Remembering Reed

Reed Thulander died in an auto accident (not his fault) in the early hours of New Year's Day. He was 19. I was Reed's English teacher for six years. When I first met him in 2013, the seventh-grader and I didn't get off to a good start. I was a 51-year-old overeducated, under-experienced slow learner …

Cambridge High School Graduation 2020

It was a weird year, to say the least. I was honored to be chosen by the graduating class, back in December of 2019, well before most had heard of Covid, to be the commencement speaker. Well, it finally happened, in person, for real, in our little community. There were far fewer people than normal, …

Legendary

This is the last day of instruction for our school, for this year anyway. Most of my classes took a final, and I had brief individual conferences with another class about each student's final project. I think we learn as we get older to control our emotions so they don't get the better of us. …

Progress Report

Now in the second month of quarantine, some new realizations. I’m sure many are discovering new things about themselves and others. I know I have. As a teacher, what was in store was the great unknown. Students had to be on the same page. I think for all of us, this was the most unknown …

Art & Writing 2020

The awards for the Idaho students competing in the Scholastic Art And Writing Awards were just announced. More than half of the dual-credit English students who submitted pieces for this competition received awards. This is a highly competitive national contest, which has grown substantially over the past 8 years I’ve had students submit work. This …

Stellar Field Trip

I recently took my dual-credit English 175 students on a field trip to Boise. We piled in our frigid little white bus at 8:00 a.m. (it was about 10 degrees that morning) and got home later that night about 11 p.m. Posing at the "B" It was a busy day. After the two-hour drive, we …

Modeling

One of the key things my favorite teachers did a couple centuries ago when I was getting kicked out of their classes for farting or mouthing off was to show me they were real people. To me, that meant they laughed at funny things kids said, at least sometimes, or were unafraid to admit they …

But Beautiful

Beautiful to take a chance And if you fall you fall And I'm thinking I wouldn't mind at all --Burke/Van Heusen, "But Beautiful" My high school students (grades 9-12) recently completed an inquiry unit I'd wanted to teach since I started this gig in 2012, but, for whatever reason, hadn't. I spent some time this …

What Makes Us Human?

Art is the most effective form of communication that exists. --John Dewey This year, I'm lucky enough to be teaching a new elective course simply called Humanities. I've realized in the five years I've been here that students at our school don't have that many chances to be exposed to a wide variety of art, …

It’s… Blog Time!

I love teaching English 101. Students get college credit for the first semester of English composition in college, and they satisfy their high school junior or senior English credit at the same time. And, thanks to Advanced Opportunities, it costs them nothing. They understand the trade-off, though: there's a lot of homework and outside-of-class reading, …