Student Well-Being Blog

Capturing the Spark: Energizing Teaching and Schools

From October 2015 to October 2017, veteran English teacher David B. Cohen explored what drives quality teaching and strong student engagement in schools. Cohen is a veteran high school English teacher from Palo Alto, Calif., and former associate director of Accomplished California Teachers. Follow him on Twitter: @CohenD. This blog is no longer being updated, but you can continue to explore these issues on by visiting our related topic pages: student motivation & engagement.

Teaching Opinion Looking Ahead After 'Capturing the Spark'
My final post at Capturing the Spark is a look ahead, to better teaching, better policies, better systems - and more writing.
David B. Cohen, October 2, 2017
4 min read
Teaching Opinion Looking Back at 'Capturing the Spark'
Capturing the Spark is winding down. Here's the first post in a two-part farewell, looking back at my EdWeek Teacher blogging experience.
David B. Cohen, September 18, 2017
3 min read
Teaching Opinion Through and Beyond Tragedy, a Teaching Opportunity
Events in Charlottesville reminds us once again that it is both a responsibility and a privilege to work with young people to confront and reduce the violence and racism in our society.
David B. Cohen, August 15, 2017
2 min read
Teaching Opinion Storytelling for Education Advocacy
Teachers need to provide a multitude of positive stories about public education in order to advocate more effectively for an equitable system.
David B. Cohen, July 29, 2017
10 min read
Teaching Opinion The Truth About Stories and 'Once Upon a Time'
Reflections on the significance of myths, fables, stories, and 'once upon a time' in teaching.
David B. Cohen, July 17, 2017
3 min read
Teaching Opinion From High School to College, There Are Some Similarities
As a high school teacher, I want to know what my students might encounter in college. Two professors offered me some reassuring examples.
David B. Cohen, June 30, 2017
4 min read
Teaching Opinion Packing Books, Unpacking Memories
Packing up an office leads to reflections on reading the role of books in shaping a career and a life.
David B. Cohen, June 13, 2017
4 min read
Teaching Opinion The Unpredictable Appeal of Diverse Literature
We can't predict what meaning and value students will find in literature, especially when they have some choice in their reading.
David B. Cohen, May 30, 2017
5 min read
Teaching Opinion Students Speak About Expressing Gratitude
High school students share insights regarding expressions of gratitude for their teachers.
David B. Cohen, May 12, 2017
3 min read
Teaching Opinion A Robo-Teacher Resigns
Trends collide in a glimpse of the future: a robot-teacher generates its own resignation letter.
David B. Cohen, April 30, 2017
5 min read
Teaching Opinion Day of Silence Sends a Message Worth Hearing
The national Day of Silence calls our attention to the challenges faced by LGBTQ members of our school communities.
David B. Cohen, April 21, 2017
3 min read
Education Opinion California's School-Quality Dashboard Replaces Simplistic Ratings
Even if it's flawed, California's school accountability dashboard moves the state in the right direction.
David B. Cohen, March 27, 2017
6 min read
Teaching Opinion On the Pursuit of Alignment
'Alignment' is one of those educational buzzwords that elicits strong reactions, positive and negative. We need to be clear regarding its meanings.
David B. Cohen, March 8, 2017
6 min read
Education Opinion Teachers of the Year in the Spotlight
State Teachers of the Year have a unique platform from which to lead, presenting both opportunities and challenges.
David B. Cohen, February 17, 2017
5 min read