Out of the night that covers me,

      Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

      I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

      Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

      How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

      I am the captain of my soul.


It’s a famous poem… but for a reason. I have to admit that my wife has to hear way more about the process than anyone should have to endure, but she bears it graciously. Lately I have been discouraged and externally processing often. It’s felt bleak.

But today felt like turning the corner. I can improve and solidify my 5th grade plan and revisit the 6th and 7th grade plan sometime soon. Those won’t be really solidified for another year or two and that’s just rough to think about. 8th grade will be after that.

But the creativity and energy in the new popsicle stick project is electric. The sequence of the lessons finally feels right and solves a lot of problems. The projects that are getting started will be just amazing, and those will be fuel for the next classes creativity. The mindset topics are clicking with students and their artifacts from that thinking will be really fun to see grow.

It’s just so ambitious and daunting, even 5 years after starting. I can only get a tiny bit completed each day (outside of being a full-time middle school teacher) and that might be the best and the worst part. It is the best because I know it works. It is the worst because I will need YEARS to put flesh on the bones.

But “It matters not how strait the gate.” I think this work is important and will continue to do it.

A new vision for education

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