Hobo Teacher's English class is interrupted when two students come by selling candy to raise money for an after-school club. He's had it: Seriously, why not put my class in a washateria? It would be less distracting. ... Better yet, how about you give me one of those kiosks in the middle of the mall. That way kids can get on with their daily commerce, and I can hustle some education the best I can. It’s not like I haven’t taken a backseat already....


On the political site Talking Points Memo, economist and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich asks why we're bailing out Wall Street investment banks but not public schools: It's absurd. We¹re bailing out every major bank to get financial capital flowing again. But we¹re squeezing the main sources of our nation's human capital. ... Don't get me wrong: I¹m not saying funding is everything when it comes to education. Obviously, accountability is critical. But without adequate funding we can¹t attract talented people into teaching, or keep class sizes small enough to give kids a real ...


Doug Johnson questions the purpose of rankings and awards in the edublogosphere. Of all people, he says, educators should know that extrinsic-reward systems can be counterproductive: As Alfie Kohn’s classic book Punished by Rewards: The Trouble With Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’S, Praise, and Other Bribes (Houghton Mifflin, 1993) demonstrates, rewards can punish those who do not receive them; rewards can rupture relationships between students and between students and teachers; rewards ignore the reasons for a desired behavior; and rewards can discourage risk-taking. But the single most devastating conclusion he draws from his research is that rewards can ...


As North Carolina's Teacher of the Year, Cindi Rigsbee has logged 8,000 miles on her state-provided Toyota Prius. And she's gotten at least one complaint to the "How am I driving?" 800 number on the back of the car....


Ms. H. of Molding Young Minds welcomes her students back from Thanksgiving break with some serious tough love....


Robert Pondiscio at The Core Knowledge Blog has some suggestions for a California calculus teacher who is offering product placement on student tests to cover printing expenses that were shaved from his school's budget. The cost to place an ad is nominal--$10 on a quiz, $20 on the chapter test, and $30 for one on the final--and he's made more than enough to cover his printing costs and to help others in his department. But Mr. Pondiscio says teachers shouldn't stop there. Just about every elementary school teacher has taught probability or graphing using a packet of M&Ms. ...


Ron Isaac of edwize is a big Thanksgiving fan. For Mr. Isaac it is the holiday teachable moment in America—all about family harmony and absent of corporate corruption. He goes on the record to all-but-declare its holiday perfection. Thanksgiving Day stands alone among American holidays. Its inspiration is timeless and universal and it lends itself to teaching across all curriculums and cultures. There’s nothing about that holiday that is irksome to anybody regardless of national, political, or religious ideology. And its original meaning has not been eroded by entrepreneurs or braggarts of any stripe. Thanksgiving Day is about ...


The teachers in Tim Stahmer’s school district have been getting lots of email reminders lately that their budget is going to take a hit as the economy continues to slide. While this is certainly going to create serious problems, Stahmer doesn’t know if it will be all bad. Ok, so no one’s getting a raise, class sizes will be increased, an assortment of programs will be scaled back or cut, and we’re certainly not going to be buying new technology. However, I’m wondering if that last part might not be an opportunity. Stahmer says that ...


Dennis Fermoyle of In the Trenches of Public Ed sees a potential glimmer of hope in America’s dire economic situation: better student performance. In his experience, students work harder in school when they’re concerned about their future employment. Fermoyle used to teach in a town where students were all but guaranteed good employment after high school working for the taconite companies, the town’s main industry. I remember asking one mediocre student, who I thought had some talent, why he didn't try harder. He turned to me and said, "Why should I? [After I graduate] I'll be making ...


Some students at Hobo Teacher's high school have taken up illicit bicycle jousting (using other kids' bikes, no less). HT's not exactly wild about the idea that teachers are now expected to intervene: They want me to go up against savages who have used their wits to arm themselves with vehicles for destruction. What is this? Mad Max? Tina Turner was right; we don’t need another hero....


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