You’re a middle or high school teacher and a student comes to you and tells you that she’s pregnant. What do you do? What do you say?

Most of us who have taught middle or high school have probably rehearsed this scenario in our heads. Many of us have had…


Most of us who teach will agree that online teaching has not been easy. It created more work when we had to re-format or adapt everything we had spent years developing for in-person instruction and then put everything we would say or have students do online — often in multiple…


“Everything I did was wrong,” a colleague recently said about her teaching last year. That sentiment probably summarizes a lot of our teaching experience during the 2020–2021 school year.

In the before times, teaching was already difficult. But there was at least we knew what our jobs were — even…


It’s deja vu all over again. Schools are reopening. And we are all back to debating about masks.

Once again, we are back to the policy punting, and again, teachers are left carrying the ball.

Labeled “Patchwork” with an image of a child with a face mask made of patches with patches labeled “masking policies.”
John Cole, Times Tribune Blogs

In teacher parlance, “punting” is when you kick a question back to students, especially if…


“We missed the lecture on Tuesday, could you give it to us now,” three students asked a colleague who teaches at a state college.

My colleague explained that she couldn’t spend another hour repeating the lecture, and reminded them to get notes from their classmates and read the corresponding chapter…


Image credit: Getty Images, Jason Connolly

April 20, 1999. I was substitute teaching in Boulder Valley School District and St. Vrain Valley School District while I applied for teaching jobs. That day, I was set up to sub for a 4th grade ESL class at Columbine Elementary in Longmont. I’d been subbing for ESL and Spanish…


Often, the arguments for basing school funding on test scores has been based on the premise that schools that cannot demonstrate their effectiveness should not receive government funding. Within this capitalistic, zero-sum-game reasoning, test scores become the “bottom line,” serving as a proxy for businesses’ ledgers tallying profits and losses…


Red-lining is the practice the FHA and banks used for decades to decide on which neighborhoods were worthy of home loans. In the early-mid 1900’s, they also viewed melanin as contagious, so they identified any neighborhoods with African-American people in red and wouldn’t provide loans for homes in those neighborhoods…


It seems early to be thinking about what we’ll be doing in Fall 2121. But that is when experts are predicting that all students may return to school. If we want that to go well, we need to start planning now.

Image credit: Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/welcoming-students-smile

Hope seems so close yet so far away. Vaccines…

Writing on the Wall

Suzie Null is a former middle and high school teacher and current professor of Teacher Education. Follow her on Twitter at WritingontheWall @NullSet16

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store