To the Bitter End: Fighting in Our Schools

To the Bitter End: Fighting in Our Schools

A recent fight in my classroom forced me to think about adolescence, society, and our fascination with violence. 


I helped break up a fight in my classroom the other day.

It wasn’t even my class – it happened during a period when a colleague teaches in my room during my prep.

Class hadn’t started yet and students were filtering in, taking their seats, and chatting. I was packing my things to leave to go grade papers in the library. Suddenly, two girls started a back-and-forth verbal dispute – and it escalated quickly. Everyone in the room quieted as the focus turned toward the girls. Continue reading “To the Bitter End: Fighting in Our Schools”

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Extending Empathy to Support Staff [6 tips]

Extending Empathy to Support Staff [6 tips]

It’s been great to watch the rise in recognition of the importance of empathy. But let’s not just teach empathy in our classrooms, let’s also extend it to the staff members in our schools – all staff members.

For the past five summers, I’ve worked with my school’s Buildings and Grounds Department. I’ve put in ceilings, hung drywall, painted stairwells, laid floors, and moved more heavy objects from point A to point B than I’d care to remember.

It’s often a hot and dirty job, but I enjoy working with my hands and it helps me to recharge for the other ten months of the year as a teacher.

For this job, I don’t dress like I do during those teaching months: I wear old paint-splattered tee shirts, cut-off shorts, and a scruffy summer beard that takes minimal maintenance. In other words, I might look like someone who does physical labor. Continue reading “Extending Empathy to Support Staff [6 tips]”