Brett Bigham

Blogger

Teacher

Portland, Oregon

Brett Bigham is the 2014 Oregon State Teacher of the Year and a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. He is the only Oregon special education teacher to be named Teacher of the Year and to win the NEA National Award for Teaching Excellence.

He is the creator of Ability Guidebooks, a series of support books for people with autism that give step-by-step directions how to visit cultural landmarks and social events. The books are currently available in 10 countries and four languages. He is president of ORSTOY, the Oregon chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year and serves on the boards of Oregon Safe Schools and Clubfunder.Org.

RECENT POSTS

Posted June 6, 2019
Young girl with rainbow paint on her face

I’m One of the Most Well-Known LGBTQ Teachers in the US and I Was Called Out by a Fourth-Grader for Failing to Be Gender Neutral

I messed up today. I messed up, and a nine-year-old called me out. In front of the whole class. That’s…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Apr. 23, 2019

Teaching Our Students to Save the Planet May Be the Most Important Lesson We Can Teach

Miko Vergun, 17, lives in the Portland, Oregon suburb of Beaverton. She fears she may never be able to visit…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Mar. 18, 2019

Trump Isn’t Just Cutting the Education Budget, He Wants Schools to Pay for the Wall

Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump’s wall. Your children will. And your children’s children will pay the interest, as…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Feb. 15, 2019

Here’s Why I’ve Joined Teachers Calling For an End to Detaining Children at Our Border

From the deepest core of my being, I am a teacher against child detention. To choose to separate children from…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Jan. 22, 2019

We Have to Treat Every Student Like They’re Our Own, That Includes Transgender Students

Our job is about a promise to every parent who leaves their child with us. We promise to watch over…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Dec. 17, 2018

Yes, I’ve Been Hit by Students, But I Still Believe Suspensions and Expulsions Are Not the Answer

Betsy DeVos wants to end the Obama-era discipline guidance that addresses the over-suspension and expulsion of students of color. Betsy…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Dec. 12, 2018

I’m a Teacher Not a Boxer, and I’m Tired of Being Beat Up by My Students

I had a job interview recently in special education. Even though I am pretty well known for my work with older students I was interviewing for a K-2 special education classroom. There are lots of reasons for the change but there is one reason I have kept to myself. I’m kind of ashamed to say it.…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Nov. 8, 2018

I Never Thought I Would See the Day I Defend Donald Trump But Here We Are

I stood up for the Trump guy. Life has a way of serving up some very surreal moments. Imagine, if…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Nov. 5, 2018

Those Teachers in Idaho Destroyed Any Trust Parents Had in Their Teachers

Will the parents of my Mexican students ever look at me the same after Halloween in Middleton, Idaho? On Friday,…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Oct. 30, 2018

Here’s How We’re Making Halloween Work for All Our Students

There is a schism in U.S. education. I’m not talking about Common Core or the latest state tests. I’m talking…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted June 19, 2019
father walking little daughter to school or daycare, back to school

There’s a Difference Between a ‘Good’ School and Choosing Whiteness and Wealth

It’s nearly summer, and while for most that means the end of a school year, for many it also means transition. Preschoolers transition to kindergarten,…

By Zachary Wright 

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Posted June 19, 2019

Just Like Emancipation, Quality Schools Are Being Delayed and Denied to Black Students

“Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” While many Americans are waiting with baited breath for July 4,…

By Sharif El-Mekki

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Posted June 18, 2019
Boy in front of school bus.

What It’s Like to Attend School in Rural America

On a rainy day in May of 2018, I toured a public school in northern Pennsylvania. Most of the students were eligible for free lunch.…

By Jennifer Wahl

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