The Funny Bone Effect

Friends often ask me how I can stand teaching high school boys.  I have only one answer: I love them.  How can we not?  They are stuck between childhood and maturity, beginning their journey toward adulthood in lurches and lulls.  Boys can be fearless- yet they need to know with certainty that you have their… Read more

Make to Learn

  As a child, I always enjoyed making and creating things with my hands. I learned to sew at an early age which later led to starting my own interior decorating company. In elementary school, each Christmas I crafted an elaborate gingerbread house from scratch which was always presented to my parents as a coveted… Read more

500 books, 21 boys

What makes an elementary school boy want to read? Action and humor are important, as is a suspenseful plot line that makes boys excited about “What happens next?”. Graphic novels (stories told in comic strip format) appeal to readers through both literary and visual elements. Although many new books that meet this criteria are published… Read more

Paint the Whole Picture

Wouldn’t it be odd to see a painting that was only half done and had two artists’ signatures on it? Yes, to some peoples’ dissatisfaction, it would probably win a modern art award, and there might be some fantastic art on the completed side. But the questions would still remain – Why did the artists… Read more

Teaching Spanish through fast-paced boy-centered games

There are a lot of explosions in my classroom.  Robots explode, tiny plastic elephants explode, a Ferrari explodes.  Perhaps this wouldn’t sound so strange if I taught science, but I don’t.  I teach Spanish. My class is based on stories, all told in Spanish, that get the whole class involved.  Stories are about the boys,… Read more

Fantasy Football and the Two-Way Street of Teaching Boys

I love fantasy football. I should also mention that I know nothing about football. In the ultimate showing of inconsistent standards, my mom never let me play on the grounds that it was “too dangerous” only to let us play ice hockey for our entire lives and allow my younger brother to throw on the… Read more

e-VALUE-ation: Asking Kids What They Think About Our Classroom

Jane Hansen taught me to think about evaluation in terms of e-VALUE-ation, or what one values about her work. We all want to be heard. Often as administrators, teachers, and students we don’t listen to the diverse voices that fill the room. Truth-telling takes a degree of bravery. It requires the asker to step forward and… Read more

A Letter from Carrington Lanier

As a lifetime student at St. Christopher’s, I have come to enjoy most aspects of the school.  The strict dress code and 8 am start time can be easily overlooked once you weigh in the good things.  From senior lunch privileges to free periods to the self-serve soft-serve, there is far more to enjoy.  When I really consider the things… Read more

Fairness and Flaws

Talk less, listen more. When it comes to teaching or parenting boys, this mantra is really important. It’s in those moments when I am the receiver, rather than the giver, of information that I learn the most and can connect best with boys.  I feel pretty lucky to be the parent of an eight year-old… Read more