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Rick Jetter, Ph.D.

485 Ashford Ave.

Tonawanda, NY 14150


© 2020     I     Dr. J.         Educational Thought Leader

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, ...

July 17, 2018

Guest article for The Education Question with Chris Margolin, July 2018.

What is education in the modern era?

Education in the modern era still has two major barriers that many school leaders and policy makers do not discuss, let alone try to address within the current state of our school systems and school system budget structures in America.  One would argue that schools have changed dramatically over the years and I stipulate that, yes, there are facets of education that have progressed into th...

July 12, 2018

Pretend that you are a new principal at a new school that is set to open this fall.  You have everything that you need to get going, except staff.  You have to hire your entire team from scratch!

Fast forward to the results of your recruitment process.  You have 500 applicants for all sorts of positions open at your school—applicants for administrative assistants, monitors, teachers, an assistant principal, I mean everything.

Thirty-five former school superintendents, who also possess a Ph.D....

June 6, 2018

This morning, I listened to one of my favorite songs: “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” by R.E.M. which can be found HERE.  But, turn it UP since it is "Automatic for the People."

This song pertains to this post in a metaphorical way . . . and the meaning of the lyrics can be found HERE.

You’ve seen it before.  Kids sitting in study halls.  Some productive.  Others sleeping.  Crusty eyes.  Drool on the desks.  Some with nothing to do.  Others with homework overload, panicking to get stuff done in a...

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