Understanding

To understand each other, we can’t simply research and observe; we must join and walk together. While I try to abide in Christ and bear fruit, I must seek others that are on different paths, not to convert but to understand. It’s our job as humans to help each other. We will never be led…

Get Out

Is the great migration of rural Appalachian peoples still happening in southeastern Kentucky? Do teachers and parents in the counties of Clay, Bell, Perry, Leslie, Jackson, Harlan, and Knox encourage students and children to get a high school diploma or GED and then get out? Is the talent pool in these ares getting smaller and…

Storefront Future

How do brick and mortar stores plan to stay in business when customers can usually buy their products cheaper from Amazon or other similar online retailers? Should we pay more in-store just to continue to have the option of a shopping day with family and friends? Should we pay more to help out local businesses?…

Students Need Diverse Educators

Growing up in a hollow (pronounced “holler”) in southeastern Kentucky, I never considered if I I was getting equitable access to effective, experienced, and diverse educators. In fact, most of my teachers were a lot like me: white, low/middle class, hillbillies. When I came to Eastern Kentucky University for my undergraduate studies, my exposure to…

Words Matter

Please never use these words or phrases when we’re having a conversation: • taken aback • niche (pronounced “neesh”) • constituents • precipice • the best dissertation is a finished dissertation • staying busy? • ukulele • Go Big Blue • bro country

Middle Schoolers Are Smarter Than They Want You to Believe

Middle school students aren’t known for their thoughtful classroom discussions of the writing process. They’re really not known for much of anything except being a handful. I’ve taught middle school students for nearly a decade and have realized these kids are definitely a handful. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re going through more developmental changes during…

People, Events, or Ideas?

Do you find yourself mostly discussing people, events, or ideas? Lately, I’ve become more aware of my discussions and am aiming for conversations that focus primarily on ideas over people and events. I’ve been a lot quieter than usual.

Nudgers

As I’ve gotten older and more comfortable, I often find myself in the late majority category when it comes to adopting change. I need to be nudged quite often. I thank God that He placed the perfect nudger in my life. My nudger is my wife. She falls into the innovator or early adopter stage….

Barriers

I’ve been reading a lot about prejudice and racism, specifically institutional racism. While I can’t pretend to understand all the barriers to progress facing my black friends, I can relate to the chief barrier facing all races, socioeconomic status. Barriers are not excuses. Barriers are barriers. That is, they are limits that obstruct, not prevent…

Dear You

I need you to believe in Jesus Christ. I need you to recognize that He is the Son of God and died for our sins. I need you to believe that He rose three days later, appeared to hundreds of people, then ascended to Heaven to be with His/Our Father. I need you to believe…

A Seat at the Table

Who makes the rules? Why are things the way they are? How can we create and sustain positive change? To answer these questions, we must first identify the true gatekeepers in our society. The gatekeepers in P-12 schools are the principals and superintendents, right? Wrong. The gatekeepers in colleges and universities are the deans and…

Don’t Just Read the Passage and Answer the Questions

Recently, after watching a student news story about the beginnings of Facebook, I gave my students a little pep talk. It went something like this:   “Guys, just because you’re 12, 13, or 14 years old doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish big things. I know it feels like your teachers are constantly preparing you for…