The math teacher-blogger at Three Standard Deviations to the Left has been reading up on a recent National Council of Teachers of Mathematics expo, and felt so inspired by the edu-babel he found in descriptions of the conference sessions that he's creating a set of Bingo cards for his own school's staff development meetings. His Bingo buzzword list starts with "accessible," "achievement gap," and "action plan" and goes all the way down to "vouchers." See the whole list here. Bingo!...


Ms. C, a first-year teacher in Brooklyn, describes a "pretty nasty scramble" she got into last week with "6 foot student who refuses to take his medication." Nasty indeed: She's posted a photo of the sizable bruise that was left on her arm. Perhaps more troubling, however, was her school's response: "the assistant principal ... agreed to suspend the student," she writes, "but told me I should have said something sooner."...


That's the question Mr. Lawrence, the blogger at Get Lost, Mr. Chips, wants to answer. Mr. Lawrence is a pretty much full-time substitute teacher, and he's curious how his pay stacks up with that of other subs around the country. (We're curious, too.) So Mr. Lawrence is conducting a nonscientific-but-interesting survey about substitute teacher pay scales.Check out his blog and contribute: What do subs make in your school district? Do you think it's adequate?...


Nancy Flanagan thinks career-changers have much to contribute to the teaching profession, but she objects to the view held by some that teaching is a kind of "missionary work," or an altruistic stint akin to the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders. Despite its idealism, Flanagan says, that attitude ultimately doesn't do the profession any good: When we portray teaching as a starter job, an interesting thing to do before graduate school or after retirement, a particular form of occupational charity, we marginalize both its intellectual challenge and its social impact. Teaching should never be seen as a step-down career, ...


Always thinking outside the box, TMAO of Teaching at the 408 uses California's test-score data to track the correlation between student achievement and school names. Somebody notify the Education Department: It looks like a lot of our problems could be solved if we just named more schools after John Muir....


Sam of clean up on aisle life recalls the time, nearly three years ago, when she first moved to New York to take a teaching job as part of an alternative-certification program: I did not have a place to live, did not yet know what graduate school I had placed in, and had no idea where I would be working. ... During those [first] six weeks, I ate every single meal in my car while slowly making my way down the LIE or the BQE. I lived completely out of a suitcase because the girl I was subletting from left all ...


Techno-educator Dan McDowell of A History Teacher reports on the recent launch of TeacherTube—a YouTube look-alike that's devoted exclusively to educational videos. Teachers can use the site to upload professional development videos and projects created in their classes, as well as to view, download, and comment on other educators' videos. The expectation is that noneducational and inappropriate videos will be "flagged" by users and removed from the site. For McDowell, the great advantage of TeacherTube is that, unlike YouTube, it's not blocked by his school. But he notes that its success will depend on whether it can attract a critical...


Renee Moore of TeachMoore voices skepticism about statistical attempts, often key to performance-pay plans, to measure the "value added" by a particular teacher to a student's achievement level: This concept denies the cumulative aspect of education. It ignores the truth that multiple factors impact the learning and retention of that learning among students. ... Moreover, students develop and mature as learners over time. A student may have been introduced to a concept or skill in 6th grade, had it reinforced in different ways by different teachers over several years, then in 10th or 11th grade that concept [seemingly] suddenly took root ...


Ms. Frizzle, a New York science teacher currently on a fellowship in Turkey (and blogging under the name Ögretmen), responds to a New York Times article on the difficulty of working with middle school children. She believes there are compensations: As someone who chose to teach middle school and has stayed committed to the age group for seven years, I’d be the first to admit that every day can feel like a series of soap operas whirling around me. Teaching middle school has quadrupled my patience—and I am still not patient enough some days—but it has also...


Blogger Mei Flower was pretty sure her 9th grade students couldn't follow directions, and with standardized tests looming, such a skill gap could spell disaster. So she designed some worksheets to test them: Circle the noun in each sentence that begins with a vowel. This is where it would become very important for them to read the directions, you see. And the last sentence was always this: Then, go on to the next section. Well, except the last section, in which I wrote this: Turn your paper over and draw a picture of a dog. Raise your hand when you ...


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