Laughter, Tears, Hot Combs & Donald Trump: Teaching at Metro State University

I’m sure that title grabbed your attention.  It’ll be clarified further in the post.  Until then… Have you ever experienced a full circle moment in your professional life? The first time that occurred was during parent-teacher conferences as a rookie teacher. It was my first time being on the other side of one of those school-family conversations and I recall thinking, I’m… Read more →

Here’s to Perfect Children and Perfect Adults!

There’s a general consensus among parents and adults that teen years are the most compliant, agreeable, joyous, non-brooding, self-deprecating and cooperative period in a young adult’s life.  Forget those giggles you may have experienced when they were toddlers, as well as the frequent “yes mom” or “yes dad” when they were between the ages of 6 and 10. As for tweens,… Read more →

It. Was. A. Phone!

The student was asked to put her phone away.  She refused, and was told to leave the classroom.  She refused to leave, and the school contacted a police officer.  It. Was. A. Phone! I’m watching a cable news show at the moment and I can’t believe they just completed a frame by frame analysis of how the situation escalated because… Read more →

A Daily Reset for Students

I sent this email to the staff at my school after a conversation with another teacher.  It has been a tough year for many of us with larger classes, new curricula, and new students that can’t quite get it together (yet) with behavior.  Despite those things, we have a responsibility to ensure we’re always mindful of how we perceive and interact with children. It’s tough…we’re… Read more →

Mr. Harris Goes to Washington

I recently traveled to DC with my Early Childhood Education cohort for participation and presentation at a Department of Education, Special Education conference. Our nation’s capital is a remarkable place that allows you to combine official business with federal agencies and politicians, along with opportunities to increase your knowledge of culture, history and to have a bit of plain o’l… Read more →

Doing the Right Thing: Are You Building a Legacy of Observation or Action for Social Justice?

As I watched video clips and read about Bree Newsome being arrested for scaling a flagpole at the South Carolina capital and removing the Confederate flag I recall being immediately impressed.  My admiration for Bree wasn’t because of the symbolism connected to her action, or her presumed stance on race.  I was impressed with her approach to what she and many… Read more →

Adversaries and Allies in Education: Is it Really a Black and White Issue?

Did she really just say that? As a graduate student I’ve seen the statistics and studied the literature on our nation’s school to prison pipeline and how we systematically introduced children of color into the criminal justice system through zero-tolerance disciplinary measures. Although that topic was real, it was still somewhat abstract because I’d never encountered an instance where I… Read more →

Promoting Inclusive Lifestyles

A few years ago I recall an instructor in my master’s program recounting her experience as a parent of a child with a disability.  This instructor was a fierce advocate for children with disabilities.  As a matter of fact, a couple of us referred to her as “radical” because of her no-nonsense approach to issues that she felt were important.  She wanted… Read more →

Success Happens Before the Meeting

  If you work in a school you’ve likely seen this image many times – a parent patiently waiting for their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting to begin.  Some parents are experts and can recite that parent rights speech from memory.  For others, the process is brand new.  What are the thoughts racing through their minds as teachers and… Read more →