Why education reporting is REALLY so boring

An associate education editor at the Atlantic wrote a piece today explaining why education reporting is so boring.  Alia Wong explains that it’s because of the words. “Edu-speak—the incomprehensible babble used to describe what are often relatively straightforward teaching methods, learning styles, and classroom designs is plaguing the country’s schools.” Instead of helping everyone understand... Read more »

How Chicagoans Celebrate Three Kings' Day

Thumbnail image for 'How Chicagoans Celebrate Three Kings' Day'
On January 6, Latino and Latin American Catholics celebrate Three Kings’ Day, or the Epiphany: the day three wise men from the East visited Baby Jesus.  It used to be that children in Latin America received gifts not on Christmas but on this feast day instead.  Before they fell asleep, children placed a pair of... Read more »

How to celebrate students' writing

We often forget to celebrating students’ writing.  Sometimes, after drafts and revisions, struggles and even tears, we move on to the next big writing assignment because we’re afraid of falling behind.  Or a celebration implies food and drink and (let’s be honest) this adds up for a typical high-school teacher who has about 150 students.... Read more »
Advertisement:

Teacher voice in 2014 on the White Rhino Blog

Teacher voice in 2014 on the White Rhino Blog
As 2015 enters–and as I prepare to celebrate my 20th year in education–I know that this year’s blogging life helped me find the words to participate in important conversations. Proudly, I shared my 8-year-old son’s commentary against homework (and we continue to push through the complaints and whining about homework at the kitchen table until... Read more »

On Our Lady of Guadalupe and manhood for my 9-year-old son

On Our Lady of Guadalupe and manhood for my 9-year-old son
I value taking my 9-year-old son, Adrián, to the barber shop.  As we walk from the car to the shop’s door, I take his hand.  When he was smaller, his little fingers barely wrapped around the edge of my palm.  Now that he’s older, his grasp inside my hand is changing. These days, his fingers remain... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students explain why Obama's Ferguson speech failed

I heard President Obama’s statement about Ferguson last night and trusted my gut: something wasn’t right, something in the speech didn’t work.  Based on social media reactions, I knew I wasn’t the only one.  Still, I knew there was some teachable moment buried in the nation’s frustration.  After Obama’s immigration executive order, I wrote a... Read more »
Advertisement:

Chicago Public Schools students react to Obama's immigration executive order: teaching controversial issues in the classroom

Teaching writing allows me numerous opportunities to help students see how what we read and write matters in the real world outside of our classroom.  Yesterday, I gave students the opportunity to understand and react to President Obama’s speech about his immigration executive order.  The approach I used in class with my Chicago Public Schools... Read more »

Loyola University Chicago hosts Mexican Catholics conference

Today and tomorrow, Loyola University Chicago hosts a national conference about Mexican Catholics. Through the Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, this year’s  Chicago Catholic Immigrants Conference focuses on Mexican Catholics.  I’ll speak on a panel Saturday about Our Lady of Guadalupe. The sessions focus on the historical, cultural, and religious roles that Roman Catholicism... Read more »

5 reasons why Time Magazine's Rotten Apples article is right about education

5 reasons why Time Magazine's Rotten Apples article is right about education
Time’s November 3 issue began getting heat about a week ago when the cover blared, “It’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher.”  Union leaders and teacher bloggers ignited a backlash, which included an opinion piece by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten who wrote, “America’s teachers aren’t rotten apples . . . America’s... Read more »
Advertisement:

The Chicago Board of Education fails the Southwest side

On October 1, Chicago Public Schools announced that Hancock High School, the school where I teach, would become 50% Selective Enrollment (magnet) starting next year.  That day, I posted a commentary expressing my concerns about this decision for a school in such a run-down building.  Yesterday, Todd Babbitz, from the Office of Strategy Management, could... Read more »