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Incorporating Classroom Traditions to Build Classroom Community

Every year that I walk into a classroom, I have the same goal: build our class into warm, welcoming community that functions like a great, big extended family. The goal is to take 20 to 30 people who might not know each other, who might not have a single thing in common, and who might not always get along, and bring them together in a way that they look forward to being together, support and encourage one another and help each other through the learning process. It might be a lofty goal, but it’s an important one that helps to create an overall safe and effective learning environment. Here are some of my favorite tried and true activities to help...

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When I am twelve years old, my mother asks if I have ever been molested by a relative. Yes, I say. She begins to ask who it was, then stops herself. Just tell me, she says, if he’s been through the temple. Mormons go through the temple when they become adults, usually just before they marry or go on a mission. It is a particularly sacred rite: you must complete a set of interviews with the bishop and the stake president before you are given a temple recommend, a white card many Mormons carry in their wallets, certification of righteousness. I will never go through the temple, never achieve that level of righteousness as an adult. By the time I...

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I found out about Dylan & Son last year through one of my tailors. While getting fitted in a pair of trousers, my tailor asked if I had seen Dylan & Son’s Instagram account. I had not, nor had ever heard of the shop. “The guy there makes excellent trousers,” my tailor told me. “They hang pin straight.” Dylan & Son is run by a trouser cutter named Dylan Chong, one of the fresh new faces in the tailoring world. He started his company in 2010 after completing national service and graduating from Fashion Design at La Salle College of the Arts. Despite his relatively young age (he’s in his late 30s), he does excellent work. Some of the stuff...

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