Educators’ Blog

A blog for teachers who are dedicated to the mission yet overwhelmed with the job.

Do Off-Duty Teachers Surrender Their First Amendment Rights?

      Natalie Munroe was an English teacher in a northeastern Pennsylvania high school.   She was in good standing until district parents came across her blog online. Munroe had some very unflattering things to say about some of her her students. “A disgusting brood of insolent, unappreciative, selfish brats,” was one of the more gracious things she called….Read more

VIDEO: Grading Class Participation Made Easy

Most schools require their teachers to put grades to every student’s “class participation.” But you are dealing with diverse students in challenging classes and curriculum. You strive to bring out the best in them and to initiate their growth. Complicated by it being a different process for every student. You can find ways to encourage them to get involved. The….Read more

Top 5 Acts of Civil Disobedience in American History

Post Image

  During the national School Walkout Day protests, two schools in the town where I formerly taught took very different approaches. At School A, student leaders met with administrators to design an “administrative-sanctioned plan” for a moment of silence and reading of gun violence statistics. The plan had no “political context,” but would instead “honor the students and staff who….Read more

VIDEO: How to Deter Academic Dishonesty

    Academic dishonesty. Fancy words for cheating. How can a teacher both confront it aggressively and be supportive to young students? By turning the situation into another of those “teachable moments.”   A harrowing moment   Questioning one of your students about possible cheating is one of the hardest things teachers do. The institution has its rules and you….Read more

A Child’s Story of the 1902 Coal Strike Horrifies the Country

The witness sat, surrounded by powerful men in business suits, bracing for interrogation. The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission of 1902 was taking testimony. The witness would be questioned about his role. His name was Andrew Chippie. He was eight years old.   The boy explained to the commission how, after the strike, coal company owner John Markle cancelled the day-to-day leases….Read more

[VIDEO] What Good Are Report Cards?

When report cards are given is an emotional time for students, parents, and teachers alike. Things like transcripts, Grade Point Averages, and standardized testing means high stakes for everyone.   Teaching, and then measuring learning, is a very complex endeavor. A music teacher, gym teacher and an English teacher have such different pedagogical methods that no one type of evaluation….Read more

Is It Zinnsanity to Teach “A People’s History?”

    Recently, Texas and Arkansas have proposed laws to ban schools from using texts by Howard Zinn, a Boston University history professor who died in 2010.     Why is Zinn so dangerous that he should be banned from school curricula? Here’s a sample, a Zinntilla, if you will:     When the ancestors of the people of these….Read more

[VIDEO] Pep Talk for Teachers

      This short video offers a note of encouragement to all teachers who begin the journey again, now with a new group of young people. Each year, we teachers are one year older but our students never age! An eighth-grader is forever an eighth-grader.  That’s why it may seem that the journey gets harder; we age, they don’t.….Read more

VIDEO: Keep Teaching, Teachers!

It’s end of school year time. The kids have spotted land. So-called “landfall syndrome” is affecting our sailors, and it’s hard to keep them on task, so the History Doctor provides some suggestions to manage the end of year purgatory.   Land ho! End of school near   See our quick video to get the doctor’s prescription for end of year….Read more

Who Owns The Schools?

    Think of something as simple as a day at the beach. Drive along the Jersey Shore and you’ll see two kinds of beaches, public and private. You’ll see two extremes at each end. Private beaches, meaning members only, are well-maintained and uncrowded; they are exclusive to a few. On the other hand, the public beaches can have problems….Read more