One Chapter at a Time

One novel, 16 years of students, and a lesson on how to build relationships through curriculum.

I vividly remember February 19, 2016. It was a Friday, and I was looking forward to a quiet weekend. I was sitting at my desk working on a report when my phone rang. My colleague from down the hall was on the other end. “Did you see?” she asked. “Harper Lee just died. I’m so sorry. I know how much she meant to you.” I thanked her for letting me know and hung up.

Then I cried. I cried for the loss of an author who had meant so much to me as a student and had given me so much as a teacher. Without To Kill a Mockingbird, would my students and I have found a common language? I looked forward each year to sharing the book with them. Year after year, I knew that we would learn more about one another and about ourselves as we experienced Scout’s trials and tribulations. Harper Lee’s words had been the threads that bound us together. Without her work, would I have been able to reach as many kids?

It was a time of vague optimism for some people. — Harper Lee


Guest Author

Cherish R. Skinker

M.Ed. '10, Ed.S '12 Admin & Supv

When to Introduce Consequences

A young boy drawing pictures on the wall turns around to find his mom glaring at him

What do you do when your child won’t listen to you or is misbehaving? Time-outs? Give-in? Do you find yourself impatiently ordering them to just follow your directions? Time to introduce consequences!

When most people hear the word “consequence” they think of something negative. In fact, a consequence is simply what happens after we do something. We want to share how to use consequences to help your child learn how what they do affects what happens next. 

For example, if your child is having a good time playing with his sister, you might let them both stay up a little longer (positive consequence). However, if they have been bickering since dinner you might put them to bed earlier (negative consequence).

One of the best ways to help your child learn is to use logical consequences – a consequence is logical when the consequence is related to the child’s behavior.

Sometimes logical consequences happen naturally. For example, if a child becomes frustrated with a toy and breaks it, then she can’t play with it anymore.

In this case, you can say something like:

“I understand the toy made you mad because you couldn’t get it to do what you wanted. So, what happened?(pause) You broke it and can’t play with anymore. I know you really liked that toy. This is why we don’t throw our toys. What should you do next time you are mad about a toy? (pause) Come to me and we can figure it out.”

Read the rest of Amanda’s article on the Please & Carrots blog.

Guest Author

Amanda Williford

Amanda Williford

Research Assistant Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning

Just Say Yes

Jennifer Locasale-Crouch shares how she started working with Inter-American Development Bank, Ecuador, the World Bank and Kyrgyzstan.

Just this week, I connected with colleagues from 4 different continents, representing 15 different countries, all working toward the same goal: improving the future for the next generation of children. I do not have specialized training for international work and, as much as I try, I am not particularly adept and learning new languages. In fact, my kids would say I am quite awful at it.

So, how did I get here?

From a very young age, I loved to travel. Much of this desire came from a curiosity about the world around me. I found the similarities and differences across houses, neighborhoods, and cultures fascinating. I felt compelled to explore and try to understand the experiences that bind us together as humankind but also create our own unique individual footprint. Read more…

Guest Author

Jennifer Locasale-Crouch

Jennifer Locasale-Crouch

Welcome Back to Curry

Welcome to a new year and a new semester.

Welcome to all our new students, faculty, and staff joining Curry for the first time.

Welcome back to everyone else!

In the coming days we launch a new year with a fresh start, one that holds tremendous promise.

Together, we start this year in a great place. The Curry School is recognized as one of the top schools of education in the country known for its commitments to excellence, innovation, and equity.  We are housed in a top-rated university nestled in a city known for creativity and vibrant activity. Read more…

Guest Author

Bob Pianta

Bob Pianta

Dean, US Novartis Professor of Education

Be Proactive to Cut School Violence

How safe are our schools? News reports of school shootings have stimulated school boards across the nation to spend millions of dollars on security. One popular, reactive strategy is “lockdown drills” where teachers and students practice hiding from armed intruders. Are schools really so dangerous that such drills are necessary?

Before diverting school resources to shooter drills, educators should look objectively at the risk of violence:

1. Yes, gun violence is pervasive in the United States.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 84,000 nonfatal injuries and 33,000 deaths every year involving guns. That works out to about 320 shootings and 90 deaths every day. The cases reported in the news are highly selective and not representative. Read more…

Guest Author

Dewey Cornell

Dewey G. Cornell