Love & Logic: Reading Between the “One-Liners”

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' Lounge4 Comments

When I read the apostles’ letters to early Christian churches, I’m always curious about backstory. Why did Paul write these words to the believers in Philippi, for instance? Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. … Read More

The Limits of Love and Logic in Christian Classrooms

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

People sometimes ask me if student behavior today is worse than it was in the past. Given the impacts of technology, the media, and declining parent control–combined with the disappearance of corporal punishment–they kind of presume that kiddos must be a lot harder to manage nowadays. So are students getting worse? That’s a tough question, to be honest. My grandpa … Read More

Keeping the Mileage off Your Discipline Tools

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

My witty seventh grade teacher used to say, “Come on now, air out those armpits!” No, he wasn’t asking us to vent our stale areas–no junior high classroom needs more funky odors wafting about. What Mr. Vanden Berg wanted was participation, to see more hands in the air; and the statement worked because it was offbeat, unexpected. We all crave … Read More

Love & Logic and My Search for What Works

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

It was one of those years when spring gets trampled in the clash between winter and summer. Just after we emerged from five months in the deep freeze, May set off a heatblast that nearly scorched us. Still, something in me always demands fresh oxygen when school lets out. So after an hour of listening to the fluorescent lights buzz … Read More

Peculiar in the Storm

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' Lounge4 Comments

You may have heard the big news from CACE this summer: we are partnering with the Prairie Centre for Christian Education on the Teaching for Transformation (TfT) Project! One of the primary goals of TfT is that Christian schools engage in the formation of a peculiar people, an idea taken from Dr. James K. Smith’s book Desiring the Kingdom. He … Read More

Grace This Time

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

When Ms. Lang mentions the grape–the one that was flung into a circle of girls–Jackson’s face goes red. “Yeah, that was me,” he admits with a sheepish grin. “Jackson, you know that throwing food in the cafeteria is an automatic detention, don’t you?” His voice falters now: “I was just teasing; I wasn’t trying to be mean. Please, Ms. Lang. I … Read More

Attitude Germ: Releasing the Hold

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

If Kelsey likes the learning activity, it flies. If she doesn’t, the lesson bombs. Daniel carries the same sort of influence in his classroom. As soon as he disengages, the others shut down, too. If students disrupt class with silly comments, they turn to check if Daniel is laughing. “Attitude germ” is a condition that holds classrooms captive to the … Read More

Attitude Germ and How to Treat It

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' Lounge2 Comments

I call it “attitude germ” because of the way it proliferates. Similar to colds or the flu, the bug disperses through social contact: children with large social networks transmit it more readily than those who keep to themselves. How would you know if an outbreak has occurred? Check for a general loss of appetite for learning. Fear of taking risks, … Read More

Stop Your Attitude!

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

Cole’s yawn from the back row is loud enough for everyone to hear, but Audrey ignores it for now. She’s got to choose her battles, and this disruption isn’t worth a showdown. After a moment, Cole leans back and rests his feet on the desk. Students nearby smile, eager to watch the situation play out. “Cole, feet back on the … Read More