Category Archives: Videos

What Students Don’t Want: Listen up, ye pushers of knowledge


A few weeks ago, I posted a video of my students discussing what they want in a teacher. Here’s the flip side. Teachers take heed.

If YouTube is blocked at your school, go here.



Filed under Videos

The Schoolyard Foodie: One More Hella Nasty Lunch Served


[Editor’s Note: If you’re new to The Schoolyard Foodie’s bi-weekly column, be sure to read steps 1-3 and 4 of his 12-step program to help schools rid themselves of their systematic addiction to processed food.]

Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the prepackaged, artificially preserved nature of school cafeteria food.

Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of nourishment.

Today, while you are eating your homemade or purchased-outside-of-school lunch, it is the perfect time to sit down with God (or Allah, or Buddha, or James Brown) and admit that we are failing to nourish our public school children. Middle school youth have some pretty specific things to say about the nature of what they eat at school.  

For the benefit of all and with no intention of offending anyone—including God—I have left the majority of the video clip true to the attitude and culture found in an urban middle school classroom. These students are hoping that with God’s help, you can remove all of the ‘defects of nourishment’ and begin to acknowledge the need for fresh, local food in school cafeterias.

(If your school blocks YouTube, you can watch it here.)


Filed under The Schoolyard Foodie, Videos

What Students Want: “You give respect to get respect”


Want to know what students want in a teacher? I did too. So I asked them. Be sure to watch the whole thing—the last student really brings the noise. (If your school blocks YouTube, try watching it here.)

That’s as good an argument as I could ever make for asking students what’s wrong with education. Too bad we don’t do that enough. There’s more real advice to be gleaned from those four minutes—for the new and the old teacher—than from a good many of the books published by our ed schools each year.

That’s right. I said it.

Special thanks to Tennyson H.S. students Jose Montoya and Miguel Ojeda for their excellent camerawork.


Filed under Uncategorized, Videos

Digital storytelling: Some kind of wonderful


A few weeks ago, I blogged about accidentally showing porno to my students while teaching them how to make audio slideshows. Well, it wasn’t actually porno, but it might as well have been.  If you missed that post, you can read it here.

I’m happy to report no pink slip yet. I’m even happier to report the audio slideshow unit went over remarkably well—especially considering its inauspicious beginning.

All ten groups successfully completed a 2-3 minute audio slideshow. They edited the audio with GarageBand, the pictures with Photoshop, and the slideshow with Soundslides. I’ve never seen a roomful of teenagers so disinclined to play weird shooting games, look at Prom dresses, or Google image search Anime characters. These kids were focused.

Here’s one called “Living a Lie” by Carlos Joachin and Lucero Lopez. If your school blocks YouTube, you can see it here.

Tugs at the heartstrings, right? I especially love the laughter at the end—captures her personality perfectly.

Continue reading


Filed under Classroom Reflections, Videos