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After the Bell

Dave Orphal

August 10, 2015

Socratic Seminar FTW!


As you read last time, I love, love, love AVID. I was having a nerdy blast in Philadelphia last month and wanted to share another great learning tool that AVID has given me.

I’ve done Socratic Seminar in my classes before. It is a great protocol for class discussions. What makes Socratic Seminar different from the typical classroom discussion is three-fold:

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Dave Orphal

June 4, 2015

Am I a good teacher? Part 1 of 3


"Mr. Orphal, I've been in your room several times this year," said my new vice principal over at Skyline High several years ago. "Every time, the students look like they are working hard, but I've never seen you teach!"

Obviously, in my mind, he had.

For me, teaching isn't about me being on a stage. It isn't about telling the children what I know, in hopes that they will remember it come test day. I'm not interested in my students filling in the correct bubbles to show the powers-that-be what they remember from my lectufying. 

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Dave Orphal

April 22, 2015

Managing Sick Days


I’ve been up all through the night with stomach cramps that feeling like I’m being kicked. I’d tell you more, but, you know, TMI.

When the alarm rang at 5AM, I knew there was now way I could go in. I needed a sub.

For many teachers, preparing for and cleaning up after a substitute is a nightmare. We will just drag our weak, sniffily, infectious bodies into school rather than surrender control of our classroom to a substitute.

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