Nothing about education in the age of coronavirus is easy.

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Even so, people are more likely to succeed in an environment that nurtures and supports them. No adult wants to go into a workplace each day where their bosses assign impossible tasks, don’t train them adequately, and demean them for their inability to succeed.

In a good-faith attempt to encourage their students, teachers might tell them, “You can do it! It’s easy!” We say this to lower our students’ fear of failure. In a teacher’s mind, “It’s easy,” is the equivalent of assuring a student, “I believe in you.”

However, if the students found this skill easy, they wouldn’t be…

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Holy Week, the time between Palm Sunday and Easter, is the most sacred period of the Christian liturgical year. Starting with a Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and leading to Christ’s resurrection from the dead, Holy Week encapsulates the entire Christian message.

Day 1

On Palm Sunday, Christ is heralded as king and savior but in an unusual way (Mark 14:1–15:47). He rides into Jerusalem in a donkey, not a stallion. He identifies with the poor and the marginalized as they wave palm branches and lay down their coats for him to walk on. Here is a reversal of Eden. Instead of…

I want to find hope in this morass.

A yard with trees with a sign that says “Don’t Give Up.” Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

I found my son’s dead body on the evening of April 26, 2020. Quentin had turned 18 earlier in the month; it would be his last birthday.

Beyond saying he did not succumb to COVID-19, I am still not emotionally ready to discuss the details outside of therapy. I am unable to do much of anything anymore. Most of my days involve listening to the bland noise of sports television while doomscrolling through social media. Grief consumes me, and I struggle with eating, reading, and sleeping.

Whenever I close my eyes, I experience 3-D flashbacks of finding him and random…

Joe Biden, Official Portrait (David Lienemann, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, the Biblical book of Nehemiah offers an important lesson for how President-elect Joe Biden should handle the transition and beyond.

Nehemiah was a Jew who lived as an exile the Persian empire and served as a high-ranking official in the royal court. In the first chapter of the book, Nehemiah received word that the wall of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The exiles who had returned to the city were in a precarious situation because the city had no defenses.

After praying, the king gave Nehemiah all that he requested. He received permission, funding…

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The coronavirus pandemic has had troubling effects for people practicing their religion. Due to restrictions on the size of gatherings, religious services have been curtailed and canceled.

The quarantines and lockdowns have been controversial for Catholics who gather on Sundays to partake of the Eucharist. By receiving the sanctified bread and wine, Catholics believe they eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The inability to gather for Mass means that Catholics have been limited in their ability to perform our most sacred rite.

Catholics refer to the Eucharist as “the Source and Summit of the faith.” This…

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In one of the most celebrated stories in the life of Christ (recorded in Matthew 16:13–28), Jesus asked his disciples about the scuttlebutt. “Who do people say I am?”

His closest followers answered, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

It’s not as if Jesus didn’t know what people were saying about him. You don’t have to be omniscient to realize what the rumor mill probably says about you.

Because Jesus never did anything without a purpose, he likely asked his original question to set the stage for his next…

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These are difficult days for both parents and students. Parents have not been trained to teach students, and most children are accustomed to learning in a classroom environment with their peers and a trained teacher rather than at home

As an elementary educator, I have been fortunate to have spent the bulk of my teaching career in first, second, and third grade classroom. I’d like to offer 15 tips on how to create a positive learning environment in you home during the time of pandemic.

1. Establish Routines and Procedures

This is the first thing teachers do every school year with their students. You and…

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A second grader in Georgia tested positive for COVID-19. A second grader. I taught second grade for several years, and this is just awful. How many other people have been exposed? The answer is everyone who has been in the school.

I’ve taught many children with significant support needs and others with serious illnesses. Some have had severe autism, microcephaly, asthma, significant allergies, compromised immune systems, ADHD, and more. To expose these children and their peers to COVID-19 is beyond irresponsible.

My teaching colleagues have dedicated themselves to children, and many have chronic illnesses that put them at greater risk…


On the evening of July 18, I tuned in to the Catholic broadcasting behemoth during the liturgy of the Eucharist. Like every good Catholic, I arrived late.

As the camera panned the congregation, I watched in shock as about 30 people (in addition to the altar servers and choir members) processed to the altar. Mostly elderly but with a couple families, fewer than half the people wore masks — not the priest, altar servers, or choir members

The most distressing part was that every person they showed on camera received communion on their tongue.

Whether electronically or in person…

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York sent a controversial book to all his fellow cardinals. The Next Pope is a thinly veiled attack against Pope Francis.

The author, George Weigel, is a right-wing Catholic author who works for an ultra-conservative advocacy group. His views on trickle-down economics, anti-immigration, and pro-American international policy have set him opposed to Pope Francis.

Weigel has disputed other popes for being too liberal also.

He once notoriously asserted that Pope Benedict did not mean what he wrote in the papal encyclical Caritas in Veritate. Weigel suggested that the reader can use a…

Disabled Saints

A former elementary educator with a physical disability. @disabledsaints

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