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Rick Jetter, Ph.D.

485 Ashford Ave.

Tonawanda, NY 14150


© 2020     I     Dr. J.         Educational Thought Leader

March 22, 2020

Disneyland is closed and Googleland is open (WIDE open and HEAVILY surfed more than ever before).  Both of these places are where dreams are supposed to come true.  Disney?  OK.  This magical place on earth provides great dreams that can come true for kids.  Dreams of entertainment.  Google?  Hmm . . . let’s look at this one a little more closely as the dream for seeking knowledge might not be all that it is cracked up to be and could lead us astray while we are alone in cyberspace....

January 16, 2020

I tried it.  Just for one day.  A student let me hold on to his cell phone from 7:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m..  During school hours.  Breakfast starts at 7:00 a.m..  Remedial support classes run from 2:50-3:30 p.m..  One cell phone.  One student.  That’s a longer school day than most schools.  Nice phone too.  An Apple 11.  Super neat.  Expensive, but really advanced.  I do not have one, myself.  Too much money for me to swallow for a cell phone.  Sorry . . . for a...

December 7, 2019

I spoke to some more students last month even though I do so on a daily basis.  Students of all ages.  Students who all feel the spirit or stress of the holiday season in some way.  That is the basis of this collection.  I hope that the quotes below sensitize our communities and schools, our businesses and fundraising pursuits, our gift-giving and outdoor-holiday-light-stringing because these voices are the true "Salvation Army" . . . the army of inadvertently ignored youth who have more going o...

September 6, 2019

NOTE: The following story is based on a TRUE story, without any embellishment or dramatization:

     When I was 13 years old, I was walking through a local cemetery near my house, at night, with a bunch of my friends.  I felt something run by me behind my back, but when I turned around, no one was there and my friends were walking about ten paces up ahead of me.  I felt this cold sensation around me even with the humid summer air in July.  I don’t know why, but I became immediately frig...

August 12, 2019

I spoke to a bunch of students over the summer at the University at Buffalo—students who just graduated from lots of different high schools and are freshman at the university in a few weeks.  I wanted to know the areas that we can improve on in their schools, not only locally in Western New York, but across the nation if others catch wind of this blog.

Rebecca Coda and I are passionate about student voice and I thought I would continue to “walk the walk” and try to get the word out to others...

June 25, 2019

My son, Eddie, is a 9th grader and he was freaking out last night while studying for his French exam.  I asked him about his anxiety and it is real.  And, it is not just real for Eddie; it is real for lots of his friends and other kids too, he told me.

Eddie doesn’t like French.  He doesn’t want to take French.  His choices were French or Spanish in order to have an advanced degree awarded from the state of NY.  “Will French hold you back?” I asked him.  He doesn’t know.  On paper, if he doe...

February 16, 2019

Meet Ralph.

Ralph was one of the hundreds of school leaders that we interviewed for our book, Escaping the School Leader’s Dunk Tank.  Ralph was faced with on-the-job adversity every single day that he reported to work.  His supervisor wanted him out and for no good reason.  Ralph was a good Professional Development Coordinator.  He loved his co-workers and tried to do his very best each day.  But, it wasn’t good enough for his Director.  The writing was on the wall.  His contract would not be re...

January 20, 2019

I overhead two teachers talking about their classrooms at a local Tim Horton’s near my house.  I couldn’t help myself, but I had to eavesdrop while sipping my coffee a few tables over.

“I use Google Classroom for everything,” one teacher boasted. 

“I don’t,” the other teacher confidently stated without blushing or feeling ill-equipped in the classroom.

They seemed to be close friends.  Their banter was funny.  But, then I saw a debate unfold right before my eyes.

They talked about how NY State...

December 10, 2018

I haven’t blogged in a while, mostly because I am dead tired by the end of the day as I started a new job back in the classroom this year teaching Grade 9 English.  Teaching is the most emotional, high-energy, and rigorous career in the world and I struggle to function when I get home. Don’t get me wrong. It is a “good” kind of tired, but I do feel “old.”

I love my students.  All of them. I don’t get angry at them, but I am highly structured and do not tolerate any garbage in my classroom....

August 7, 2018

I’ve told my story before—in lots of places to lots of people across the nation.  It also appears in bits and pieces in my co-authored book, Escaping the School Leader’s Dunk Tank, and was conceptually grown with Rebecca Coda as one of our all-time most powerful passion projects to help not only school leaders, but all educators deal with and work through organizational chaos and adult misbehavior that takes place in our schools.

But, then, there is my contributing chapter in the book, entitled, ...

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