Yes! That’s it Exactly!

I was nearly brought to tears this morning when what I have been feeling, worrying about, and thinking for the last, well, for a long time, was encapsulated by three New York Times essays. That constant background noise of my thoughts, worries and emotions might be akin to an individual’s constant tinnitus or even theContinue reading “Yes! That’s it Exactly!”


Ecological Citizenry

“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’ On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”Continue reading “Ecological Citizenry”

The Three Sisters

For centuries, the Iroquois (and now many other cultures) have been growing corn, beans, and squash together, referring to them as the Three Sisters. Corn grows tall and strong, serving as a natural pole for the beans to climb. The bean plants have nitrogen-fixing bacteria living in nodules in the roots, providing fertilizer to allContinue reading “The Three Sisters”

The Ecological Identity Concept

I’m in Norway this week and next as part of sabbatical research and learning. I acknowledge and am thankful for my privilege and fortune! One reason I came to Norway is to further explore the concept of, and how to teach, ecological identity. This term was originated by Mitchell Thomashow, has been influential in muchContinue reading “The Ecological Identity Concept”

What I Did On My Summer “Vacation”

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the seasonal nature of teaching. It’s August and a new school year is upon us. The approaching school year brings anxiety dreams. You know, the kind that involve missing exams for classes you didn’t know you were taking, not knowing where your locker is, and underwear. Why always underwear?Continue reading “What I Did On My Summer “Vacation””

The Origin of Skin Color

As I have watched, listened, and participated in our collective conversation about politics and race during the past few months, more questions have been raised than have been answered. I’m not sure of much, but one thing that I am sure about is that we are not as far along as maybe we thought weContinue reading “The Origin of Skin Color”

A Lesson in Patience From the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

It is a century now since Darwin gave us the first glimpse of the origin of the species. We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of generations: that men are only fellow voyagers with other creatures in the odyssey of evolution. This new knowledge should have given us, by this time,Continue reading “A Lesson in Patience From the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak”

Hamburger Model of Curriculum Planning

Curriculum planning is often thought of as a linear process. First create objectives or (I prefer) guiding questions. Then think up a bunch of activities for those objectives/questions. Then figure out how to assess what students learned through those activities. This can lead to what I call the “activity trap.” Planning in this sequence canContinue reading “Hamburger Model of Curriculum Planning”

Learning to Teach from the Red-Eyed Vireo

“What day is it?” It’s today squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.                         -A. A. Milne  Though, most have heard their call, most probably cannot identify the red-eyed vireo by sight. It has a bold face pattern with a white eyebrow, bordered above and below with black, and a ruby red eye. The bodyContinue reading “Learning to Teach from the Red-Eyed Vireo”