Social Media Armor: Are You Really What You Post?: As social media increasingly integrates into young people’s social lives and influences their identity development, we have to regularly revise our tools to help them understand how they are processing these dynamics.
Respecting the Dignity of Words: Dignity. Respect. Courage. They’re all words with profound meaning and they’re also regularly not really understood or internalized by young people when we teach anti-bias work.
Where Do We Get Our Courage?: The stories my grandfather shared about growing up in Pittsburgh were clear. You never back down. You keep fighting no matter how tough the circumstances, no matter how small you are, or how large your opponent.
Walking the Talk is the Only Way: Imagine that you are forced to sit with a group of your peers and share your opinion about sensitive and personal topics. Would you immediately feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings?
Risk Factor: The Truth about Dares: "I dare you…" Who doesn't remember that from adolescence? We've been thinking a lot about what it means to take a risk because taking one can be a great learning experience.
When Do Teachers Stay Neutral?: Is a 6th grader chanting "build a wall" in his classroom a political statement or a deliberate act to intimidate other students in the class? What should a teacher do when witnessing this behavior?
'Politically Correct,' For Whom?: When I first started teaching high school students, the term "politically correct" routinely came up.
Beyond Blaming and Shaming: How to Learn From Our Digital Mistakes: We know that technology has changed so much of our lives but it's also easy to lose sight of exactly how. Where we once had students walking around school to capture ‘official’ photos of what a school was like or the people who went there, that's no longer the case.
Jokes, Excuses and Why Words Matter: Words matter. Our words can comfort and express that we understand or that we "see" the other person in front of us. And of course, our words can do the opposite: they can hurt, isolate and make someone feel insignificant.
It's Not a Transaction—It's a Relationship: Lately I’ve been thinking about the impact of the small, fleeting moments that happen between students and teachers countless times a day. It can be in the hallway, right before or after class, walking between buildings and in the cafeteria.
Stop Tearing Your Hair Out: What To Do When Bullying Interventions Don't Work: The question I'm tackling this month is what to do when bullying interventions don't work? As in you've tried everything and the aggressors are still being mean or bullying the target.
Welcome to High School: We Hate You: For many in the school community, the existence of ninth grade orientation programs confirms that the goal is reached; the new students are welcomed into the community and begin to feel a sense of school spirit and pride. I think we need to challenge that assumption.
Do No Harm: How to Intervene Without Making it Worse: The subject I chose for this article is a topic I have struggled with myself: When you see a young person mistreated by their peers, how do you intervene without making things worse for the target?
Obedience, Pledges and the Real Work of Building Credibility: How do we get young people to take ownership of what they do that contributes to someone else's humiliation, social exclusion or dehumanization? How do we create a learning environment that allows for self-reflection and honest discussion?