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Archive for the NotYourFathersSchool Category

Will Your Smart Watch Save the World?

At some point in 1968 my high school Spanish teacher—a rather gloomy fellow, he was—recommended that we read Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb. First published that year, The Population Bomb was a kind of pop science (if you can say this about the work of a Stanford […]

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A Hard Truth About the Way We Treat Children

The teaching profession and most of the non-profit and social service sector operate on an assumption that has seemed unassailable to me all of my life: that human beings innately and inherently love and value children above the lives of adults, above all things. “Women and children […]

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Ferguson: Tethering Ourselves to What Matters

A while back I realized that once upon a time I was actually in Ferguson, Missouri. It was around Christmas of 1970, and I was visiting a friend—in fact a girlfriend—in Florissant, the other town with which Ferguson shared its high school. Ferguson and Florissant were then, at […]

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The Blame Game: Elite Colleges and Students’ Double Lives

It’s been a tough summer for “elite” colleges—those eight or ten or twelve schools whose names everyone knows and about which everyone has an opinion. I suppose these schools should be pleased that their brands, or at least the collective “Ivy League” brand shared by eight of […]

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The Original Disruptor: A Cautionary Reflection on DEAD POETS SOCIETY

The tragic death of Robin Williams has moved us all, no matter what our special memories of his oeuvre might be: Mork, Adrian Cronauer, Peter Pan, or even John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt in one of my favorite films, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. For […]

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Twitter as the New Sampler, and Reflections on Tweets of Wisdom

Twitter as the New Sampler, and Reflections on Tweets of Wisdom

In some ways my summer Twitter feed is an extension of the visits to historic sites that my antiquarian family (first with my parents, later with my children) has been making all of my life. On some wall of every Colonial or 19th-century or early 20th-century house […]

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Strategic Thinking and—School Therapy?

Over the past few years I have found myself moving in circles that involve school advancement as much as the teaching-and-learning side of the house. Here I have been made privy to both the anxieties of independent school leaders on matters like enrollment and fiscal sustainability and […]

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A Letter to New Teachers

Note: This post originally appeared here in July of 2011. It has proved to be both popular and durable, and as the 2014-15 2015-16 school year approaches, it seems appropriate to re-post it—PG If it hasn’t already, within a very few weeks school will be starting, and […]

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Paying It Forward: Further Thoughts on Why We (or at least some of us may) Teach

In my last post I suggested that a powerful motivation for some teachers seems to have been a desire to “correct” the teaching that they themselves experienced. I probably implied, without meaning to, that this is a sole impetus for those “restitutional” teachers, as if they were […]

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Restitutional Teaching: Another Thought On Why We (or at least some of us may) Teach

I have had some wonderful teachers in my life—a solid bunch in my public elementary school and another group in my independent junior high–high school. They shaped and influenced my life in ways I wish I could still tell them about; I’ve managed to get to the […]

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