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Reaching Back, Looking Forward

September 7, 2018

How well do you remember 2004? Britney Spears married Kevin Federline. Janet Jackson suffered a wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. Friends aired its final episode. And all but a few current Gardner students had yet to be born!

2004 also is the last time The Gardner School started work on a strategic plan. A lot has changed since then, hasn’t it? The population of Clark County has grown by nearly 100,000 residents, and with it a dramatic increase in educational options—including online schools, unheard of in 2004!—available to our current and future students. Where does Gardner fit in this landscape? What shall be our unique contribution to our community in the next decade?

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In Defense of Boredom

June 8, 2018

Twenty-seven years ago (yes, that’s right), the poet Kurt Cobain summed it up nicely when he sang, “Here we are now. Entertain us.”  Whether speaking about Gen Y or Millennials or the I-Generation, Cobain captured in six simple words what many have written endlessly about for the past three decades.

Children today don’t know how to be bored.

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Free Agency

May 18, 2018

Parents have often asked me for suggestions for summer, the subtext usually being that summer might be a good time for their children to learn a foreign language or advanced calculus. That might be a bit ambitious, I suggest, but perhaps reading a couple of books might be a good thing.

But even this bit of advice gives me pause because of an experience I had very early in my teaching career. I had assigned summer reading to my incoming 8th grade English students. Actually, I assigned one book and asked students to choose one or two others from a list. None of the selections were very long, and I thought they were pretty good reads. I felt no qualms about doing this. After all, who could argue with reading a couple of books over the long summer?

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