Eight grade teacher Ariel Sacks fears that she has failed, due partly to the day-to-day pressures of teaching, to cultivate a genuinely responsive learning community in her classroom: I succumbed to many of the ills of the factory model system of schooling over the last few months. Even though I design my curriculum to bring out the voices of my students, I've failed to address things they've said or done to one another that jeopardize our community. On the surface, I always respond to inappropriate behavior, but on the deeper level I've failed. I've committed a great sin of teaching--being ...


Will Richardson explains that, in the not too distant future, reading will no longer be considered a solitary pursuit. It's a shift in literacy, he suggests, that teachers need to be attuned to--and can perhaps take advantage of. He also points to a good place to start....


Scott McLeod announces the creation of blogtweetcook.com, a wiki on which educators who blog and use twitter can share recipes. OK then ... (P.S. At first I was assuming that by recipes he meant blogging or twittering strategies or best practices. But he means actual recipes. There's one in there for banana muffins.)...


Like many ed-studies graduate students, Robert Pondiscio of the Core Knowledge Blog read Brazilian theorist Paolo Freire’s canonical book Pedagogy of the Oppressed in school. The work—which opposes the “banking” concept of teaching—has long been held up as a must-read for educators, but a recent City Journal article by Sol Stern has Pondiscio thinking about why that is. Sol Stern examines the curious case of Freire and asks how his “derivative, unscholarly book about oppression, class struggle, the depredations of capitalism, and the need for revolution ever gets confused with a treatise on education that might help ...


Testing week just wrapped up in the Washington, D.C., public schools, an experience that convinced Mr. Potter of Harry Potter and the Urban School Nightmare that, “the real problem with education reform is not the kids, it's the adults.” Among the events that transpired: school administrators decided that 10th graders at the school would do math and reading prep all day, every day for the entire month of April; a parent sent allowed her kid to go on a two-week vacation right in the middle of the semester; and a BBQ that was promised to students as a reward ...


Mister Teacher thinks it's wildly unfair that, on Texas' standardized exams, most students are not allowed to be given any assistance in reading the questions. In some cases, he argues, this means that knowledge of particular subject areas isn't what's being tested: So what it comes down to is that these kids are taking a series of reading tests. Some of them are ABOUT math or ABOUT science, but they don't strictly assess those subject areas as much as they assess whether or not the child can read the questions, some of which are highly complicated....


Happy birthday to Ariel Sacks of On the Shoulders of Giants, who just turned 30! That milestone has got her thinking about her career objectives. There are issues to consider like further schooling and earning a livable wage (tougher to do when you live in New York City). But most of all Sacks wants a position that doesn’t exist. I know what I really want—and I'd like it sooner than later. I want the opportunity to take on a hybrid role, where I would teach half a load and use the other half of my schedule for teacher ...


Can teaching really be a "fallback" career, as many people who’ve lost jobs in the private sector are hoping? What separates the good teachers from the not-so-good? The New York Times blog, Room for Debate, has gathered several worthy opinions on the subject from ed professionals. Here’s a sampling: Patrick Welsh, English teacher at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., and education writer: "The notion that anyone can teach is pure myth. No matter how much one may know or how altruistic one may be, some people are just temperamentally unsuited to teach and are toxic ...


As an educator, Nancy Flanagan is heartened by the much-e-mailed and -posted YouTube video of an ever- expanding collection of people dancing to "Do, Re, Mi" in Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium: Just watching it made me confident that we--the teaching profession--can make a convincing case that life is no good without imagination....


Travis of Stories From School reminds teachers that it’s important to get out of your classroom and into the faculty lounge sometimes. He gives three big reasons to visit the faculty lounge: CONNECTIONS—Nothing joins people together like talk of sports or Survivor, neither of which I like, but these interactions create continued connections that, in turn, create a sense of comfort. No need for a rope course to create a team. Go to the Faculty Room. COMFORT—Once the connections are made, comfort will set in. Some call this “team mentality” but I see it more as a ...


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