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November 28, 2018

“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” 

This old joke is amusing and timeless because of the obviousness of its one-word punchline:  Practice!

In the course of human endeavors, regardless of the nature of the task – if a person applies consistent repetitive practice, there s...

October 25, 2018

About 15 years ago, I attended weekly central administrator meetings as an elementary program supervisor in a large urban Texas school district. The agenda of the meetings varied widely from week to week, but, these meetings frequently spurred tangent discussions that...

October 12, 2018

One Friday night about 15 years ago, I was resting on my couch after a long day at work when my cell phone rang. I looked at the phone to see who was calling. It was a friend of mine and former teaching colleague.  I was back working as a structural engineer, and he wa...

September 29, 2018

When a child ignores an adult’s questioning using ‘the silent treatment’ and successfully avoids consequence or accountability for their actions, it is a classic example of a learned behavior. The student’s avoidance tactic has undoubtedly worked in the past with his o...

September 15, 2018

Above all else at a public school, the first priority of teachers and administrators must always be ensuring children's safety. Interestingly, it is the safety consideration that is central in elevating social and academic learning.  Seasoned teachers and successful pr...

August 31, 2018

Over the last decade, Graham Elementary School in the Austin Independent School District's dramatic and sustained academic Title 1 success brought local, state and national recognition. Beginning in 2011, approximately 30 to 60 educators visited the campus every year t...

August 17, 2018

I was a first year teacher – twice in the same school year. 

I was hired as a second grade teacher, and I taught that grade level for a total of 3 weeks. Then, the school district’s central office ‘economically leveled’ all elementary schools by downsizing campuses with...

August 9, 2018

In the 1970’s, my father started the first Christmas tree farm in South Dakota.  A slotted hole was dug using a long steel spade shovel and approximately 12,000 evergreen saplings were planted. If you ask my father about all those holes, he will tell you how ‘we’ dug t...

August 2, 2018

Earlier this summer I was talking to a seasoned elementary teacher that is a standout educator and asset to the profession. She mentioned that she is transferring to a new school, and she had concerns with their ‘Drill and Kill’ instruction pedagogy. It dawned on me th...

July 27, 2018

In the early 1980’s, I was out of money, and I could not continue my engineering studies at the University of Texas at Austin. However, I discovered if I was a member of the armed forces, I could not only remain in college, but the United States military would pay my a...

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