Me and Sawyer on his Birthday!


Waging War


Like most parents, I would do just about anything for my kids. I also tend to back them  up whenever they are having a hard time, as long as they are behaving properly.

My ten year old is a bit of a handful. She is very bright and gets bored easily and loves to chat, even if she’s in class. Usually it isn’t that big of a deal but this year it has been different.

Her teachers sucks. I say that as a parent but also as a teacher. One of the things I hate as a teacher is when they constantly kick kids out of class. Now I’ve for sure done it so I’m not saying that if you’re a teacher and you kick kids out that somehow you’re a bad teacher, but if it’s happening all the time, then you can’t manage the students and that is a problem that needs to be resolved. Her teacher kicks kids out nearly every day. And not just one or two, a bunch of them. I almost feel like she’s just kicking them out so she can pawn the kids she doesn’t like onto another teacher or the principal so she can teach the few kids who survived the hunger games of 5th grade.

Here’s the deal. She has been crushing my daughter’s spirit all year. She accused her of cheating without having any evidence. Gave her a minus point for “doing nothing” during free time she had to earn in the first place. Another time she got a minus point because she cheered when she found a book in her reading level. The library is a trailer by the way.

Recently she got an F on a science project that she turned in early and the only explanation was that “it was cute but it didn’t follow the scientific method.” It did. She had a hypothesis, research, experiment, analysis and a conclusion. It wasn’t an A project but it was for sure not an F. What teacher gives a kid who does the entire project on her own (I monitored and consulted but did not do any of the work) an F?

So then she kicked my daughter out of class and sent her to the principal’s office this week because my girl was upset after getting her recess time taken away and put in headphones to listen to music so she could calm down and focus to do her work. The teacher kicked her out.

So it’s on now. I thought I was going to be able to ride out the rest of the year but this is ridiculous. Why does she insist on power struggles with 5th graders? Why is she kicking kids out all the time so they now miss instruction time? None of it is ok. Let the games begin.

I got my daughter’s back. Now and always.


What is 21st century masculinity?


I recently have been wondering to myself what exactly it means to be male anymore. For myself but also for my boys and for my male students. The image of masculinity has been challenged and changes so many times that I don’t even know what it means which is ironic because we are now encouraged to challenge our children to decide their own gender and then embrace that decision but at 37 I can’t tell you clearly what it means anymore. So what do I do about it? Sounds like it’s time for an adventure!!!

I am going to embark on a journey to try to make sense of masculinity in 21st century america. I feel like maleness is under attack. I hear all the time about how privileged my gender is. I hear conflicting messages about expectations for men. The images we consume about masculinity are various and nebulous. It’s time I try to figure it out.

If you’re also interested in what it means to be a man and what masculinity means nowadays then stay tuned or better yet, engage in this journey with me and perhaps together we can make sense of things. It is a confusing time and it seems that having any confidence in masculinity is seen as aggressive and wrong, but it cannot be accepted that there is entirely something wrong with a whole gender. I reject that sentiment and I’m looking forward to exploring masculinity and defining what it means for me and my boys. Cheers!


The Love!

Glad I got them white boards for their rooms! ❤️


Super Dad Kenley Jansen

Love this shot! Great player loving his son!




It’s that time of year. It is always a very stark contrast. I can identify the exact day that seniors reject more learning and try to coast their way to the end. This year, it was Tuesday. I had only one lesson left in this unit of economics. It was the easiest of them all and all they had to do was have a discussion with me then take some notes from a 40 minute video. I couldn’t have made the lesson any easier. They still didn’t want it. Talking rather than engaging, playing with their phones, putting heads down. It was the day the learning died. They were done. I don’t fight it too much because I know they’ll win. I could make demands, threats and scream and yell, but I embraced a long time ago that if a person doesn’t want to learn, they won’t. These students didn’t want to learn.

I also know that when we get close to the last day of the semester and seniors finally remember that if they don’t pass my class, and some others, they won’t actually graduate, and so the scramble to get their grades up will begin. They will beg, plead, cry and do anything they can for mercy and a passing grade. Some will even do some work!

It’s frustrating as a teacher but it is the same thing every year and we are finally there. Senioritis has taken hold of the class of 2018. We had a good run guys. It’s been fun.



I have a number of memories as a child that shaped who I am and sadly, a number of disappointments. In many ways, the failures of my parents have helped me to be a better father because I refuse to make similar mistakes. One of them seemed simple and it didn’t really occur to me until much later that my father failed at something very simple.

Despite of my amazing beard now, like any boy, I once was baby faced and smooth chinned. The horrible and frustrating process of puberty changed that of course, and eventually hairs sprouted on my face. No one really said anything about it but then one day, my dad plopped down a can of shaving cream and a package of disposable razors. He didn’t say any words to me. He didn’t teach me how to shave; just handed me the tools and left.

As you may imagine, I spent the next several years hacking up my face. I even remember telling my mom that I was excited because I decided to save time and shave in the shower; blind. She gasped and told me to never do that again. No explanation, didn’t have my father show me or teach me anything about shaving at that point either. Just a strong warning to not shave in the shower.

It wasn’t until I was in the army and many years older, that my roommate gave me some shaving advice when it became a burden to me because I had to shave every day and was still cutting my face so bad it would bleed. Years later I realized that it was definitely my dad’s job to show his only son how to shave and he just…didn’t. I still don’t get it. I know this though, I will absolutely show my son’s how to do something that they will likely do hundreds if not thousands of times in their lives. It’s my responsibility as their father.

because every child needs a hero

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