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January 13, 2012

Tune-Ups and Teachable Moments

Children are not supposed to be perfect all the time. Adults certainly aren't! When I was in seventh grade I had to go to the principal's office. My early teenage brain had gotten the best of me and I was rude to a teacher, which is something that did not please my mom and I heard about it when I...

January 11, 2012

Learning From Our Mistakes

"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from." Al Franken Lately, I have been thinking a lot about our present state of affairs; wheth...

January 08, 2012

The Benefits of Failure

When looked at correctly, failure can teach us where we went wrong in the first place, and how we can learn to pick ourselves up again in a pursuit to succeed. We seem to have a problem with failure in America. Not in the sense that everyone is failing, but more in the way that failure is seen as ...

December 27, 2011

What Has Happened to Common Sense?

We chase who we want to be without ever taking time to figure out who we are. Educators are bombarded with the "best" "new and improved" ideas in education on a daily basis. Everyone who has a blog (including me) has an idea of how teachers should teach and students should learn. That's not a bad...

December 12, 2011

Separation, Divorce & The Child in the Middle

Children who are caught in the middle may be resilient and make it through the situation positively, but all too often children feel it is their fault that their parents cannot even meet in the same room. Separation and divorces happen frequently. Contrary to popular opinion, households that expe...

November 30, 2011

Poverty Matters

"It's no cop-out to acknowledge the effects of socioeconomic disparities on student learning. Rather, it's a vital step to closing the achievement gap." Richard Rothstein In our present economic climate, where it seems that politicians are completely disconnected from the people who voted for them...

November 24, 2011

Catcher's Mitt

Later on, I found my niche. It wasn't baseball; it was school, and running and art and music. Dad and Mom had taught me that life is special. It doesn't always work out the way you want--sometimes it works out better. A few years ago I wrote a story entitled Catcher's Mitt for Grief Digest. Unfort...

November 15, 2011

Four Day Weeks OR Extended Days: Where's the Equity?

Recently there was a story in Education Week entitled Push is On to Add Time to School Day, Year (Fleming). Some schools are adding time to their school day and school year. If done correctly, this will allow teachers the time to focus on great instructional tools like Project-Based Learning (PBL) ...

November 08, 2011

The Issue of School Climate: A Conversation with Jonathan Cohen

"Educators are now used to data being used as a hammer rather than a flashlight." Jonathan Cohen On Saturday morning I went out to breakfast at a small café near my home in Albany, NY. When I was sitting at the high top table waiting for my order, I overheard two older men talking about bullying....

November 03, 2011

Robert Doesn't Fit In

Most days, Robert walks into his elementary school with his head down. It's not that he doesn't like his teacher or school, it's just that is how he likes to walk. Students quickly walk past him on the sidewalk and the hallway because he walks so slow. They smile, laugh and talk with one another as...

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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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