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Curious Teaching is a blog about being a teacher. It's a blog about the blood, sweat, and tears that come with the job. It’s about the moments of inspiration that make it all worthwhile.

Mostly, though, it’s a space for reflection. A place to think critically and philosophically about what it means to devote one's life to the promise of education.

Curious Teaching is written by Jared Kaltwasser, a longtime journalist who in 2016 traded in his notebook for a gradebook and became a teacher (and a blogger). He currently teaches eighth grade ELA and social studies at the Best School in the State and the Nation.

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What Apple Spritzer on a High-Speed Train Taught Me About Challenging Students

There we were, me, my wife, and my two young children, one day out from a six-hour drive followed by a nine-hour overnight flight and a two-hour connection, operating on just one night of jet-lagged sleep, hiking through the cars of a Karlsruhe-bound InterCity Express train in search of the restaurant car.

We finally found it, and the menu was happily, gloriously German. Currywurst and eintopf and pancakes with applesauce, and, much to the kids' delight, there was apfel schorle to drink. Apfel schorle--apple spritzer--is the ingenious German combination of apple juice and sparkling water. Not only does it cut down the amount of sugar your kid ingests, but it's also much more fun than regular juice.

So I dust off my passable German and order auf Deutsch even though the cashier surely knows English. And as she hands me the bottles of schorle, she also hands me a pair of stemmed, glass goblets. For the kids.

You heard that right: Glass goblets from which the kids are to drink th…

Public School Teachers: It's Time to Speak Up

I'd like to make an argument that might sound self-serving, or even audacious, but which is actually quite defensible, and, I would argue, indisputable:

Public school teachers are the linchpin of the American Dream.

Your reaction to that statement probably has a lot to do with your background, your career, and maybe even your political beliefs. Some of you will zero in on the word "public," and notice that it excludes private school teachers. This is intentional, but not because private school teachers aren't important. It's intentionally exclusive because private schools aren't accessible to everyone, and universal accessibility is crucial to the American Dream.

Others of you might focus on the word "linchpin," and think I'm over-stating the case. You might agree that public school teachers play an important role, but you might disagree that their role is essential. Or, you might argue teaching is one of many professions that are important to t…

What Teachers Really Think About Summer

The lockers are all cleaned out. The certificates of achievement have all been printed and the yearbooks are stacked up and ready for distribution. Lesson plans have been replaced with Minute to Win It games. And candy. Oh boy, is there candy. Everywhere.

The last day of school is nothing if not festive. The tension that has been building up the past few weeks is finally released. The students worried about summer school have now pulled out passing grades. Teachers stressing over how to keep students engaged as the weather warms up now begin planning their own time basking in the sun. It's all sandals and sunglasses and smiles.

School's out for summer. Let the celebration begin! Amirite?

Meh.

I can't speak for every teacher, but for me, the end of the school year brings very mixed feelings. Yes, a part of me is happy, but most of me is experiencing a complex combination of feelings and emotions. What follows are four things I feel when the final school bell rings:

I feel m…