J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

An Advantage to Irregular Visits from Family

As is the case for most of you, Christmas and Thanksgiving brought my children, wife, and I together with some family members we don’t often see. I’m not proud of or pleased by that fact… but we simply don’t see my uncles, cousins, or even brother as often as I’d like. One advantage is the…. read more

With Apologies to my 7th Grade Teacher

Back when I was in the 7th grade, I had an English teacher (we called it “English” back then, but to you younger readers that is “Language Arts”) named Ms. Miller. Ms. Miller taught the honors students and she was one of the more demanding teachers for our grade level. This being pre-NCLB-centered education, what…. read more

This Aint Elementary School Anymore

Last Friday, my daughter made the jump from a K-6 elementary school into a 7-8 middle school. Her father and I did all we could to prepare her: clothes, school supplies, some summer “school work”, a number of talks about boys, peer pressure, “mean girls” and more. We made it a point to watch some…. read more

Pop Culture Required Reading

Last week, I took my kids to see Mr. Popper’s Penguins (they liked it).  During the previews, we saw this trailer… My kids laughed and became excited for the new Chipmunks movie, but I had to wonder – did the studio really expect fans of the Chipmunks to be familiar with Titanic? It turns out…. read more

A Most unScientific Study: Summer School

An informal survey of seven parents of school age children revealed the following results. 5 of the 7 parents said their children were assinged summer work by their local school district. 4 of  those 5 said they felt the schoosl’ assignments were poorly designed. 3 of the 5 called the schools’ assignments “not worthwhile”. Only…. read more

If You Only Knew

Last week was the end of a long school year. And as I head into the summer, I keep asking myself ‘did it really matter?’ Next year’s class lists are all set, pending the results of state examinations. Barring any surprises, I could tell you who will be in my classroom, who will be in…. read more

Failure As a Life Lesson

My daughter decided to try out for the high school volleyball team. She likes to play volleyball, and as a Freshman, thought it would be a good idea to get into sports. What was surprising to me was that this particular volleyball program had successfully made it to the championships several years in a row…. read more

You Can Be Anything You Want… (except that)

We like to tell children that they can be anything they want. If they want to be an astronaut, they can be that. If they want to be a fireman, they can be that. Whatever they set their eyes on, that’s achievable. It’s an adorable point of view. Too bad it isn’t true. The reality…. read more

When 4th Place is Better Than 1st Place

I’ve enjoyed 10 years of being my son’s idol. He wants to grow up and be the person I am: work at the same job, do the same activities, be the man I am. So many of the choices he makes stand out to my wife and I as having “what would Dad do?” in…. read more

A Most unScientific Study: People Pleasing

A pair of informal surveys given seven days apart to the same class of 25 tenth-grader students yielded contradictory results despite having common questions. The only significant difference between the two surveys was that one required students to write their name on the top while was completed anonymously. The surveys each consisted of 30 seemingly…. read more

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