“Smile, you’re beautiful.”

from 19 April 2013 in The Humanist This afternoon a student passed me, grinning. She’d just visited the eastern-most toilet stall in the “senior” bathroom. The room is decrepit, the soap dispenser is often empty, and the stall doors don’t latch. But on the inside of one door is a hand-written message: “Smile, you’re beautiful.” I’ll [...]



I taught high school beginning in 1976, and except when my sons were little, I taught in private and then public schools until I almost-retired a few years ago. I am grateful forever that I fell into teaching, that I was honored to know and work with thousands of people, many of whom remain my [...]


A message arrived this morning via email with the image above and the headline below: Why Teachers Make the Worst Students As a snarky high school teacher, here’s what I came up with: Teachers don’t make great students. The author offers a list of reasons teachers are bad students and she is pretty much spot [...]


Years ago, long before non-GMO became a common label on foods, before Safeway even had an "Organics" section, and before "gluten-free" became a thing, a junior came to class with an idea for her research paper. "It sounds interesting. They are altering the genes of food," she said about the NPR broadcast she'd listened to [...]


I began writing fiction in 1990 when I was hired to teach English at Seaside High School. I believed myself wholly unqualified to teach English (and others have agreed), but I had taught art in an elite prep school for three years, picked up a Social Studies endorsement through exam, and substituted in the Seaside [...]


Teaching is not like working at Taco Bell. Teaching is different. Teaching is the profession I love. But before I entered teaching, I had other jobs. When I was a college student, back when it was much easier to do so, I worked to support myself and pay my public university tuition and expenses. My [...]