The Black Box

July 4, 2016 // 1 Comment

There is an imaginary black box that exists in the homework process between every teacher and student. It’s a box of mystery, hazy boundaries, inputs and outputs, and shared influence out of which [...]

Demonstrating the Obvious

June 23, 2016 // 0 Comments

Here are the facts. They are obvious facts as most could guess these realities without the data, but I have the data. It is also interesting that I have never seen these school realities in black and [...]

From Persuasion to Partnership

June 15, 2016 // 0 Comments

Since the fall of 2008 I have sought to persuade freshmen to do their homework. As of today, I am looking to partner with them. The difference is dramatic and the results could disappoint. From the [...]

How to Honor Mentors

June 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

We have 35+ adults that come to our building each week to mentor students. We partner with Lutheran Social Services in recruiting, training, and managing the paperwork of this process. These adults [...]

A Tale of Two Realities of School

June 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

Every successful student knows the feeling. To enter the arena of competition between content and student, the engaged learner prepares for it. The night before class the student completes the [...]

A Must Read For Teaming

May 28, 2016 // 0 Comments

There is one book that I keep going back to when working with teams. It keeps me grounded and focused.  It’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. This book has been pivotal [...]

Freshmen @ School for 12 Hours

May 27, 2016 // 0 Comments

I’m always amazed at what freshmen can do when the environment is right. We took 24 freshmen who are failing or nearly failing classes and gave them the option to stick around school for an [...]

The Novakian Notebook

May 25, 2016 // 1 Comment

The name is mine. That’s about it. Everything else is simple, straight-forward organizational skills with a little twist. Equipment Needed: One 2-inch, three-ringed  binder One two-pocket [...]

When is a Freshman Insubordinate?

May 24, 2016 // 1 Comment

Robert is a nice awkward kid who refused to do his research paper. Weeks went by and despite his proven ability to do the work, he refused to complete the paper. He and I met weekly for three weeks [...]