Tired

Tired

I've not written much since we went back to school in the fall. Every time I do, I sit at my computer, stare at my keyboard, and realized just how mentally drained I am. Before I write anything else, I want to be very clear. I'm not complaining. Okay, maybe I am a little bit. [...]

First Day

First Day

This week I lived through my 19th first day of school as a high school educator, and, except for my very first year, I don't ever remember being more anxious about the start of a year. It was fine...just very different. The halls were empty, and the only students in my classroom were my own [...]

Seniors

Seniors

This morning, our high school had the first of two graduation ceremonies. Because the class is so large (around 1100 students) social distancing procedures required that graduation be split into two. Watching the first ceremony on the Internet this morning was surreal. The chairs spread out all over the football field so graduates were not [...]

Dress Codes

Dress Codes

Trying to look on the bright side of life here... One of the nice things about teaching high school from a distance is that I can really focus on the content and how I am delivering it. While recording my lessons, if I mess up, I can stop and do it over. I also don't [...]

One Day

One Day

There's so much that I want to write, that I'm having a hard time writing anything at all. There is a new normal for so many people right now. I'm having to learn how to teach two Advanced Placement classes remotely while also trying to help my wife (who is remotely working as a school [...]

Rates

Rates

Since I teach social studies, it happens from time to time that I can use current events as real life application for what we're doing in class. I actually wish it would happen a little more often, but for AP US History, we don't spend much time at all on recent events, and for AP [...]

Facts

Imagine the following scene in a high school classroom near you. "Good morning class! My name is Mr. T and welcome to US History. I can see some of you looking around the room for your old teacher, Mr. O. He's been fired, and I'll be taking his place. Let me tell you, this class [...]

Breathing

Today, I started the fifth week of school. I managed to survive the first four weeks, and I finally feel like I'm mostly caught up...for now. As any teacher can tell you, there is always work to do, even over the summer. It just happens from time to time that there may not be anything [...]

Choices

A couple of years ago, my social studies department head asked if I would be interested in representing our school and department at the school district's annual job fair. I work in a large, well respected district. Thousands of people drive fairly long distances in order to have an opportunity to work in our district. I [...]

Backward

When I first began teaching AP US History, I thought I knew a great deal about our nation's history. I was wrong. Partly through completing graduate school, partly from leisure reading, and partly out of necessity, I've learned more about US History in the past nine years than I could possibly teach to my students [...]

Reading

I don't really like to travel. Okay, that's not completely accurate. I enjoy visiting different locations away from home. I just don't enjoy the travelling part of travel. I need to get a teleportation device of some kind to beam me where I want to go. At any rate, I am currently in Louisville, Kentucky [...]

Half

Teaching AP US History requires me to deal with unpleasant topics from time to time. Slavery is one of those topics and it basically is an undercurrent of most of the content during the first semester of the course. Typically when I teach about slavery in class, I use the standard historical narrative that goes [...]