All Posts (3)

Sort by

Many educators, particularly those focused on having culturally responsive and inclusive classrooms, understand the value of being a “warm demander” for their students.  This term, originally coined in 1975 by Judith Kleinfeld, describes how teachers can hold their students to high expectations in a structured environment while still conveying a deep and sincere belief in, and care for, those students.  

More recently, teachers and coaches have described warm demanders as educators who, in the words of author Lisa Delpit, "expect a great deal of their students, convince them of their own brilliance, and help them to reach their potential in a disciplined and structured environment." If you are a teacher who is unfamiliar with this term, I strongly recommend making the effort to learn more about it, whether you work with underserved or highly privileged youth. 

This article is not focused on our students, however.  It is focused on you, the educator.  The purpose of this article is to invite YOU to extend the same level of warmth and unconditional positive regard to yourself.

read more -->

Read more…

Book Review: How You Ruined My Life

Preview read courtesy of
"How You Ruined My Life"
By Jeff Strand @Jeff Strand
Publication date: April 3, 2018

Thanks to for providing this advanced readers copy.

Humor without curse words! A high school punk rock band without curse words! A book that would work in either middle school or high school without curse words!

"How You Ruined My Life" is a humorous story based on the premise of opposite finances. Two high school cousins who haven't seen each other in 10 years have to live together for three months. Rich cousin from California has to live with poor cousin in Florida. The author does a good job of creating the main characters' personalities including having the reader flip-flop back-n-forth over which cousin is the crazier one.

Written as if the Florida cousin is narrating the story to the reader, the first-person storytelling effectively conveys the desperate need for the cousin to have the reader on his side, while at the same time admitting how awkward his convincing is. Struggling readers may need some reminding that the style of writing is at times conversational, at times an internal dialogue, and at times a brief, stray off topic - just as anyone relaying a longer story might stray off topic.

The book comes across as a battle of wits and wills, pranks and pratfalls, while at the end there's a bit of a Bildungsroman. This sets up the possibilities of a conversation with readers if they would forgive and forget or hold a grudge, if they would go one with their intended paths or forge a new plan for their futures.

Though humorous books are sometimes a hard sell, I'd purchase this for my HS library (and recommend it to our MS library) because it's an accessible, light-hearted read.

Read more…


Life can be challenging. Sometimes these challenges arise when things don’t work out the way we’d prefer. Sometimes we create our own struggles without realizing it. Sometimes bad things just happen.

Many of us, when we’re in the midst of a personal challenge or struggle, put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We lament our circumstances and beat ourselves up for not making the right choice or behaving in a way that could have (theoretically) helped to avoid this problem. Some of us even self-flagellate about how we suck in general, and that our personal crappiness is why these life struggles arise.

Beating ourselves up like this doesn’t help, and I would like to offer a strategy that may, at the very least, help us be gentler with ourselves in order to deal with our struggles more skillfully.


Read more…

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives