Building a Professional Learning Community…Inside my Classroom

Although I’ve been teaching for many years, I’m totally open to trying new approaches.  This fall, I will utilize Literary and Socratic Circles.  These tactics have been around a while, but for some reason, I’ve never given either a test drive.

My new dual enrollment class will be a perfect laboratory.   My goal is, for half the instructional days at least, to morph from Mr. Sturtevant the instructor, to Mr. Sturtevant the facilitator and fellow seeker.

To this end, I’ve been reading two highly recommended and fascinating books:

Mini Lessons For Literature Circles

by Harvey Daniels & Nancy Steineke



Socratic Circles

by Matt Copeland



Summer Means Growth

Preparing for my Columbus State World history class has been fun.  I’ve had to take my knowledge of world religions much deeper.  Fortunately, Central Ohio has a diverse religious community. Today, I visited one of Delaware County’s Hindu temples for the Ratha Yatra festival.


The temple population was very welcoming, but shoes, are not welcome.

My Caucasian Foot

My Caucasian Foot

Most Westerners recognize Ganesha.



This temple has plenty of Southern Indians. They are more partial to the female aspects of the divine. Hence, my favorite alpha female Durga is prominently displayed.

Lakshmi, Durga, and Sarasvati

Lakshmi, Durga, and Sarasvati

Inside, the Brahman priest chants mantras in Sanskrit. Much like Latin in the old Roman Catholic masses, much of the congregation is uncertain what is being said, but the sounds are holy to devotees.

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Ratha Yatra continued in the parking lot. Three richly decorated chariots, resembling temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Puri called Badadanda. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra to their aunt’s temple

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Yes, the whitest member of the congregation’s third eye, was smudged with ash.  I now have new friends that will help me grow and teach.

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Leisure Time + Warm Summer Weather = Thoughts of Mortality…and the Passage of Time

Eckhart Tolle was asked his age on the Oprah show. He responded, “This body is 60-years-old.” This was a terrific response. Our bodies are only vehicles. I enjoy mine, its like a Honda Civic. But it still has a a rapidly expiring shelf life. Hence, I rather love my new workout shirt…its motivational, and keeps things in perspective. I’m getting a green 53 in March. 40 yrs from now, I’ll be meditating in my purple shirt with gold 92 numerals.



These are the kinds of things I do with my vaca!

Guy’s Nights

The Gallup Institute, famous for polling, recently published work on well being.  They sighted strong relationships with colleagues as a critical component in job satisfaction.  Remember, happy teachers are attractive teachers. Gallup cited job satisfaction as one of the most significant contributors to well being.  This understanding is critical for administrators.  A cohesive staff is very desirable.

Don’t, however, wait for preoccupied administrators to take the initiative.  Invite a few colleagues you don’t often associate with, to do something fun with you.  Challenge them to return the favor.

This effort could have positive ripple effects through out the staff.  There is little to lose and great potential.  If you go out with someone and they are a drag, big deal!  Your world will not end.  You could, however, find a brand new friend.

I decided to create a Guy’s Movie Night at my house.  Three times this summer, I’ll have a few of my male colleagues over to watch a guy movie.  We have a few drinks prior, laugh and munch during, talk some smack after, and bond through out the night.  Here’s our 2013 summer lineup:


June: Team America

team am

July: Beavis and Butthead Do America


August: Office Space


The June screening was a terrific success!  These movies are totally testosterone oriented.   I wonder if Gallup would approve?