opens her mouth, and I nod. Sigh. Smile.

I’ve read all her books, and I’ve downloaded her recent Daring Greatly to my kindle. She makes her research approachable, inviting, and meaningful.

This interview with Jonathan Fields from The GoodLife Project touches on so many important ideas: vulnerability, writing, parenting, teaching, and what makes a good life. It’s worth watching.