Most Schools Are Not Prepared to Be Places for Grieving Students (Yet)

Recent students are identifying how many children lost parents and guardians and primary caregivers during the Pandemic across the globe. By any measure, the numbers are staggering. If you add in the number of grandparents and relatives and educators who have died, many children will have experienced death during the past 18 months (and that …

Idea: Replace School Police Officers with Mental Health Teams Now

The Brookings Institution (Brookings) just released a report on the value of cities using mental health teams rather than police to address many of the issues that arise in communities. It is an idea that has already received traction in some circles and there is federal funding for these efforts. See I want to use …

The verdict sends a powerful (although still incomplete) message to children of all ages

As an educator, I think the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial provides teachable moments that should not be lost. They need to be discussed and processed with students (in many ways and on many levels) so that they can come to understand this moment in time in America and the possibility — the real …

Educational Leaders Who Fail Us

I have become increasingly worried about a too-large group of educational leaders (presidents; superintendents; chancellors; provosts) who are failing at their jobs and those failures can take many forms. In the interest of full disclosure, I was one of them. But with the benefit of now more than half a dozen years and a well-cleaned …

The Power of Poetry and the Teachable Moments related to Amanda Gorman

When Amanda Gorman read her poem The Hill We Climb (or did Spoken Word in a sense) at the Inauguration of Joe Biden, a nation stopped and listened. Well, at least most people did. Poetry at an Inauguration is not something extraordinary (although this young poet is). I still remember Robert Frost reciting a poem at John …

Democracy Prevails and Smith College Fails

Last night, with simple but profound words and 400 candles, we honored the 400,000 plus Americans who died from the Pandemic. During the preceding months, we never honored those whom COVID attacked; we failed them — until now. And moving forward, our work is before us.

Sometimes, You Get a Book Review that Truly Hits Home

I have been privileged over the years to get wonderful reviews of my adult and children’s books. (Yes, there were a few really nasty ones for a book released in 1997 — and there is one reviewer with whom I have simply agreed to disagree.) Reviews are often general and not personal to the reviewer …

Why Choosing a College is NOT like Choosing a Mattress

A recent article from the Christensen Institute stated overtly that choosing a college is like choosing a mattress. In short, the argument proffered in that both choices involve lack of information symmetry, are difficult to understand and present vocabulary that is impenetrable to the layperson. And, there are so many choices, we can’t actually choose …

The Next Generation is Being Named: Try Generation T instead of Gen Alpha or Beta

There have been a series of articles, including one in the Atlantic, suggesting that a new generation is on the horizon. Gen Z is being passed by a new generation, and the label ring ascribed to them is Generation Alpha. This happens when we define generations based on birth year. I have another name for …

Our Approach to Risk Differs Dramatically — Even Within one Family

In this time of a pandemic and uncertainty of every sort and in every corner of our existence, we need to determine risk at the global, national, regional, local and personal levels. I want to focus here on personal risk taking. And, I can state my conclusions up front: people are very different in calculating …