August 2012 Archives

In August 2011, shortly after I had written my first blog, I was asked to do a radio interview on teacher voice. Rae Pica of the BAM! Network, an online radio station devoted to education, contacted me saying she loved my post and thought I could offer listeners a valuable perspective on teachers speaking up in their schools. I thought, I've written one good blog—does that make me an expert on teacher voice? Pica was persistent with her praise, so I slowly agreed. Then she told me that I would be one of four commentators, including author and education...


Most lovers of children's literature know the tear-jerking, classic teacher-student memoir by Patricia Polacco entitled Thank You, Mr. Falker. It's tells of Polacco's battle with low self-esteem because at age nine she still could not read, and the persistent teacher who diagnosed her dyslexia. Thank you, Mr. Falker. Just look at your little Patricia now! If I were to write a children's book, I'd have my own teacher to thank, though the story line would be more bitter than sweet. Unlike Mr. Falker, my second grade teacher, Mrs. White, told me that I was dumb. She yelled at me—at all...


I probably look like a terrible teacher. I took three days off work on the first week of school (for teachers) to go on vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Not to mention, I left my husband and two children at home. It helps to know that one of my student's parents is sponsoring the trip. The trip was actually her gift to me. She told me during the final parent conference of last school year that she would be attending a corporate meeting in Cancun, which came with an all-expense trip for a guest. And guess who she asked to join ...


I recently read a Salon article by Michael Lind stating that the failure of the American public school system is just a myth perpetrated by education reformers to justify school vouchers and charter schools. I laughed—before realizing he was serious. The article asserts that white suburban children actually score the highest on the international assessments—rivaling the coveted student achievement of Finland and South Korea. The article blames 35 percent of our student population—poor blacks and Latinos—for pulling down our otherwise stellar scores, making America's ranking plummet. Lind writes: "If you look at the facts, then,...


Today marks my 50th blog and my one-year anniversary as a writer for Education Week Teacher. Though I'm new to the blogosphere, I'm not untested. I've seen my share of hate mail; had three different men live with me on my page (guest bloggers); and I've even been accused of having "fans." Life is strange. This time last year, I was a cyber-shy, ultra-private teacher. I had practically begged my editor at Ed Week not to make me post my picture on the blog. Although I've used the same photo for the past 50 blogs, that headshot now has Facebook ...


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