From “What?!” to “Wow!”

Map of the world.

Teaching languages is about a lot of things. Helping students develop communication skills in the language they are studying is, of course, a top priority. Less obvious objectives include helping students appreciate language structure and words which often connote cultural and historical details. Language teachers also hope that their students Continue reading From “What?!” to “Wow!”

The Value of Peer Education

peer educators

In this era of instant gratification, when answers to all of life’s questions can be found through a click, tweet or a post, it is increasingly difficult to engage with our students on important issues such as health, wellness and safety. In general, having these conversations with teens can be challenging: Continue reading The Value of Peer Education

Careful Observation: Art in the Academic Classroom

John Gast, American Progress (1872)

For 11 years, I taught Humanities courses at an arts high school. Due to the composition of our student body, the classes of academic teachers were somewhat naturally suffused with art of all types. In my U.S. History classes, I frequently asked my students to consider how art and media Continue reading Careful Observation: Art in the Academic Classroom

Spreading Paint and Joy

memory project

One of my most meaningful teaching experiences this fall was partaking in the Memory Project with my eighth grade painting students. The Memory Project is a charitable nonprofit organization that encourages independent artists and student artists to create portraits for children around the world facing challenging life circumstances. The portraits Continue reading Spreading Paint and Joy

Software Programming is like Solving a Puzzle

student using iPad

Dana Hall School introduces software programming at various levels for grades 5 through 12. I teach several different languages such as Scratch, Python and Java. Since software programming is comprised of thousands of programming languages and dialects, it is nearly impossible to learn them all. So how does one become adept Continue reading Software Programming is like Solving a Puzzle