You Don’t Have to Wait to Innovate

When I was a first-year teacher, my team leader Nancy gave me this heaping box of classroom supplies. On the top, she placed a notecard with the words New Teacher Card. On the back of the notecard, she wrote a note explaining that I could play this card when I messed up. “You’re new and you make […]

I Was Just Like Neville Longbottom When I Was a Kid

When I was in the 7th grade, I this pair of shorts that were, well, embarrassing. They were way too short. They were pleated. They were plaid. They were everything you were not supposed to wear if you didn’t want to get beat up. But I wore them anyway because my grandma had made them for […]

Who Are the Hagrids in Your Building? How Are You Helping Them?

At first glance, it would seem that Hagrid has all the makings of a great teacher. He is willing to take creative risks. He has a deep and passionate knowledge of his content area. And most importantly, he cares about his students. But unfortunately, content knowledge and compassion aren’t enough to guarantee success. There’s a […]

How Favoritism Completely Derailed a Brilliant Teacher (Professor Slughorn)

Guest post by Trevor Muir This is the second in the Seven Best Teachers at Hogwarts series. The potions professor who had a secret society made up of his favorite students. Where Voldem— Tom Riddle learned about Horcruxes, and Harry had to steal brain juice from. Ol’ professor Slughorn was not the best teacher, but […]

Would you let your kids attend Hogwarts?

Warning: this post may contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the books, go do that now and then come back to this post later.  Let’s just put it out there. Hogwarts is probably a terrible place to send your kids. It’s dangerous, and I’m not just talking about the basilisks, trolls, and dementers. It’s also […]

Want Students to Be More Creative? Try Adding More Play.

This post is an expansion of my latest short vlog post (video blog) that I’ve been doing each week. You can view it above or check it out toward the bottom of my post. If you like this video, please click “like” and share it with others. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. It would […]

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In an Age of Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy Is More Vital Than Ever

This is the fourth blog post on a series about the future of learning.  Imagine you are building a self-driving car. Chances are you’ll look for a team of engineers who can figure out how to make each part work fluidly in an interconnected manner. You’d look for software engineers and mechanical engineers and experts in […]

Why I Do the Same Student Projects Over Again

I once gave the advice to new teachers that they should rip apart their lesson plans at the end of the year. I said something to the extent of “If you’re doing the same unit in two years that you were doing this year, you are making yourself irrelevant.” It was an arrogant, bold claim […]

Four Options for Dealing With Broken Systems

I don’t believe that schools are broken. I know that sounds so non-innovative or whatever, but I don’t care. I see amazing things that happen at my school on a regular basis. I watch what my kids have learned and I’m blown away. I see value in celebrating the small stories of the great things […]