February 2008 Archives

Dear Readers, My great apologies for not having posted for more than a week and not posting much today. It's the start of testing season for teachers in Texas and since my work schedule follows much of theirs, it's a whirlwind for me as well. There have been some awesome comments written on the blog that I can't wait to respond to. Please use this blog as a place to foster dialogue, especially around closing the achievement gap and the work of new teachers. I'll be posting new (a lot of) content by this Friday so please stay tuned. In ...

At least 82 kids DIED from PLAYING the "choking game" over the past 12 years. That many children between 6 and 19 years old died from ENTERTAINING themselves with things we CANNOT limit, remove or ban from them. They caused their own deaths not necessarily because they wanted to, but because they wanted to get a "high." Among the many mind-boggling things to me about this is that we know so little about it. As a young, friendly and fun teacher, I thought I had a fairly strong pulse on student culture at the boarding school I taught at in ...

This is an eleventh-hour Valentine to the husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, children and others who adjust their plans so we may fulfill ours. This is a shout-out to my beloved. Education has its share of drawbacks. But educators are blessed with a profession that they can fulfill in any community; rural, urban, low-income or affluent, there is a place for you to give back to the world with your skill and knowledge. Alas, the same is not quite true for someone who is, say, a doctoral student studying civil conflict in the former Soviet Union. Moving to a town along ...

It is OK to leave the classroom. What is not OK, Dr. Philip Uri Treisman said, is if people are surprised you once were a teacher. Treisman, a renowned University of Texas math professor and leader of education equity, reminded and assured his audience of current and former teachers from their mid-20s to early-30s that our passion to close the achievement gap must course through us regardless of what we may choose to do. Because that's the reality, right? There are fewer "lifers" out there in any profession these days. Ten-year teaching veterans may decide to go into policy. Mid-career ...

Sure, there can be some awkward and inappropriate momentsthat come with being a teacher with a social networking account. But let's not forget about the wonderful parts. Like when students you worked with two and a half years ago friend you on your (respectable) MySpace page and write you email updates. Let's certainly not overlook the wonderfulness of realizing that your 8th graders have really grown up and that your work with them may have had a bit to do with it. And we definitely can't forget how trippy and awesome it is when they are mature enough to give ...


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