"I believe that one of the reasons my framework has become so widely accepted is that it gives voice to what all educators know, that teaching is very complex work, it's a thinking person's job and you cannot follow a cookbook." Charlotte Danielson What makes good teaching? Critics and reformers believe it is something that can be quantified, replicated and packaged. They also believe that given the right textbooks or high stakes exam, educators can be made to teach in the same way which will bring equality to the classroom, and therefore all students will succeed. After all, can't we ...


"Communication doesn't have to mean reinventing the wheel." Typically, most administrators spent time as a classroom teacher. Some of them may have taught for two or three years, while others may have taught for a decade or more. For a variety of reasons they decided to leave the classroom in order to lead a building, and many had the much larger dream to move to the central office so they could help lead a district. As the years pass by and administrators get further away from their career as a classroom teacher, they run the risk of forgetting what it ...


"The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day." Todd Whitaker Educators have read a great deal of philosophical literature in their careers. They are inundated with it at the college level, and many educational books on the market focus on it as well. As much as philosophy is important, educators really need practical information that they can use at the classroom or building level. When I became a principal, I went from teaching elementary school in a small city school to being a building ...


"Don't be so busy looking for problems that you forget to notice improvements." Todd Whitaker. Turn on the television for a moment. Listen carefully to the conversations and interactions of the adults that are on the program you are watching. If you passively listen as you finish chores around the house you may not be aware of the disturbing amount of negativity that we are exposed to. Actively listen to some news programs and reality television, and you should find yourself concerned about the amount of fighting and blaming that is constantly being thrown at viewers. The Love Boat used ...


Today's guest blog is written By Michael Albertson. Michael is a music teacher in large high school in New York City Educators in urban settings deal with unique challenges not necessarily faced by their colleagues in less-populated areas. This is not to say that working in a city school is more "noble"; all teachers face difficult situations and work to provide their students with the best possible education. However, it is likely that teachers in urban areas will have large classes comprised of a diverse group of students. It is the responsibility of these educators to create classrooms that allow ...


It doesn't matter whether you teach in a suburban, urban, or rural school setting, we are seeing many students enter school with diverse academic, social, and economic needs. Perhaps they have a vocabulary or language deficit that puts them behind their peers, or they lack the maturity that allows them to fit in socially; schools have been playing the role of caregiver and educator in the lives of children for decades. Given all of the student needs that schools are seeing, in addition to all of the new mandates with the common core standards, evaluation and high-stakes testing, are colleges ...


"And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces" (Terrence Mann AKA James Earl Jones). There is something special about watching a Saturday afternoon football game. A few weeks ago I happened to turn on the Michigan State University versus Notre Dame football game. For full disclosure, my family and friends will be as surprised as I am that I would focus on football. I never played football but I did attend some games in high school. Cross ...


Facebook, as well as Twitter, are great social networking tools for adults and teenagers. It allows for everyone to connect in a variety of ways. Although it can be a useful tool for home and schools, there are advantages and disadvantages of using Facebook and Twitter as well. As we go further through the 21st century, we are all still learning more and more about ourselves and the world around us through the lens that social networking offers us. It does seem as though the pressure is on to have more and more friends, and many of those that accept ...


"There has been a dramatic increase in marketing to kids in the last 15 or 20 years! Billions of dollars are now spent by corporations to market to the special 'target' group called children." Nancy Carlsson-Paige There are times as I get older that I think I am becoming less patient with society. As I flip through television stations I am less likely to find something I like to watch. All of the shows seem to be "reality" in nature and those reality shows seem to promote anger, promiscuity, and fighting. They also happen to be on earlier and earlier ...


"Children have the greatest chance of reaching their potential and becoming positive members of the school community if schools treat parents as partners" (Wood, 2011, p.98). We all want to help our children be successful at school. No one wants to see their child struggle, because it leads to frustration and anger. Sometimes if a child struggles, it can lead to a sense of failure and negative attitudes about school which leads to disengagement. During these times of increased mandates due to NCLB and the pressure of high stakes testing, the home-school partnership is more important than ever. Parents ...


The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt's Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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