Wisdom Begins with Wonder

If you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse

On homeostasis and entropy: Homeostasis is a simple, yet powerful core concept of biology – that all living things strive for balance The catch is that the mortal enemy of homeostasis is entropy – the principle that all things in the universe tend to disorder and that it requires energy to resist the inevitability of […]

Where to begin the story?

When I have time to plan a lesson in detail, I often put a lot of thought into the “story arc” that I am trying to present. What am I going to at the outset to suck the audience (aka students) into the plot enough that they are willing to work through some slower “character […]

What makes for high quality teacher learning?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about teacher learning (aka professional development). Why? A few reasons: I’m taking a class at UW Oshkosh this summer about professional development and doing research for this class I was selected as one of ten Success at the Core Fellows and this organization is all about professional […]


What can you do today to make yourself a better teacher? I have a confession to make. I’m a learning junkie. There – I said it! Yesterday was the first day of my Winter Break. I’ve been mildly sick all of the last week of school and refusing to stay home because I didn’t want […]

Important conversations

I took a survey 2 weeks ago about our school.  It covered a wide variety of questions, but one stood out to me: The teachers in my school meet as a whole staff to discuss ways to improve teaching and learning. I’m sad to say, I clicked the radio button for ‘Never’ and moved on […]

You teach how you were taught + pressure = FAIL

I work in the Yakima Valley, in central Washington.  The combination of poverty, migrant populations, English language learners from monolingual homes and weak local economies has turned the Yakima Valley into an educational quagmire.  The state of Washington has increasingly poured in resources in an attempt to “fix” our “failing” schools. With all of this […]