10 Books that have impacted my life…

I was challenged by Erin Morin to list 10 books that have impacted my life in different ways… Hmm just 10? I’ll try….


1. The Harry Potter series- on a pedestal above all others.

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events – never forget reading these to Addy, when she was in NICU. There was mystery, misery, secret codes, and of course Count Olaf! 

3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman- great book great movie NUFF SAID

4. Holes by Louis Sachar- Proof that covers don’t do a book justice. This book has so much to love. Outlaws, Lizards, Mysteries, secret curses, stinky feet and treasure make this is a must read. To me Holes is a book that isn’t just for kids. Grown ups would be caught up in this layered story as well.  

5. The Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull – A book that started slow but once it started it never slowed down. Think Jurassic Park with Magical Creatures. The first book was so suspenseful and well written that I can honestly remember staying up all night unable to tear my eyes off the page. 

6. Beowulf- Old English version… High School Eng lit teacher took the time to show my why this was so awesome and to help me understand it. It actually started my interest in reading. (Yes, not until high school, I know ) 

7.  Gone Baby Gone and Gone Girl- (TIE)  are two books that I can sit and discuss over and over. What would you do? Why would you choose that? They are really messed up books and amazing reads at the same time. 

8. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes- I didn’t read a lot as a kid but I always read Calvin and Hobbes. In my opinion the greatest cartoon/art to ever grace a newspaper. 

9. Artemis Fowl- my go to book that I started reading to my boys each year when I taught 5th grade. The main character is a bad guy who wants to kidnap a Leprechaun and steal her gold. This isn’t your typical Leprechaun. Artemis kidnaps a member of the L. ower E. lements P. olice Recon division and she is NOT happy about.  This is the best YA series that for some crazy reason hasn’t been made into a film yet. #soapbox there are like 9 Step UP and Dance movies but no Artemis Fowl….SMH shame Murica shame.

10.  Hoot by Carl Hiassan New kid sees weird kid running barefoot while riding the bus to school. Weird kid is trying to protect Baby Burrowing Owls from a Pancake Chain that is going to destroy their home.  My wife bought me this book for Christmas one year. It’s still in my top ten! 


honorable mention to 
Sisters Grimm- the most fun I have ever had reading. 

Percy Jackson- student favorite while teaching

Thank you to My wife for coping with my book issues. My parents for buying me comics when I would read nothing else. Thank you to Mickie Knight for teaching me to understand and appreciate literature. Thank you to Suzanna Session for helping me appreciate grown up books (Glass Castle still gets me)

May the force be with you… I will be reading! 








Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus – BOOK SNEAK PEEK


I am not a great writer. However, I tell my students that the only way to improve writing is to WRITE. So here it goes…

Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger


“Emperor Pickletine” is the final book in the Origami Yoda series.  This time out the kids from McQuarrie Middle School are on there way to Washington DC. This is the trip they almost lost due to Happy Funtime Test Prep. Tommy and his friends are super excited until the principal says, “No Origami on the field trip.”  What will they do without Origami Yoda and Foldy-Wan Kenobi to guide them? How did Harvey sneak Emperor Pickletine on the bus? Will Harvey and the Emperor turn Tommy, Dwight, and Kellen to the Dark Side?

Earlier this year, my wife and I visited Washington DC. While touring the Smithsonian, we tweeted the author to let him know that Origami Yoda books were on sale in the museum gift shops. He wrote me back and told us that the final book was going to take place in the Air and Space Museum. The boys do visit the museum and cause some unintentional mayhem. I loved reading about the boys visiting places that I visited too!

I don’t want to share a bunch of spoilers. I want you to be able to go and read the book on your own or to your class. It is written in the style of a case file aka diary. It is fast paced and really easy to read. There are tons of illustrations and jokes that Star Wars fans or people who don’t like Star Wars.( Do those people really exist?)  Plus, there are tons of Origami ideas even Food-a-gami too! Check out “Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus” in book stores now. Thank you for reading. Remember the only way you get better at reading and writing is by READING & WRITING! 

May the Force Be With You Always,

Toby Price
Assistant Principal
@Jedipadmaster on Twitter




Never stop looking for a way in with a student…

My oldest child is tough! She has autism. She is non verbal. She is also really high functioning. She is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma covered in a shroud of secret sauce. Plus, she is a red head and has exhibits every stereotypical red headed behavior.

Without Communication...

When she was in school communication was always an issue.  Teachers never found an effective way to communicate with Addison.  Without some type of communication it’s impossible to form a strong relationship. With out a relationship, learning cannot occur.  A typical school situation with Addy would include a teacher trying to get her to write letters on a worksheet. Addison would shut down and or act out. She wouldn’t do the work. The teacher would label her non compliant and move on. Since this would happen so often, Addy’s teachers had no way of knowing what she “really” knew.  They assumed that Addy understood and knew very little.

This is the first time we had an RPM trainer come and work with Addy. If you watch the video above, you will see that Addison knows a lot more than anyone previously thought. She was answering comprehension questions, inferring, and even did multiplication!  All because someone found a way in. A teacher took the time to learn and try something different. You can google RPM methods and learn more on your own about the approach. My point for writing today is just because a student isn’t learning the way you teach doesn’t mean they can’t learn. We must never stop looking for a way in. We must try to find an effective way to communicate. Finally, we must never stop looking for a way to foster a strong relationship with our students.Strong relationships are the key to strong learning.


Watch more RPM videos with Addison here on my youtube channel

If you feel inclined please visit and share my gofundme page. I am trying to raise money for another trainer to come and work with both of my kids with autism using the RPM method.

Thank you for reading. May the force be with you,
TP @jedipadmaster


A letter to my son’s teacher

I wrote this last year. It was for Mckade. Sadly, the year didn’t go as planned. I am grateful that now we are blessed with McKade’s new teacher. I wanted to share again because I think it applies to so many kids.

Dear teachers, 
I am writing to you today on behalf of my son and daughter. Both of them have varying degrees of autism. They both attend special classes the majority of their day at school. I am writing to ask you to give them a chance in your room. That’s right in the “REGULAR” ed classroom. I am not going to spend time reciting what is already in their IEPs or telling you about IDEA laws regarding least restrictive environment. Legally, they have the right to be with their peers, but just because someone makes a law doesn’t mean we all want to follow it. So parent to teacher I am asking for a chance. My son is classified as a 4th grader. He is supposed get to go to a regular education setting or class for Science & Social Studies. However, let’s all be honest. Science and Social Studies aren’t tested subjects. Sadly, they get little or no attention in the classroom. When we asked you what times these subjects were taught you added, “If we get to it.” When asked what materials my son would need for your class you said, ” Nothing, we will just give them a sheet or two.” Please just give him a chance. Let me be clear to you. I don’t care if he learns about Science or Social Studies. I don’t care if he can complete the endless parade of pointless worksheets set in front of him. What matters to me is that he gets the same chance that everyone else does to come into your room. I want him to have the chance to see how the “typical” kids work, talk, and play. I want him to have a chance to learn the classroom procedures. I want him to have a chance to make a friend. There is so much he or she could learn besides what is stated in the curriculum or printed on a worksheet. Things like respect, responsibility and empathy. Remember all the reasons you became a teacher? I want my son to have a chance to experience that with you. So please give him a chance.

Thank you, 
One Man v Autism