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 Oct. 10, 2019

It’s a Dangerous Time to Come Out at School. And That’s Why We Must.

Every single teacher reading this needs to come out today. You straight teachers might be asking yourself, “Who me?”  Yes,…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Aug. 23, 2019

To Support Your LGBTQ+ Students, Love Them and Give Them Someone to Look Up To

Every student deserves a role model with whom they can relate. For many students, literature and curriculum are resources they…

By Brett Bigham

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Posted Aug. 2, 2019

DeVos Has Dramatically Scaled Back the Protection of LGBTQ Students

This week a report from the Center for American Progress showed that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil…

By Brett Bigham

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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 Oct. 15, 2019

After 40 Years, There Is Still Time for the U.S. Department of Education to Become a Good Idea

Wherever you exist on the political spectrum, the U.S. Department of Education’s work has never been more relevant to the lives of families and students,…

By Chris Stewart

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Posted Oct. 14, 2019

She Has a Plan for Everything, So Where Is Elizabeth Warren’s Plan for K-12 Education?

I love a woman with a plan! And, Senator Warren, it seems like you have a plan for just about everything. There are currently 50…

By Lisa Hollenbach

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Posted Oct. 14, 2019

Is Andrew Yang the Only One Brave Enough to Speak the Truth About Our Public Schools?

Education voters—people for whom education is the issue that determines their vote— have been banging our heads against the wall forever during presidential campaigns. Sure,…

By Erika Sanzi

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How does the federal government support our public schools? Find out the ABC’s of ESEA, ESSA and No Child Left Behind →

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