The ever-amusing Hobo Teacher lays into a colleague when she suggests incorporating MySpace into English lesson plans. I'm going to suggest to our IT department to check the settings on our filtering software because Borrish had to have sent this e-mail back in 2004 when MySpace was relevant and we're just getting it now. Get with the times Borrish. I'm half-expecting a telegram from her about an idea she has about having the class read along to a phonograph recording of The Chambered Nautilus. Finally, let my own fuddy-duddiness come out here and point out that education is something that ...


Over at Mildly Melancholy, "J" does a point-by-point breakdown of a recent critique from a substitute teacher that was printed earlier this month in the New York Times. The substitute, who has spent her past two years subbing in classrooms one day a week, ripped full-time teachers for taking too many days off, not leaving lesson plans for subs, and complaining about how difficult their profession could be. That didn't sit too well with Mildly Melancholy. I agree, there are a lot of things that need to be fixed about education, teaching, teachers, curriculum, discipline, management, and schools. Substitutes are ...


Renee Moore wants teachers to reclaim formative assessment from the role of ongoing standardized test prep.


Are mean phys. ed teachers responsible for poor fitness later in life? Robert Pondiscio points to a study


Jay Mathews recites an anecdote from a former colleague about her children's teachers neglecting simple internet resources for their students over at The Washington Post's Class Struggle blog.


Jay Mathews of The Washington Post suggests one innovative way to reduce standardized testing loads for stressed students: Shorten the tests. Terry Paul, co-founder with his wife Judi of Renaissance Learning, Inc., gave me recently a draft of a short paper he has written suggesting a way to reduce the strain of state testing under the No Child Left Behind Act, or whatever replaces it. He says we should emulate the tests his company's Accelerated Reader program gives to ensure students understand books they have read. That means making the tests short, maybe as little as 15 minutes. This idea ...


Mark at The Elementary Educator asks when schools will make netbooks required materials, much like calculators for a math class, or gym shoes for gym class. Here's another comparison: in the elementary school in which I teach, students are required to keep a separate pair of gym shoes in their lockers at all times (except when in use). Judging by the looks of the shoes that students bring in, I'm sure many of these pairs of shoes cost $30-$50 or more. When the price of netbooks drops to around $99 (especially with the school getting a discount due to ...


Mei Flower may have reached a breaking point after receiving an e-mail from her principal that appeared to be an advertisement passed off as research regarding testing. Its main message seemed to be, "See, you guys, I TOLD YOU that taking a practice ACT every week doesn't hurt the educational process!" I almost had an aneurysm right there on my classroom floor and, in fact, I'm still so angry right now that I am pounding these keys like I WANT to pound our curriculum director. This year, due to new unnecessary "reforms" made by this man, my job is ruining ...


Elona asks "what's the point of high school?" over at Teachers at Risk. What's the point of high school anyway? Over the years I've often wondered that, and I'm a high school teacher. I used to think I knew but the longer I teach the less sure I am. I've been told that high school is supposed to prepare kids. Prepare them for what- work, college, university, life??? It seems that my purpose as a teacher in 2009 is getting students to pass grade nine so they can go to grade ten so they can go to grade 11 etc. ...


In the holiday shopping spirit, Richie introduces a three-step teacher regimen to cure all ails in the classroom....


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