Doug Noon expresses skepticism about his district's adoption of a Response to Intervention framework for the new school year. What bothers him, from his veteran teacher's point of view, is the seeming prescriptiveness and detachment of the program: We were told that we’ll need to find some half-hour blocks where we can do “interventions” with groups of students who are not making adequate progress on the one-minute reading “fluency” tests, and that fidelity to any adopted programs will be critical to student success. This did not play well with veteran teaching staff who question the aims and practicality of ...


Maureen Downey of the Atlanta Journal—Constitution’s Get Schooled blog pondered why schools often keep teacher assignments a mystery, when a little information could go a long way to ease a parent’s mind. My system sends a letter in late July telling parents that their child has Mr. X or Ms. Y, but gives no other information. Since systems go to the expense and effort to write a letter to each parent and mail it, why not include something like: Timmy will have Mr. X, who comes to us from Elm Street School in Charlotte, N.C. where he ...


Eduwonk thinks concerns about the recession increasing class sizes, as raised by a recent an Associated Press are off base. In his view, schools should be more focused on teacher effectiveness: It’s actually a frustrating story because (a) there really isn’t much of a debate about whether class size matters more than teacher effectiveness, the research is clear it doesn’t, effectiveness matters more and (b) most districts pay little attention to effectiveness when they lay off teachers. Or much at all. Eduwonk concedes with the right teaching staff, smaller class sizes (less than 20 students) do have ...


Ferriter jumps into the gender-gap debate, saying that schools by their nature might well be rigged against boys. For many teachers, he charges, characteristically energetic and impulsive middle school boys are "walking disruptions to be dismissed and disciplined." And it only gets worse in high school: They spend more and more time sitting in one place listening quietly to teachers who are lecturing for hours on end, sending the subtle message that knowledge is held by those who are in charge. They either conform—pushing their energy and creativity to the side and beginning to believe that there is something ‘wrong’...


Attending an education-policy conference recently, Cindi Rigsbee was amazed at the disconnect between what policymakers and academics say about teachers and the work that teachers actually do on a day-to-day basis. In her words: "It didn't take me long to realize that there are very bright folks who don't really know what's going on in our schools." Part of the problem, she says, is that it's easier for big wigs to make blanket (negative) assumptions about teachers than to address other, perhaps more complex factors that influence students' academic performance. But Rigsbee also thinks that teachers do a poor job ...


Tweenteacher takes a humorous yet not altogether farfetched look at what happens behind closed classroom doors on testing day. OK, so the day of the test, I walk down to the farthest place on the other side of the world and pick up a box that has all my testing materials in it, signing away my firstborn should I lose a pencil. I walk into my classroom, and at the bell there soon appears my testing group that consists of 36 students I’ve never seen before. Students, you see, are not necessarily assigned to classrooms they’ve ever been ...


This past weekend, Ryan of I Thought a Think decided to take to the numbers and analyze actual testing data to determine the “Most Valuable Teacher” from a group of four 1st grade teachers. He stumbled upon a problem pretty quickly: he ended up finding different points of statistical analysis that qualified all four teachers as the “winner.” Teacher A’s class experienced the highest rise in scores during the year, while Teacher C’s class’ average score trumped the rest, and Teacher B and D earn their keep by raising their students above state-standard lines. The varying outcomes led ...


Mr. McNamar grapples with the question of how to teach English effectively in his blog, The Daily Grind. He bravely declares his shortcomings, detailing his perceived inability to help a student with still-developing writing skills. Writing instruction continues to be a weakness in my skill set. I have great confidence that I can take a student who writes well, and guide them towards truly effective writing — or what I call refinement. Taking a student whose skills are still in the development stage and moving them towards a higher level of communication, that's where I struggle. I can point out a student's...


With the Education Department reportedly planning to change the name of the No Child Left Behind law, Nancy Flanagan says she's still working on a recommendation, but is pretty sure it will include the word "investment." Nations whose systemic education results are uniformly impressive invest continuously in people. And we should, too. No euphemisms, but lots of hard work. Meanwhile, we can all take solace in the fact that the department has decided to get rid of the NCLB-branded plastic red-schoolhouse entranceway to its headquarters--which, as Flanagan memorably puts it, "looks like someone grafted a Bob Evans" onto the building. ...


D.C. teacher Mr. Potter reports that several teachers at his school recently received termination notices (as part of an apparent year-end district purge). While he says he questions some of the decisions, he suggests that teachers in general are too quick to proclaim rank injustice and civic tragedy at the news of teacher firings: Sometimes people get fired. Sometimes, your boss doesn't think you're doing a good job, and so you lose it. Sometimes this happens. Usually, the person deserves it. Sometimes, he/she maybe doesn't deserve to be fired, but still wasn't performing very well. Rarely is the ...


Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • rick: The implication are if a State doesn't require keyboarding mastery read more
  • Jess: My high school History teacher once got onto this subject read more
  • Mister Teacher: OK, OK, you got me Julie. My master plan has read more
  • Julie: Cutting and pasting to make flip books for classroom decorations read more
  • michelle: I'm glad that you got "all but five" back. And read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Tags