What Should We Talk About?

My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.


It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,


“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”


I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.

Why We Should Teach Kids About Evanescence

Listening to Evanescence’s haunting, penetrating and ironically titled ballad, “My Immortal” reminds me of the lessons tied to the rock/metal/gothic band’s intriguing name. Evanescence (synonyms include ephemeral, vanishing, transitory and temporary) applies to everything, from the Ottoman Empire which lasted 600 years (until its post-WWI demise) to a snowflake which may last 6 seconds before, poof, it’s gone. A 600-year-old nation state, especially when compared to the United States’ mere 240-year history, may seem to have been an enduring one. Yet, when compared to the entirety of Earth history, six centuries is barely a blip. At its peak I want my students to fathom evanescence. I want th

What Steph Curry’s Heartening MVP Acceptance Speech Can Teach Kids

Right now, while Steph Curry is playing perhaps the best and definitely the most innovative basketball ever, let’s reexamine the stirring Most Valuable Player acceptance speech he gave last May and focus on what it can teach kids. As good as Curry was last season, consider Jalen Rose’s mind-blowing statement about how last year’s MVP could be this year’s most improved player. Curry this season is a terrific example of the motivating Japanese term, kaizen (continuous improvement). No matter how good you are, no matter how much success you’ve achieved, even if you’ve reached the absolute pinnacle of your chosen passion, you can still get better. If Steph Curry believes there’s room for improve