What is The Chalkboard Life?

This newsletter is for teachers of all stripes. Teachers who care about their teaching, and care about their students. Teachers who are sometimes overwhelmed by the impact of ever-changing technology on everything they do and would like to understand it better, and ponder the future of their work. Teachers who want to join a community of people with similar cares and concerns.

I seek to build a community of teachers, at all levels, who want to reflect deeply on the importance of what they do, and the realities of their challenges. To understand better the impact that technology has had on their work. A place that celebrates the moments of the heart that remind teachers why they put up with the daily difficulties of the job. This is the place to think about these challenges and those moments, and reflect on them.

The weekly missive will primarily be short personal essays by me expressing my thoughts on these topics, based on nearly 30 years of teaching experience. This is not intended to be scholarship, or data driven in any way. It will also include a Recommendation of a book or music (or tea, or a drink) to help you get through the coming week. And either a Quote of the week or a Question of the week.

I am a member of the faculty at the University of Denver’s law school. I teach primarily first year students who are making a huge transition - and commitment - in their lives. I consider myself lucky that I get to be a part of their transformation. I write in the area of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and legal education. In the past, I have taught kindergarten students at a big church in New York City, and programming to high school students in Massachusetts.

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Why the Name?

Q: Why is this newsletter called the chalkboard? Most classrooms do not use chalkboards any more!

A: The newsletter is called The Chalkboard Life because it is a metaphor for what we all do - teach - using technology of various kinds. Chalkboards were the original teaching technology, and like all technology in teaching, were resisted at first. More about this topic can be found in the first issue of the newsletter, which you may read here.

There is another reason for the name: my brilliant older daughter suggested it! One of the best things we can do as teachers is listen to students. By the time they have graduated from college (as she has) they have seen it all - the good and the bad - and they are full of good observations and ideas for improvements in teaching.

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One newsletter issue published every week - one email only - sent on Saturday mornings. If you subscribe, each new edition of the newsletter will go directly to your inbox.

In Summary

I encourage you to become part of a community of people who care about teaching well, and who want to remain happy and healthy doing it.

I would also love to hear from you with feedback or new topics you would like me to address.

The newsletter’s Chalkboard image was taken in Belarus by Roman Mager (@roman_lazygeek) from Unsplash.