About Invented Spelling: “Cn u rd ths?”

When I was in grade school, teachers took spelling very seriously. Vocabulary and spelling tests were a weekly event. Not much has changed. Your children are still being tested on their ability to spell and learn and apply new words correctly in their writing. Your first grader comes home from school and shows you, very […]

Working with Parents: Middle School Family Engagement

As a new  middle school teacher of special needs students, it was important  to be mindful of the environment that surrounded my public school students. In order to effectively engage my students, I had to develop a relationship with them. It was critical that I knew where these students came from, who they were, and understand […]

Engagement: Parents Don’t Need to ‘Hover’ in Middle and High School

  Middle school and high school years have become times in a child’s development when parents are less ‘involved’ in their education at school. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! It is not that parents stop their involvement completely; they just step back from the formerly close monitoring of school work. During adolescence, as children distance […]

How the Apple IMac Made ‘No Excuses’ Possible

Back in 2001, I had this novel idea to connect my students and their parents to the classroom. I was especially interested in getting to know and partner with the previously elusive parents of my black and brown students. As a teacher of special needs adolescents, and a newbie in public school education, I needed […]