All Recent Articles

Sounds Like You Have a Problem

"Can I use the phone to call home?" Jeremy asked the middle-school principal one morning. "Depends on whether or not your need fits the phone criteria," Mr. Watson told him. "What do you mean 'criteria'? What is that?" Jeremy asked.

Mr. Watson simply pointed to the sign that was attached to the office phone. It read: "This phone will not be used to create a problem for someone else."

Favorite Colors

Robert had already been diagnosed as mildly autistic by the time he entered kindergarten. He was assigned one of the three kindergarten teachers in the school he attended. For whatever reason, Robert lasted only five weeks in that classroom. The teacher, who couldn't handle the special needs situation, explained to Robert's parents and the principal, "He doesn't speak at all, and I have no training in dealing with autistic students."

Illegal Word Busts

Third grade teacher Mary Fullenwider had a problem. Not a life or death problem. Not a critical problem. Not even a new problem. Just a nagging, reoccurring, frustrating problem. Her problem was that she had a handful of eight-year-old students who repeatedly interrupted class discussions by blurting out spontaneous comments.

A Defining Moment

In Anchorage , Alaska , a first-year teacher made a spelling error on the board during the first week of school. As often happens in these kinds of situations, a well-intentioned student politely pointed out the mistake. At the moment, the rookie educator probably didn't realize that this event firmly connected her to all teachers everywhere.

The Art of Language

Sean Tucker teaches a variety of language arts classes in a middle school in Central Illinois . Some might say he has led a charmed life since he graduated from college two years ago. After all, he lucked out by getting a teaching job in his hometown. Fortunately, a veteran teacher resigned at the last minute, one day before Sean was scheduled to interview. It looks like he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

"I Can't Wait"

"I can't wait to get to school and start learning." That's what Marsha Drury told her best friend recently. Knowing what she did about Marsha, the friend was surprised to hear her talk that way. Her words sounded strange and out of place, considering the circumstances.

Attribute Theory and Motivation

Attribute Theory and Motivation by Chick Moorman

“He didn't ask the right questions on the test.”
“I would have done better if I had worn my lucky shirt.”
“I'm no good at math.”
“She didn't explain the assignment well enough.”

Beyond What-Is

Beyond What-Is by Chick Moorman


Looking at what-is in your classroom appears at first glance to be a healthy way to view your students and your classroom situation. After all, what-is is what is, and to deny that or pretend it does not exist seems similar to having your head planted firmly in the sand.

The One Minute Behavior Modifier

The One Minute Behavior Modifier by Chick Moorman

“My dad went bowling last night and my backpack is in his truck.”

“She did it to me first.”

“My mom forgot to sign it.”

“The homework helpline didn't say it was due.”

“Somebody must have taken it.”

“It's not my fault that I'm late.”

Labs in Cooperation

Labs in Cooperation by Chick Moorman

Teachers hold different views on cooperative learning. Some see it as one of many very important tools for effective teaching. Others see it as an idea whose time has passed. Some teachers perceive this strategy as stimulating and rewarding. Others see it as a lot of work. Educators choose to see cooperative learning as helpful, time consuming, frustrating, challenging, or as a wonderful opportunity to help students learn interpersonal skills.