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Teaching

What’s the goal of preaching a sermon? While every sermon needs to have good content, sermons can have a variety of purposes, including that people may do or experience or believe something, rather than primarily “learn” something. […] Read More

A white police officer, convicted of killing a black man in his own home, is sentenced to 10 years. A deputy, who is a Sikh believer, is gunned down during a traffic stop. Am I naïve to think racial justice in the US is improving? […] Read More

Over half my elementary students are from Mexico, Central America and South America. They feel the political winds blowing against them. As long as folks refuse to understand them, these 9- and 10-year-olds rarely feel kindness. […] Read More

Most of my fourth-grade students come from economic poverty, and few have had experience with books and reading. One of the best parts of being a teacher is opening up their world to the great stories found in books. […] Read More

Teachers and schools are in charge of our most precious resource yet struggle for adequate financing. What if schools enjoyed pork-barrel largesse and the military depended on corporate charity? Talk about a reversal of fortunes. […] Read More

Even though everyone has the right to an education, we take literacy and education for granted in the U.S. In many Central American countries, however, literacy rates are low at approximately 75 percent. […] Read More

Dear Public Schools: You are a place where people who look different and think different and act different and believe different can come together every day to be together and learn together and learn to be together. […] Read More

I was challenged by a bishop some years ago regarding an article I’d written. We were talking in his office and the tone eventually got a little testy. “How can you write something like that?” he asked. “Because it’s true,” was my blunt reply. He already knew it was true, but now, realizing that, he […] Read More

My wife and I began rewatching the television show “Lost” about plane-crash survivors stranded on an island over the summer. When a few survivors hike to higher ground to call for help using the plane’s transceiver, they hear a French woman speaking on the radio and are overjoyed. Their hope fades when they realize it […] Read More

The announcement was broadcast at the end of the day over the school’s public address system. “Our Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014 is … Mr. Barton. Congratulations!” I walked out into the third-grade hallway where students were lined up for dismissal. Little hands reached up and patted me on the shoulder. Small voices joined […] Read More