Finland’s Second Lesson

The most interesting thing I learned on my recent professional development trip to Finland is that they too have helicopter parents. They have a much better term though, “curling parents.” Like the Canadians (and Finns?) who dominate the most esoteric ice sport during the Olympics, these parents are vigorously brushing the ice so that the [...]

Sex and Grades

Next week Crystal students and families will see the third set of grades and comments for the school year. I heard some great advice on the topic last week from Deborah Roffman, the Common Ground speaker, who addresses educators about student sexuality. Sex and grades? Roffman believes that healthy adolescent development, including sexual development, requires [...]

Don’t Be the Cover

“Sad, mad, and frustrated.” These were the words that surprised me most when I recently heard Catherine Steiner-Adair speak to educators about her new book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. In forty minutes, Steiner-Adair repeated many of the concerns we all have about connected teens and offered advice [...]

It’s Complicated

On my flight to the NAIS conference on Tuesday I learned how technology and middle school students can teach us the same thing. While I had read countless reviews and much praise of danah boyd’s recently published book, It’s Complicated: the social lives of networked teens, I was most drawn to the title. If I [...]

Sounding Like a Nanny

Robin and I adore our nanny. She loves Harrison and takes great care of him (she also tidies the house and does the laundry!). That said, sometimes our nanny admonishes us. In the midst of a home project we let Harrison play with a screwdriver and were sternly told, “Some toys are not for babies!” [...]

Finding Leadership

Last Friday I was dreading the week ahead. Lip sync, our all school grade versus grade sing and dance off, was the source of my anxiety. I anticipated daily headaches as the 7th grade advising team and I tried to corral 36 students into some semblance of order all in the name of school spirit. [...]