ArchiveJune 2020

Bearing white witness


Note: I’ve been called for jury duty many times but have never actually served. The closest I got was on a case that the Assistant District described as a robbery of clothing from a store. He delivered this explanation to a panel that had already been narrowed to a number close to required final dozen. “I have one more question that I will ask you to respond to with a show of hands. Would you...

teachers and Doctors: Corrected version


Doctors and Teachers My friend Saul Weiner is one of the most interesting people I know. I’m just finishing his second book, called On Becoming a Healer. Although the book’s primary audience is young doctors at various stages of their training, I knew that what he had to say about medical training would interest me because we’ve had a number of conversations over the years about the parallels...

a collective sigh of relief: a respite from screens


(Note: The end of this current school year marks a historic moment in our country’s educational history. The abrupt move to remote learning was a shock to our individual and collective systems. It’s not clear what follows, but I thought it was important to capture one small corner of that gigantic sea change before we move on. I’ve invited Kimberly Folkening, the teacher on whose classroom my...

The week that was/is


This past week was arguably one of the most consequential periods in recent American history. The lows brought us to the brink of an authoritarian takeover and the highs felt like a new vision of racial healing, finally after centuries of destructive racism. I’m aware that mountains of analyses and accounts have been written about these events already, but I felt a need to document my own...

it’s all about relationships: the case for looping


“It’s all about relationships!” The students in our teacher education program at the University of Chicago heard that pronouncement from me and the other staff members ad nauseum. Far more significant than the language arts or math curriculum you adopt and the approach to discipline you are drawn to, is the quality of relationships you are able to develop with your students. These relationships...

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