Nov 282012
 
Why Being a Teacher is the Best Job: The OTHER Reason

“Miss!” one of my seventh graders yelled, “There’s fake blood all over the wall!”

The kids acting the Hammurabi skit froze as we all whipped our heads around. Sure enough, the entire wall— my “Class Objectives” whiteboard, our vocabulary words, and the stately blue paint— were splattered with red carnage. But that wasn’t all. A river of fake blood streaked the wooden floor, and the clothes of the student actors were polka-dotted [...Read More!]

Mar 202012
 
Website Optimization is Like Classroom Management

“I’ve been trying so many things to get my students quiet so I can teach!” exclaimed a Boston-area fellow teacher, Carl, yesterday. “I tried yelling for attention all last year. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.”

I nodded, having been there myself. Carl continued. “This month I’m experimenting with just stopping and staring at kids who begin side conversations. I’ll just wait, and LOOK at them. Sometimes I’ll even murmur quietly:

“Hey, [...Read More!]

Jan 232011
 
A Former Student's Against-the-Odds Egypt Travel

It was late at night last month, and I was power-walking through the tunnel between the Red Line and the Orange Line in Boston’s Downtown Crossing. Suddenly a radiant grin appeared in front of me.

“Ms. Marshall!” my former student, ShiSha, hollered, and we fell into an embrace.

“How have you been?” I asked, breathless from the coincidence.

“I’m still working at Artists for Humanity,” ShiSha replied, referring to an amazing urban youth art [...Read More!]

Jun 132010
 
Help Great Ghanaian Students Visit Britain!

We need your help!

In exactly two months, an amazing group of Ghanaian students and teachers from Youth Creating Change of Ghana is scheduled to leave their county for the first time.  For three weeks this August, these hard-working Ghanaians will study and present in the United Kingdom for the return half of a remarkable educational exchange.  That is… if we can raise the funds!

“This Cross-Culture exchange is the best programme I [...Read More!]

May 292010
 
My Interview About Ghana on Amateur Traveler Podcast!

Thrilling!  My interview with Chris Christensen about volunteering in Ghana has just been published on Chris’s world-famous site, Amateur Traveler Podcast!

For the full interview homepage on Amateur Traveler, click here, my dear.

Or, if your finger is a tad lazy, the entire interview can be played right here, by clicking this button:

Amateur Traveler Episode 234 – Travel to Ghana

If this chat whets your appetite, there are over 90 articles on this very [...Read More!]

May 052010
 
Why You Need a Mentor... or Fifteen!

I have wild admiration for students who graduate college when no one in their family has done so before.

“First Generation College Students,” we call such superstars.

Why is being the first one in your family to graduate from college such a feat? Because the entire U.S. college process– from navigating the miles-long applications, to knowing the smartest way to approach a caustic professor– is full of secrets.

If you have someone (aka, a [...Read More!]

Feb 172010
 
A School You'd Likely Never See

As the half-broken taxi thumped into another rocky crater on the endless dirt road, I gasped to Collins, “You seriously bicycle forty-five minutes down this to work each morning?”

My friend chuckled and nodded.

After weeks of planning, I was finally going to see the remote school where my Ghanaian YCC colleague had been posted since September!

At four-thirty am, we hopped the first tro tro the two hours from Sogakope to Accra, then [...Read More!]

Dec 192009
 
The Urge to Work

Epiphany: It only took 4.5 months of travel to get to this point, but suddenly… I’m looking forward to working again! GASP!

“I was wondering if it was all starting to get old,” my friend wrote to me, “all that wandering.”

Across the oceans right now, former students are pulling all-nighters to finish term papers and raise those GPAs up before Winter Break.

Across the Earth, former co-workers are bubbling in Term, Behavior, [...Read More!]

Dec 182009
 
In College and SEAsia: The Danger of Your Own Demons

“What does your status update about “consequences” mean?” I typed yesterday to my A+ superstar former student. “It’s really scaring me. I thought everything was going well for you in college!”

The student took a little while to respond, but at last he did: “I got kicked out of school housing for ongoing violations of school rules.”

“WHAT?!” I gasped aloud, startling the entire Thai island. “Please explain what happened,” [...Read More!]

Nov 262009
 
How Thai Massage Class is Like Boston Public

Today is Thanksgiving, though you wouldn’t know it in Northern Thailand.

Geckos are squeaking, the breeze gusts warm, and there ain’t a turkey in sight.

But wherever we are, even kooky Canada with its October Thanksgiving, it’s still that time of year to say thanks!

And this year’s thanks goes out to the students and staff of Boston Public Schools. Everything during this year around the world is making me think of you. [...Read More!]

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