Do You Have to Love Your Students To Teach Them?

“Do you have to love your students in order to teach them?” This question was posed to me during an interview for admission to the Master’s program at Roosevelt University. The man asking the question looked like Santa Claus in a tan sport coat. He held a clipboard to his chest, blocking his notes from

Why I Stopped Allowing Cell Phones in My Classroom

Imagine you are a thirteen-year-old boy. In front of you sits your five closest friends, all your favorite video games, a library filled with your favorite music, and a Playboy. All this, inside the palm-size, rectangular, metal device sitting on the corner of your desk. It’s beckoning you. Tempting you. Sure, the device is turned

Three Things I’ve Learned as a Teacher-Mom

Before having kids, I was sure becoming a mom would make me a more competent teacher.  There is something about conducting parent-teacher conferences and IEP meetings as a single, childless, twenty-something, that made me feel slightly unqualified offering parents advice about their children. Now, I have two children of my own, and “more qualified” isn’t

Why Can’t We Throw Things Away?

I have moved in and out of many classrooms during my teaching career. Some were spacious, full-size classrooms, others were no bigger than a closet. These rooms were in different schools, different districts, even different states, yet they all shared one thing in common. They could have been featured on an episode of Hoarders. Teachers,