Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

The following is a paper I wrote for one of my education course. I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about my strengths. The road to self-discovery is an important part of growing and learning. As I reflect on my own strengths, I can’t help but think about my students. I really look forward to discussing and learning with them about their strengths.

As leaders and educators, it is critical that we know ourselves and know the ones we lead. How often do we spend our time telling students how they need to improve their weaknesses? How little time…


Photo by Eduardo Balderas on Unsplash

Today I had the opportunity to hear to Dr. Sarah Fine speak on the potential of High School education. Her presentation was part of a SCORE institute on transforming secondary education and coincided with their release of a critical report on High School in Tennessee (https://tnscore.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/What-High-School-Could-Be-2019.pdf).

I believe the report concludes what many secondary educators experience every day: students are disengaged and under-challenged. Dr. Fine and SCORE both did research into what causes this disengagement and how innovative schools are overcoming this barrier to deep learning. The challenge is real, and the solutions are nuanced. …


Reflecting on Opportunities for Student-Centered Learning

Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them. — William Arthur Ward

I missed an opportunity today. It was one of those many moments that I reflect on after a day in the classroom. Sometimes I get fixated on following my plan that I miss those moments that arise naturally when your teaching.


Notes for Teachers

Python3 offers an easy to read language that is accessible for programmers of all skill levels. With the addition of a module like Pygame Zero, you can be creating your own game in no time. Pygame Zero offers a zero boilerplate api for Pygame, which makes it perfect for beginners and students.

I typically introduce this project after the students have been introduced to variables and control structures. While the Pygame Zero module uses Object Oriented Programming, the students really don’t have to understand with OOP paradigm to build the game. Students really just need to understand the dot operator…


My journey with coding began like many as a curious teenager with ample time to waste tearing things apart and playing. Computer classes were different at school though. We studied the parts of a computer and maybe a few lines of code- even worse typing and word processing. We never solved real problems. Computers and coding became a hobby, and I never gave a thought to it as a career.

Fast forward to five years, I’m an post-college adult hunting for work. I had skills with computers, but never thought about coding as a career. I earned a few extra…


It was April 1st, but the burgers were no joke. Lize and I were given a gift certificate to the Burger Bar in Bristol, Virginia. Legend has it that the Burger Bar was the last place Hank Williams was seen alive. There conflicting accounts on whether he ate a burger or not before having a heart attack. We knew we had to see this place for ourselves.

Stepping into the Burger Bar is to be transported to into the past. From the formica countertops in teal blue to the checker board floors, the Burger Bar is a vestige of the…


The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? — J. B. Priestley

Snow holds a special place in the hearts of children — and teachers. I believe that teachers secretly harbor their inner-child, which explains why they choose to spend their lives permanently in school. Nothing brings that inner-child out like a snow day.


An unseasonably warm day presented an excellent opportunity to explore a new trail. Donning our hiking boots, Lize and I hopped in my car and headed for Cosby, Tennessee. Lize had just gotten a new pair of hiking boots, so she was excited to try them out. Just 91 miles from the house, Cosby presented a good starting point with multiple trailheads that explore the Smoky Mountain National Park.

Cosby offers a great way to access the park. Instead of battling the traffic of Gatlinburg, we drove up 40 East towards North Carolina. A short jaunt off the interstate brought…


The Little Stony National Recreation Trail in Scott County, Virginia was one of the most beautiful places we have visited. The trail wound through a steep walled gorge that was lined with thick rhododendron. Never far from the Little Stony Creek, the gorge reflected and amplified the sounds of the water. Large boulders lay strewn along the trail as is tossed by giants in some long forgotten battle. The trail lay undisturbed. We felt like explorers trekking through new territory.


Pictorialism and Everyday Objects

The way light plays across the surface of a material is fascinating to me. Everyday objects become landscapes wrapped in shadows. Recently I have been photographing surface textures as a creative exercise.

I have always looked closely at things. I spent much of my childhood being nearsighted without corrective lenses. I thought everyone saw the world out of focus unless they were inches away. As a result, I love to get my camera in close to my subject.

Using a single light source, I have been experimenting with ways of transforming mundane materials. The image above was some paper from…

Nathan Bailey

Artist | Teacher | Human

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