Learning Curve

What we're pondering

November 20, 2019

We’ve had a few broken bones in our household over the years and one of the interesting things we were told is that when the bone heals, it will be, for a time anyway, stronger than it was before. This was not particularly comforting to my son when he broke his big toe two days before soccer tryouts...

November 13, 2019

When I was teaching, I always appreciated the month of November.  It was the first month that offered any real respite, and I needed it.  Thanksgiving gave the school one big sigh of relief; it allowed everyone the opportunity to take it slower for a few days and get away from the business (and busy...

November 6, 2019

Feeling powerless is frustrating and stressful, William Stixrud and Ned Johnson write in their book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. I’ve been reading different versions of this sentiment all over the place lately (and wrote a related b...

October 30, 2019

A few months ago, I issued myself a cooking challenge: I set out to create my very own recipe and bake my son’s second birthday cake.  Why make my own recipe, you ask? It all started with our cooking series, where we shared what we learned by cooking different dishes.  In my final post of April, “...

October 23, 2019

Last week my wise and compassionate colleague Sara authored a blog post about what educators can do to create positive and respectful relationships with their students’ families. Sara’s blog struck a chord with me because I spent many hours last week in staff-and-family communication around some iss...

October 16, 2019

If you’re a teacher or administrator, I want you to take a moment and think back to the last interaction you had with a student’s family (and I’ll be broad here—family constitutes anyone who loves and provides some level of care for that child).  Who initiated contact?  What was it about?  How long...

October 9, 2019

I live in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC that is home to about 235,000 people. My sister, who lived in Arlington before my husband and I moved here, used to refer to it as “The People’s Republic of Arlington” because of its solidly left-leaning politics: for example, it was the firs...

October 2, 2019

The other day, I locked myself out of my house.  I’d been working from home, and I stepped out to grab the mail.  The moment the door shut, I heard the lock spring into place.  I tried opening it back up and found that I was out of luck.  I called myself an idiot, I tried to open the door again (uns...

September 25, 2019

For the past several years I have taught two sections of middle school math in addition to my work with the Center for Innovative Education. This year has offered a new challenge: I’m teaching one section of math and one section of literature. Literature has been a new window into the worlds of my s...

September 18, 2019

I’ll speak for myself: Middle and high school were awkward for me.  I think they are for many.  I was never one of the cool kids, though I was insulated from feeling that too keenly because of an incredible group of friends (we now have a monthly online book club that mainly serves as a vehicle for...

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