Suspensions, Adventure, and Equity

Topics for this week include skyrocketing suspensions, outdoor adventure, and equity.

Suspensions, Adventure, and Equity
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TGIF Teacher Newsletter


Another week down, state testing is complete, and my focus shifts to helping 8th graders (and myself) finish strong. I’m building off a few small wins daily to keep my momentum alive.

Note: I've received positive feedback from some of you about the short STRONG Teacher Newsletter I've been sending on Wednesdays. I've enjoyed putting those together. I may even start sending a few on Mondays as well. I also realize that it may not be your cup of tea. To manage your subscription, you can toggle them on or off using the link at the bottom of this email.

I hope your week was filled with wins. Have a great weekend!

The News

Here are some articles and resources that grabbed my attention.

  • Suspensions - School suspensions are skyrocketing due to vaguely defined rules, leading to students being penalized for minor infractions. A review of over 7,000 discipline records across eight US states found that many suspensions were for low-level offenses, which research links to lower academic performance and higher dropout rates. Amidst the debate, some districts have limited suspensions to severe misbehavior. In contrast, others call for stricter discipline policies, but experts suggest that suspension should not be the only tool for dealing with behavioral issues.
  • Adventure Awaits - During my teaching career, I’ve taken students mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, camping, and more. The outdoor adventure experiences are full of valuable lessons. If this sounds interesting to you, you can learn more from this guest post, “The Benefits of Adventure/Outdoor Education | Learning As I Go: Reflections and Lessons Learned”
  • Equity - While I'm not sure I agree with everything proposed in this article, "Doing Educational Equity Wrong," it is a hard-hitting critique of the current approach to educational equity. The author argues that schools are lowering academic expectations, tying teachers' hands, and focusing too much on equity at the expense of excellence and efficiency. The article calls for a balanced approach that promotes equity without sacrificing high standards, teacher autonomy, and other important educational values. It is possible to simultaneously promote equity, high standards, and teacher autonomy as long as one firmly believes they are all important.
  • Resource - Maximizing the Final Weeks: A Guide to Ending the School Year Strong for Teachers. The final weeks of the school term are not just a countdown but an important period to consolidate learning and reinforce the progress made throughout the year.
  • Better World - Our students are preparing for this year’s Better World Day; their project centers around food insecurity in Northwoods.
STRONG Teacher Toolkit
Here are some of my favorite resources, ideas, tools, services, and miscellaneous gadgets and goodies that keep me STRONG in both my personal and professional life.

Ideas, resources, tools, and free downloads to make your teaching life easier and more enjoyable.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Rough One - Tough teaching days are inevitable. It’s possible to bounce back, especially if you have colleagues you can lean on for support. One of the most important things to do is not to take a crummy day personally.
  • Something New - Learning is a catalyst for well-being. Pause each day to learn something new. Making this commitment can help you ward off stagnation.
  • Think Time - Unlock your creative potential with a personal retreat designed for deep reflection and innovative thinking. This guide provides practical steps to disconnect from daily distractions, change your environment, and capture your ideas, leading to fresh perspectives and a new wave of creativity.


“Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just keeps you from enjoying the good.” – Mandy Hale

Three Little Birds Cover by Kacey Musgraves

Favorite Things

  • Middle School Track Meets - I was a timer at Thursday's middle school track meet. The kids were competitive and supportive of one another. Many of the athletes have set goals and are working toward achieving them. Effort is contagious. Bonus: It was a beautiful evening.
  • Game - Zebra Puzzles - A Zebra Puzzle is a type of logic puzzle that presents the solver with clues and tasks them with making deductions to arrive at a solution. The puzzle often involves multiple categories of items, and the objective is to determine the correct arrangement or association between them. It is commonly solved using a table or grid to track the logical steps. The Zebra Puzzle is sometimes referred to as "Einstein's Riddle.”
  • Teacher Gadget - AstroAi Mini Fridge Portable Fridge* - Save a trip to the teacher’s lounge.
Different Colors and Styles Available - Click Here

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