January 2007 Archives

The Houston Chronicle has posted a much-linked-to article on the ever-expanding teacher blogosphere. Money quote: The number of blogs about "teaching" or "teachers" tracked by Technorati.com has jumped 10 percent in less than six months to nearly 950. LiveJournal, one of the most popular blogging sites, lists about 415 chat communities interested in teaching. (We actually would have guessed the Technorati number might be higher.) Among the reasons cited for the growth: In an education environment in which teachers feel they have less and less meaningful input, blogs give them a chance to air their opinions and frustrations. The ...


Hobo Teacher, in fine form, imagines a new form of letter of recommendation that could save on postage....


Prompted by a reader’s comment on the difficulty of teaching writing to today’s tech-infused students, language arts teacher Bill Ferriter of The Tempered Radical begins to wonder about the role of writing instruction in our increasingly digitized world. Maybe, he suggests, the students are on to something: Do you think that the definition of "writing correctly" is changing before our eyes? Could writing play a smaller role in the lives of future generations as technology makes video a more and more accessible--and influential--form of media and communication? Do we already see that transition playing out in the exploding ...


Here's something to get your week off to a good start: From the TFA Trenches features an inspiring story of a student with learning disabilities who finally achieves some success in math class after a lot of hard work by him and his teacher....


Undertaking a somewhat random—but still amusing—thought experiment, Mister Teacher of Learn Me Good considers what life would be like if teachers were treated like professional basketball stars. Among his findings: If we slipped and fell down on the job, someone would immediately rush out to wipe up our sweat, instead of just pointing and laughing. It's certainly something to consider next time contract negotiations come around....


Mr. Lawrence of Goodbye, Mr. Chips claims he has found "hard evidence" in a veteran teacher's records that students' "academic abilities are slipping."...


The high school math teacher at Three Standard Deviations to the Left shares his frustration that many of his seniors haven’t been able to pick up their new course textbooks from the school library because—despite his reminders—they still haven’t returned their books from last semester. When he overhears two of the negligent students talking about their Christmas vacations—one got an iPod, the other took a trip to New Zealand—his frustration grows and takes aim at parents: Parents, when teachers say we would like parental support, we don't mean that you have to come to ...


Mr. AB, the blogger at From the T.F.A. Trenches, just spent an evening typing up an "honest to goodness" lesson plan. It's not that he doesn't usually plan—he does. But usually, he plans in a manner than works for him—not in a manner that's suitable for evaluation. And it's his looming evaluation that's spurred him to produce his "real" lesson plan: We are expected to do things for the purpose of evaluation that are entirely impractical to expect a regular basis. The result is a process far more akin to artistic performance than professional assessment...we...


The waning days of 2006 and a vacation from school (actual time for introspection!) inspired some education bloggers to consider their teaching-related resolutions for 2007. These ranged from the specific (Epiphany in Baltimore resolved to grade papers more quickly) to the general (Lady Strathconn resolved simply to try harder at everything) to the sarcastic (TeacherTalk's Erica Jacobs resolved to "be a beacon of light in fulfilling all administrative tasks such as creating innovative, common lesson plans that will not only be fun and engaging to students but will guarantee a 10% increase in their standardized test scores.") Jacobs also argued ...


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