Monday, December 16, 2019

Anxiety and Me

Let's get a little personal with mental health, why don't we? This will, of course, tie into teaching, but that's not really the point either.

For a while now I've been suffering from pretty extreme bouts of anxiety. I didn't always recognize these as such, however. Let's go back- When my first child was born I found out that Paternal Postnatal Depression is a thing. I knew that women could experience something like this, and we were on the look out for that. Had no idea it could happen to me too. I'm the Dad, I didn't carry nothing. Nope, knocked me flat, and for a while. I ended up going on medication and doing talk therapy for a while to help me through it. It also made me hesitate about going for Weirdlings Two and Three because I was worried that it would come back. My wife is incredible and we got through it together and it didn't come back with either of the other two.

Looking back, I've had anxiety in some form or another for as long as I can remember. I always chalked it up to being a control freak. If you, dear reader, and I go for a drive, I will insist on driving. Even if we're friends. Even if I trust you. I'm a bad passenger. Control freak, right? Seems like it. Especially since this feeling never happens to me on my motorcycle. Then I'm really the only person in charge. I can't even hear you if you're riding with me.

If we're stuck in traffic I'm going to start freaking out, feeling trapped. Because I literally am. I'm trapped in this car in the middle lane surrounded by all these other cars and what if I need to get out I can't no one is moving so I can't move we're just stuck here and why won't anyone move. Driving makes this better, but not all the way because I'm not in control of the situation.

Airplanes are worse. I hate flying. No, not true. I hate boarding the plane, being stuck in the aisle, getting to my seat, not being able to get up from the time when they button up the big door until we're at cruising altitude. You can't get up at any point during that! You're stuck in your seat no matter what. What if your stomach gets upset (a related problem we'll get to)? Too bad. Stay there and suffer until we tell you you can stand up. And then we're in the air and I'm fine. Until..."Passengers need to return to their seats and prepare for landing." And then it's another twenty minutes/eternity until we're at the gate. The entire time I have my eyes closed and I'm mentally repeating, "I'm ok, I'm alright." over and over. No exaggeration, no joke. I hate it and I'm miserable every time.

I thought I was just a bad traveler.

On top of that I've always had stomach issues. Issues that we've mostly fixed with a change in diet, turns out I'm lactose and gluten intolerant. Good to know. That helps but didn't actually fix things because now I've trained my body that when I'm stressed my stomach hurts, but when my stomach hurts it stresses me out. So soon I'm stressed that I'll be in a situation that will stress me out and upset my stomach, which sets my stomach off.

But recently things have accelerated and gotten worse and worse. Examples, because it's important to me you, dear reader, know what I mean. To be clear, these are the most illustrative examples, certainly not the only ones-

A while ago a friend of mine and I went to see Nick Cave, one of my most favorite musicians on Earth. Because of a trick of the tickets we ended up in the second row. He was right there. He could see us. We could see him. We were supposed to be in the back, where the cheap seats were. Being that close was incredibly exciting, but also so very stressful. I was completely unable to fully relax and enjoy the show because the back of my mind had this flashing red light the whole time. He was great and I loved it and I still couldn't fully connect.

I went out on Black Friday, something I never ever do. But my local record store that I love was doing a Black Friday thing and they were going to have a limited number of the new Opeth album and the vinyl reissue of Geddy Lee's solo album "My Favorite Headache." Yes, I could buy these online but I love Jackpot Records and I want to support local business. I got there at nine for a ten o'clock opening because I knew there would be a line and damned if someone else would get my albums. I was fifth in line. Score. I was fine at 9:00. I was fine at 9:15. At about 9:30 I started having to talk myself into staying in line. At 9:45, after waiting forty-five minutes, needing only to wait fifteen more, I was actively pacing and eyeballing my car, which I could see from the line. I was having a detailed conversation with myself about, "I should just go home, I could get these online. It would be fine. I should just get in my car and go." Ten minutes to go, still pacing, it's getting worse. I'm miserable and my heart is pounding and I know all of this is stupid because I'm fifth in line. When they open I'll be right in there. I'm not worried about not getting the album. What am I worried about? I have no idea.

I've heard people who have panic attacks describe the mental spiral as "you keep thinking of worse and worse scenarios, which keeps escalating your panic." That's not what was happening to me. There was no "worse and worse scenario." There was no thinking involved. I just had to get out of there or I felt like I would be sick. Once again I'm whispering to myself, "I'm ok, I'm alright" over and over. I'm pissed that I want to leave and trying to use that anger to keep myself in line for five stupid minutes more. Finally they open the door. I go right in, find the two albums I wanted in about two minutes, pay, and I'm out of there. I enjoyed exactly none of the experience of being in a record store with a bunch of other music nerds who got up and waited in line to buy vinyl, something I really like.

This was the last straw. I made an appointment for the doctor. I described all of this to her and kept hedging, "I don't know if it's anxiety or of I'm a control freak or if it's just my stomach or what and I don't know." She stopped me. "Everything you are saying is textbook anxiety. That's exactly what this is."

Then she asked me a question I had already thought quite a bit about, because I am reflective and I had noticed this trend. She said, "You're a teacher. Does this happen to you at school?"

"Nope. Never." And it's true. I'm obviously at this point not trying to be a tough guy and impress you. But it doesn't happen in my room. I'm sure it happened at the beginning, but it's been years since I've felt any kind of anxiety in my classroom. I've been stressed, sure. Exhausted. But not like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. Not like I had to escape right at that minute how can I get to my car or at least outside I need to get away. Nope. Doesn't happen to me in my classroom. Doesn't happen to me when I present at conferences. Doesn't happen to me when I keynote. I get nervous before that last one, but that's more like a racehorse in the gate than actual fear.

Why? I think it's because of the control thing. What do I have to be anxious about in my classroom? This is, more than just about anywhere else, my space. I mean, it's my students' space too, but I am its architect. That has to be the reason I'm basically anxiety-free in my room. Now, if you tell me I have to be trapped in a PD all day I'm gonna have some spikes. But if I'm running it? None. But if, during that PD, you ask me to go out to lunch with you, I'm going to drive. The second I'm out of the classroom it's back.

Which explains why I hate field trips so much. It's not just that the bus makes me motion sick after all. Maybe it doesn't, but the anxiety does. Either way, field trips suck.

I'm still trying to process what all this means. I'm doing what I can to get better. The doc recommended me to a talk therapy person and we're trying out medication to see if that will help. Hey, you know what's fun? Teaching the week before Winter break, but adjusting to new anti-anxiety medication at the same time! Now why does my stomach hurt? Is it stress? Side effects? Both? Weee!

I wonder if what I notice about my anxiety in relation to my classroom rings true for other teachers. I wrote this and shared all of this because it's important that we are real people. I know how I come across, hyper-confident-to-cocky, silly, irreverent. That's all me, but I bet some of it is coping mechanisms too. When I get anxious I either talk a whole lot or cannot talk at all. Some of you have probably met me at a conference and got a weird vibe. This might be why. Though, like I said, I'm mostly ok when I'm presenting. But in the halls of ISTE, surrounded by a billion people? Yeah, I don't like that at all. I spent the evenings of my last ISTE, the last one in San Antonio, in my hotel room watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. Because TNG is great, but also because it was just easier.

And let's not even get into how I think I've turned my phone into a coping mechanism. I'm sure that's SUPER healthy.

I don't know how to end this post. I'm tired of not being able to enjoy things like concerts and amusement parks and drives with my family and movies and going to dinner and trips to the record store. I'm tired of waiting for the stress to jump out and making choices that will just let me avoid it if I can. I've become such a homebody because it's just safer and easier. Maybe you can relate. Maybe knowing this about me helps you, dear reader? Hopefully the medication does its job, and if it doesn't hopefully it's not hard to find one that will. Hopefully you're all doing as well as you can out there. We're all in this together.

If you like this post and the other posts on this blog you should know I’ve written three books about teaching- He’s the Weird Teacher, THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome), and A Classroom Of One. I’ve also written one novel- The Unforgiving Road. You should check them out, I’m even better in long form. I’m also on the tweets @TheWeirdTeacher

Monday, December 9, 2019

A Very December Q&A

I asked and you responded with questions that you asked so I could respond. We've got ourselves a chock-full Q&A tonight so let's get to it, shall we?

Ok good, we're starting the education Q&A off on the right foot. I use color safe shampoo and conditioner and dye it with professional-grade dye after a really good bleach because my hair is dark and needs to be lightened a whole lot.  The meaning of life, the universe, and everything is, as everyone knows, 42. Pineapple is yummy and goodness unless it's on a pizza. Cookies should have firmness to them, more on the crunchy side than the soft side.

 I stop when I feel like I've done everything I can at the moment. I think very long game a lot of the time when it comes to bigger problems because, frankly, I've got too much going on in my classroom to do any more than that most of the time. I work inside the system so I fight the fights I can and spend a lot of time teaching my kids to think and question and help bring down inequitable systems as they grow. I am doing the work too, but I can't kill myself fighting the system on a big scale. I'm doing my work well, writing when I can, marching when I can, and speaking for teachers. They want us to throw ourselves on our swords in exhaustion. Gotta outsmart them.

Redefine "weird" for yourself. Weird doesn't mean standing on desks with puppets and blue hair. Weird doesn't mean doing voices and a ton of making projects. Weird doesn't mean upending all the expected norms in big, loud ways. Weird is just unconventional, it's different. Everyone interesting does something outside the norm.

However! If you honestly don't feel like you're doing anything weird or different then I suggest starting by looking at what you consume. This is a big soapbox for me but watching Friends and The Big Bang Theory and listening to Coldplay will not invert your thinking. Buy an album that you're not sure you like, but you can't define why, and listen to it until you either like it or know why you don't. Buy something that sounds like noise. Watch a show you'd never watch. I deeply believe that you cannot put out what you're not taking in. What weird things do you consume? Honestly, deeply, strangely, confusing things than no one around you is watching, listening to, or talking about.

Morgan asked a TON of good questions, especially for an education student. I'm going to get to just this one because there's a lot of questions here and the rest are in the thread which you can find by clicking on her tweet.

I don't like Teachers Pay Teachers. I have investigated this for myself because I need to know why I have visceral reactions to things and I think there are two reasons. First- I started before the internet was a thing we could use for teaching. Every single thing I did in my classroom I built or stole from someone at my school. And I think that made me a better teacher. I had to depend on myself. There was no shortcut, no massive community at my fingertips, no easy way. I grant that this also makes me sound like an Old shaking his fist and grumbling, "You darn youths with your Teachers Paying Teachers and your Facebooks getting ideas without working for it!" But I think the struggle has a lot of value. Because of my second point- Every single thing you buy on TPT has to be changed to fit your classroom. Nothing from there should be used whole cloth with no modifications. They are built to be general but your classroom is not.

Steal ideas. Here's how I use Pintrest and TPT- I'll google an idea or a subject, find the skeleton of something, close it, and built it myself. Important Note- I like this process and the time it takes, and it takes a lot of time. New teachers do not have the bandwidth I have. But I think the struggle makes my lessons more creative and deeper. You're going to be doing a million things and those lesson plans right there are going to look real good. But they're easy to get addicted to, and there's zero difference between that and just using your curriculum whole cloth and thoughtlessly. Instruction should be flexible. But don't kill yourself.

I also think teacher should share what we make with other teachers for free. BUT we don't get paid much so I don't want to stand too firmly on that particular hill. Make your money.

African or European?

Oy, this is a whole lot!

I stay energized with a lot of coffee. Also I honestly love what I'm doing and I'm very happy where I am. I have as much freedom as I could ask for and I know that my admin (at least for the next three weeks) has my back. I also work with some other teachers, one in particular, who has my brand of crazy when it comes to projects and Big Ideas and he and I bounce off each other well.

I don't care if other teachers don't like how/what I'm doing. There's no conflict in that direction because I honestly couldn't care less if someone doesn't like my way. If I don't like their way I need to first evaluate if they're just different than me and I don't like what they're doing personally or professionally. If it comes up and it's a real concern I'll bring it up as tactfully as I'm able. But I do a lot of, "Watch me go, I'll model it my way as I run off doing my cool things with my happy students."

The most valuable thing I've learning in teaching is either- Have a hobby, have a reason to go home OR we live on singles and doubles and anyone who wants us to be hitting home runs all the time is selling snake oil.

I used to! Every Wednesday from 7-8pm PST #WeirdEd happened for over 200 chats. It was so much fun but I eventually ran out of gas because I believe twitter chats should mean something. They should be special. Most are the same mouthwash swishing to the other cheek. Same questions rephrased. Same answers. Right answers rather than a chat to actually talk and exchange ideas. Authors asking questions from their own books and then quoting themselves in their answers to their own questions. "Themed" chats that aren't- "Welcome to Star Wars chat! You have to pass certain tests to become a Jedi. How do you handle tests in your classroom?" That's got nothing to do with Jedi, it's am act!

I don't. This starts right at the beginning of the year- first day. I don't assign seats and I don't assign desks and I don't keep track of who has sat on what when. I have more important things to deal with. This is because Trust is a Number One foundation of my class and if you don't trust your students to find a place to sit and share, you don't trust your students. They know that too. Every morning everyone is expected to trade chairs. You can't sit in the same thing twice. They self-monitor and they appreciate the responsibility. I don't have an issue with it after the first week. They don't squabble over them either. I have a ton of different chairs, there's too many to fight over.

Don't assign chairs. If your classroom is built on trust you've gotta walk the walk. Students don't have to earn our trust. They should start with it.

Oh my. Ok, so I'm not great at this but I'll share what I do and I'd love more ideas in the comments. My intervention time is M, T, Th, F from 1:00-1:40, right after lunch. Some students get pulled out for various reading groups, the rest, about 20-22, stay with me. I have a Five Station Rotation-

  • Read To Self- Student read out loud into Flipgrid, and then watch themselves read back and count mistakes.
  • Vocabulary- I have a bunch of those Word, Sentence, Definition, Picture, Synonym worksheets and students use the week's vocabulary words.
  • Free Write- Write whatever you want.
  • Listen to Reading- We use Storyline Online and the kids listen to a story.
  • iReady Reading- Do iReady.

Each station lasts 20 minutes, so kids get to two a day. It's not perfect, I stole it from the teacher across the hall because she's better at stations than I am, but it seems to be working pretty well so far.

This could be (and I'm sure is) a whole book. So I'm only going to answer in one way with the caveat that it's not The Way and only an option.

Making stuff. Project-based learning and finding ways to incorporate making into the classroom is a great way to reach everyone. Good making projects mean everyone will create something different, they'll iterate their learning, and they'll work to their level on their own. You need to make reflections and stuff happen, there's no learning until the kids think about it, write about it, generalize it, and talk about it. But find opportunities to make something.

I'll give an example- We were reading a story in the Journey's book about tree kangaroos two years ago when I taught fifth grade. It was drier than a consultants PD session in the fourth hour. But in part of the story the book said that the researchers caught the tree kangaroos by climbing a tree and scaring the animal out of it, then netting it on the ground. We thought that was terrible, so I challenged my kids to come up with a better way. We designed traps. Students had to justify their design, and in doing so had to read the story because it had all the information about the animal. Your cage will trap the animal's tail. Why won't the animal leap out? How do you get the animal in and out without hurting it? It got detailed and amazing and they learned a ton from it. But you didn't need to read at a 5th grade level to have ideas, build them, or explain them.

One more, I think. This is starting to run long.

McGonagal was a Gryffindor, so that's probably the correct answer since she's easily the best teacher at Hogwarts. Though I bet a Hufflepuff would be good too for certain kinds of students. I worry than a Ravenclaw would get irritated with the kids who didn't catch on quickly enough and , well, Snape and Slughorn were Slytherins and one hosted dinners for his favorite students and the other literally abused a kid for seven years because his mom wouldn't date him.

I think personality goes a long way, but I also think that's a loaded statement I just made because it sounds then like there's A Personality that kids will like the best and we all know that's simply not true. I'm an extrovert who is loud and funny and unable to be serious for an entire day unless the room has REALLY screwed up. But I have quiet, calm, more serious friends who just have the mischief dancing in their eyes who's students like them just as much or more than mine like me.

I think the most important personality trait a teacher can have is the willingness to Yes and commit to it. Default to Yes in the case of new ideas. Complain when complaints need to happen, don't be a gross toxic positivity person smiling all the time like there's no war in Ba Sing Se. Push back on bad policy, but not just because it's new or sounds hard. Pick your battles. But default to Trying.

Ok, there's a ton of questions I didn't get to which you can find in this thread. Thank you to everyone who asked a question. I think we'll do another of these soon. It was fun.

If you like this post and the other posts on this blog you should know I’ve written three books about teaching- He’s the Weird Teacher, THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome), and A Classroom Of One. I’ve also written one novel- The Unforgiving Road. You should check them out, I’m even better in long form. I’m also on the tweets @TheWeirdTeacher.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Losing a Leader

At the end of this month my principal of the past five years will move on from our school to the district office. This is what happens when there's unnamed upheaval (unnamed in that teachers can tell something more is happening up there but no one up there will be specific with exactly what) in the upper levels of the district, which are causing people to leave, which are causing spots to need to be filled. A spot opened up near the beginning of the school year that my principal would be perfect for, the district asked her to apply for it, and she got it. These things happen and I'm not here to complain or litigate the timing of things, even though taking our principal mid-year is a real annoying choice to say the least. What makes it worse is the job she's getting will be perfect for her and she's going to be extremely good at it, so I can't even complain about that.

My principal leaving has brought up a whole host of emotions in me. I've already had this conversation with her, so she knows this stuff. But reflecting out loud helps me process, and I never know if admin somewhere else will read this and learn from it. Because there are things an administrator could learn from what I'm about to write.

My principal for the past five years has been the best boss I've ever worked for. I literally could not have asked for a better administrator. I've worked in a lot of schools and under even more principals and vice principals, and they've ranged from good to middling to downright awful. I know what I'm looking for in a boss and who I'll work well under and who I'll chafe with. You get by in any situation, but I firmly believe that teachers, if able to, don't leave schools. They leave administrators. I know I did. My last VP was a nightmare on two legs.

My principal hired me the day of my interview. I rolled in straight from teaching session at a three day conference in Northern California. I'm in Gresham, as far north in Oregon as you can get without actually being in Washington. I'd gotten the call with the offer to interview the day before, and it was the last day of the conference. So I finished my last session, jumped on my motorcycle, drove the three hours home, changed, grabbed interview clothes, got in the car (it's a long way to go on a bike after a long day), and hit the road for a four and a half hour drive while my wife found a hotel. I got to town at probably one am, crashed out, and was up at six for an interview at seven. First one of the day. Got there, had to dissect some data (weeee), teach a mock lesson to the panel, and do the interview thing. I felt like I nailed it. Afterward I went to get lunch, more coffee, and get ready to drive home.

As I was getting my Baja Fresh I got a call. Not from that interview, but from a different school in the same area who I'd had a video interview with a few days before. They wanted to offer me the job. I begged off, telling them I needed to think about it for a few hours and I'd get back to them. As I was finishing by lunch I got another call, this from the school I'd just interviewed at, also offering me the job.

Holy crap. Two offers in one day? When does this happen? I was still in town too, which meant it was my turn to interview the principals. I went to the video interview school first, met the principal, got a tour of the school, and talked to her for about a half hour. She was very friendly and the school was nice. Then I headed to the school I'd been at that morning and toured the school and chatted with that principal. I asked her all the questions I wanted to know, about technology and teacher freedom and data and creativity. She gave great answers and I was feeling convinced. Then I asked her, very specifically, "How driven by data are you? Will I be tied to a curriculum?" And she said magic words, words that made my mind up right then and there. She said, "Well, we have to use data, that's part of what comes down on us from the state and the district. But I believe that teaching is an art as much as it is a science, so as long as teachers get results I want them to be creative. I think students respond to that." I'm going to put that in big bold text now so you know how important it was to me.

"I believe that teaching is an art as much as it is a science, so as long as teachers get results I want them to be creative. I think students respond to that."

Oh yeah, this is the place for me. I took the job on the spot. It's a risk. Principals say all kinds of things they don't actually mean. But she felt like she meant it. And she pretty immediately proved that she did.

I have told bits of these stories in the past in this space, but they're important to make my wider point. When I started at my school I became friends with the other guy teacher in fifth grade, a kindred spirit of creativity. It wasn't long before we were talking about making stuff in the classroom and investigating these things called MakerSpaces what what would that be like, how cool would that be? We picked out a room being used for storage, built a wishlist and a plan, and went to her office to pitch her. We fully expected to be shot down. One does not simply walk into your principal's office and ask for five thousand dollars to do something brand new. But you gotta take the swing, right? She listened carefully, asked good questions, and then said yes. Yes! Told us to come to the PTC meeting coming up and pitch them because they'll love it and they'll give us money. Told us there was technology budget we could use. Hooked us up with an amazing parent who got hyper-involved and became the third arm of the team. Did everything we could have asked for and more, all without a shrug or an "I dunno..." or a question that this would be good for kids. The MakerSpace is still there, still being supported, she still believes in its power. If she didn't it would have been converted into something else long ago.

A few months later we went back to her. Since the MakerSpace is cool, how about this thing called a MakerFaire? Could we do that? It would be a lot of work but we could get one going by the end of the year. She said yes again! She found the money and time. She backed us up in front of the staff. The MakerFaire is still going strong. She's still involved, still helping us, still encouraging the teachers who might not be as enthused as we are.

This can do, yes let's do it attitude of hers has heavily influenced my own teaching. I am and always have been a jump first, ask permission later kind of human. This does not always sit well with administrators. I know plenty of principals who need the Why and Wherefore first. I know more who look at the schedule not as a playground to work within but as a sacrosanct text to be followed to the minute. I don't work well in those scenarios. My principal never pushed those things. She understands that sometimes reading runs long, especially if we get caught up in the story and are suddenly in the midst of building tree kangaroo traps. She knows that construction is math so even though we're not exactly on where we need to be, the kids are learning what they need to learn. She trusts that if she comes into my room and sees cardboard everywhere and the room looks like a giant mess, the kids are learning. Why should she trust that? Because I tell my students, "If Mrs Cook comes in here and the room looks like this she's going to wonder what on Earth we're learning. She's going to ask me what you're learning. Do you know what I'm going to tell her? Ask the kids!" She comes into my room while we're building and knows not to ask me what's going on. She asks them not what they're doing, but what they're learning. And they know, so she's cool with it.

Our deal has always been as long as my data doesn't slip, she trusts that what I'm doing works. My data doesn't slip. My kids love coming to school. My discipline is contained. We're good, and she believes that's what learning and teaching is.

Last year she suggested me for a construction pilot that ended with my kids building benches that now exist around my school. I didn't seek that out. She brought it to me. She trusted me with it. It paid off, we did amazing things. And we're going to do amazing things again this year with a fifth grade class led by my kindred spirit co-conspirator.

I went to her when I didn't understand a bunch of what she was talking about in a data meeting and said, "I don't understand what you were just talking about in this data meeting" and she took time after school to walk me through it. She didn't say, "Why don't you know this?" or "You ought to figure this out." She was a leader, appreciated me saying I didn't get it, and showed me the way. I've never worked for a principal I've been comfortable saying, "This stuff that you're talking about like we all get it? I'm drowning and don't get it at all" to. That's a crazy thing to say to your boss. Unless your boss is awesome. (I think I wrote about this after it happened but if I did the blog is buried among the however many are in the archives here. You dig, there's a lot of good stuff back there.)

We had this conversation about leadership.

I don't know if everyone knows how good we have it. I feel like teachers have a hard time seeing outside of our bubble sometimes and there's always something to pick at. Real problems need picking, of course, and no one is perfect. But the things we are able to do right now, the freedoms we are afforded, these are more precious and rare than I think some realize.

I'm incredibly nervous about having a new principal. I feel very safe and supported right now. I can do what I do because she trusts that it's right. We're going to have an interim principal for the remainder of the year and that will be whatever. I dunno. I'm sure it will be fine, but even if it's not it's only a few months. After that, what then? I acknowledge that this statement makes me sound like I think I'm a delicate special snowflake teacher, but my way of teaching is not normal and doesn't often read as normal. Especially if the administrator is a by the book type. We will rub each other the wrong way. What if the next person doesn't get it? Doesn't trust? I'm willing to be flexible, but I'm not willing to not teach how I think is best. I will be unable to fit into a "From right now to right now you're all to be teaching reading from the book" rigid schedule. The district is saying all the right things about what they're looking for in a principal for us, but the truth is no one will replace who I've been working with for five years.

A good principal makes all the difference. So does a bad one. All I want from a leader is trust and support. I've had that in spades and it has made me a better teacher. It has made our school a great place to work and to learn. What do I want in a new principal? Faith and trust. What do I really want? My principal to not leave.

If you like this post and the other posts on this blog you should know I’ve written three books about teaching- He’s the Weird Teacher, THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome), and A Classroom Of One. I’ve also written one novel- The Unforgiving Road. You should check them out, I’m even better in long form. I’m also on the tweets @TheWeirdTeacher.