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.

Dear you know who, (lessons from an 8th grader)

I'm sorry. I probably should have left it there. Maybe she (or he) would have found it. I doubt it, but you never know. I have this habit - maybe it's good, maybe it's OCD - of picking up litter whenever I walk my dog. So, when I saw the paper on the side of the path stuck to the stick, I couldn't help myself. I didn't have my glasses, so I couldn't read most of what you wrote, but I could tell it wasn't something haphazardly tossed on the ground. That's why I picked it up and put it in my pocket. When I got home, I read it and left it on the kitchen counter. I intended to take it back but kept putting it off. It seems pointless now. It's been months. Again, my bad. Still, I don't regret fi