The TCL Blog

April is World Autism Month



April is World Autism Month - a time to create awareness, understanding, and acceptance of individuals with autism. From reading a book with the goal of developing a d...

MLK: Strength to Love


As the youngest of six brothers it's a common theme for everyone in the family to assume I know something that I was too young to experience. "Of course you know the story about the tennis ball in the tail pipe!" But I didn't, because I hadn't been born, and the story had been told so many times before I was old enough to remember and they all assumed I remembered it....

Multiculturalism in Education


At fifteen I accepted an exchange program for the duration of my sophomore high school year to a city outside Osaka, Japan. It was tough going but I still feel the positive effects of such a radical perspective change. Least importantly I felt tall, which hadn’t happened before and hasn’t since. I had light skin and blonde hair in a sea of Asian pigments which gave me marginal...

How ACEs Impact Students in School


Julie lived in a small trailer home with her mother, her older brother, and her mother’s boyfriend. (Her father was incarcerated for repeated drug charges.)  I was Julie’s special education case manager and teacher for most of her elementary school years. She and her brother often got themselves up and ready for school every day while their mother (who reportedly suffered from...

Classroom Calendar Connections – January 2020


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. graduated from high school when he was only 15 years old. He earned his Ph.D. when he was 25 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against racial discrimination at the age of 35. Although his life tragically ended at the young age of 39, his legendary service and teachings continue to influe...

Weaving Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) into Your Teaching Practices


My grandmother, a former teacher, recently passed away (July 11, 2019) - living a full and active life of 105 years. She was my inspiration for becoming a teacher, and we had a countless number of conversations about teaching and how things have changed from then to now. (She taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Wisconsin in the 1930s and 194...

Developing and Maintaining a Growth Mindset


Almost 2 years ago, my family and I moved from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota to a rural part of western Wisconsin. After some training, practice, and several mistakes, I learned how to use a snowblower and a lawn tractor (allowing me to do my part of maintaining the acres of land we now owned). Before then, I never thought about learning how to operate those machines - I didn’t think I...

March is National Women’s History Month: 5 Activities to Celebrate in the Classroom


Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks - the history of the United States is comprised of inspiring and intriguing women. March is National Women’s History month. We’ve put together five activities to help you and your students honor and learn more about the notable women of our past and present.

100 Years of Incredible Women
The first female...

Making a Difference for Students Living in Poverty


Here in the United States, 41% of children under of the age of 18 years are part of low-income or poor families. According to the 2016 federal poverty threshold statistics, a family of four (2 parents and 2 children) with a household income of $48,678 or less is considered low-income, while a family of four earning $24,339 or less is considered poor.

Childhood poverty can impact stude...

Gold Medal Methods to Manage ADHD Symptoms


Hyper-active, never stops talking, has a ton of energy, inability to sit still, talks excessively, nudging other kids…these were words used to describe Michael Phelps’ behavior, an Olympic gold-medalist swimmer, during his preschool and elementary school years. Perhaps he was bored in school? Maybe he was just an immature boy?

At the age of nine, when his symptoms continu...

Preparing to Handle LGBTQ Issues in Your Classroom


As an educator, do I have a personal agenda in addressing the LGBTQ issues in our classrooms and lives?


Let me share the “why” of my answer.

I have two brothers. We three siblings grew up in the same Judeo-Christian family. Today one brother lives with his wife and has raised his kids. The other brother lives with his partner and has raised his kid...