Latest posts from South Dakota

May 03 2011

The Book of Liz

The 2011 Spring Play is The Book of Liz by Amy and David Sedaris. The show features 13 stellar actresses and actors who’ve put in a great deal of work to bring all of the humor they possibly can to the performances. These students are commended not only for being involved, but also for choosing…

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Apr 13 2011

Attitude Reflects Leadership, Captain

Most spring days involve a few good events, some pretty average experiences and, of course, a fair share of frustrations, warnings and “Stop throwing things out the window!” For the most part, I close my day with an adequate sense of fulfillment and hit the light switches to end another measured compartment of shared time…

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Mar 31 2011

Changing of Seasons

The snow is melting and the red breasts of the robins come in and out of view through my living room window. A twilight cruise out to Sinte Gleska University will sound the alarms of the prairie dogs, now digging again. Slow drives through the streets of teacher housing or south side Antelope pass you…

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Feb 25 2011


My students often struggle with the fact that my class doesn’t have very many answers. In free writing responses or during class discussion, I’ll often remind them: “There is no right or wrong answer here,” they look at me like I’m nuts each time, “there’s no equation to solve or date to remember – I…

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Feb 07 2011

Telling Our Story

Last spring and over the summer, a good portion of my blog was dedicated to a project called: What It Takes To Begin. The project was essentially a chance for the teachers we live and work with to share their stories. Based on the idea – this past October, we gathered for a dinner and…

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Jan 31 2011

Failing Well

This year at the One Act Play Regional Competition, we didn’t fare as well as we did last year. Actually, we did pretty badly: 5th out of 6 schools competing. I remember telling myself early that morning before I cranked the bus to pick up the shivering actors: simply taking the kids out to compete…

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Jan 06 2011

2010 Lakota Nation Invitational Quiz Bowl Champions

How do you plan for a contest that basically requires you to know everything? Well…we locked ourselves in my classroom and tried to learn everything about everything: Explorers, Native American history, US history, world geography, current events, bugs, biology, dinosaurs, wars, math word problems and plate tectonics. In the end, Todd County High School’s Quiz…

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Nov 30 2010


I’m glad that Stoic still visits my classroom. He comes in early in the mornings and likes to tell me about a dream he had the night before or a thought he’s working on. He has some great ideas and, as I’ve mentioned before – he’s a sharp, introspective guy with a deep connection to…

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Oct 26 2010

Walking (Living) Together

I think my students appreciate when they know I’m walking with them. Most days I can sell my students on what I need them to learn. But some days even linking our work to something interesting, or their futures, isn’t enough. Some days (only the grayest ones, it seems) – I must sit on my…

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Oct 20 2010

Selling It

Of course my students aren’t going to want to do the work I ask them to do. Of course. I wouldn’t either – That is, unless someone sold it to me in a way that made me believe. In a way that pushed me to see what is behind the work. It sounds simple, but…

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