Current Lesson

what-you-love OUT OF LOVE - If one more of our class’s guest speakers encourages my students to “Do what you love,” I’m going to throw up. No, not really. I mean, if successful person after successful person keeps repeating the same advice, no matter how cliché, there has to be something to it, right? Besides, the politicians, civil servants, economists […]

Jaime Richards TeacherWho am I?

Jaime Richards.  A public school teacher, writer and “education entrepreneur”

What have I done?

For over 30 years, I’ve taught elementary, middle, high school, college and adult school students.

Why should you listen to me?

I haven’t just taught. I’ve studied my students. Why are some successful? Why are some not? What works in education? What does not? And what do our kids most need to learn during their evanescent time in the classroom that they’re not being taught? What are education’s missing pieces?

Recent Lessons

Unknown-6 The Two Lessons Imbedded in Kelly Clarkson’s Heartwrenching American Idol Performance - The first time I watched Kelly’s achingly lovely homage to her devoted husband and concurrent condemnation of her far-from-ideal father, I cried. Then, when I saw it again, my eyes welled up a second time. And I’m not the only one who was so moved. Idol judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez’s expressions during Clarkson’s […]
teaching Is indoctrination always bad? - All the synonyms for indoctrinate aren’t negative. There’s coach, teach and train. I like those. But then there’s brainwash, program and propagandize. I don’t like those. For the most part, indoctrinate has a bad rep.  Its connotation is negative. I know that at my high school, students will fight it as if it’s the Zika […]
graduation-995042_960_720 How Maroon Five’s “Sugar” Video Teaches Students Why They Are In School - Maybe I’m losing it… No! I don’t believe that. This is such a good lesson. It’s a lesson kids need to learn, whether they know it or not. It’s a “Why are we in school?” lesson, and what could be more relevant to bored, apathetic students than that? I write this because when I taught […]
3196766975_68a95897e4_b Why We Should Teach Kids About Evanescence - Listening to Evanescence’s haunting, penetrating and ironically titled ballad, “My Immortal” reminds me of the lessons tied to the rock/metal/gothic band’s intriguing name.  Evanescence (synonyms include ephemeral, vanishing, transitory and temporary) applies to everything, from the Ottoman Empire which lasted 600 years (until its post-WWI demise) to a snowflake which may last 6 seconds before, poof, it’s […]
Steph Curry's MVP acceptance speech is jam-packed with lessons we need to teach kids What Steph Curry’s Heartening MVP Acceptance Speech Can Teach Kids - Right now, while Steph Curry is playing perhaps the best and definitely the most innovative basketball ever, let’s reexamine the stirring Most Valuable Player acceptance speech he gave last May and focus on what it can teach kids. As good as Curry was last season, consider Jalen Rose’s mind-blowing statement about how last year’s MVP could be this […]
MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg “Looking For Easy” Is an Innate Yet Self Destructive Behavior - It’s impossible to feel comfortable if we’re always comfortable. This baffling contradiction, a first-world happiness blocker, is difficult to embrace. Yet, once understood, it enhances life by amplifying pleasure. It’s why I encourage my students to run in the dark. In developing countries, where discomfort is the norm, physical comfort is evanescent. In Nicaragua, for […]
Newest push up A Little Bit More – 21 Push-Ups - “Great men can’t be ruled.” – Ayn Rand Shortly into my teaching career, I learned that there are three kinds of students: Group One: Those who do it when it’s required. Group Two: Those who don’t do it when it’s required. Group Three: Those who do it even when it’s not required.  Most students are in […]
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Balance as a Universal Value - The students of the world desperately need to study a value-based universal curriculum  which would include chunks of both the spiritual and secular and, therefore, be called  Orenda.  It’s principle doctrine – or at least one of its primary ones – would be balance as a universal value. We continually have to make balance decisions. Too much food is bad, but so is too little. […]
2000px-Yin_yang.svg The Yin-Yang of the Seth Godin Book, TRIBES - The Seth Godin Book, Tribes, is all good. In my class, it’s a required part of my curriculum. While walking my dog, I listened to it. Twice. And his TED Talk, “The Tribes We Lead,” is a must-watch for anyone aspiring to lead anything. It gives hope to all of us who don’t have mad skills, breathtaking beauty or extraordinary […]
Santa A Critical Lesson about Mother Teresa for Kids - I used to call it the “Mother Teresa for Kids Lesson.” For years, to prove a point – that no matter who we are, that no matter what we do, we’re all going to have haters – I’d tell my students the tale of Mother Teresa and how even she had people who didn’t like […]