January 2007 Archives

When I got home from work on January 23, there was an open letter on the table near the door. From NBPTS and dated January 9, it said I hadn’t submitted the required forms to confirm my eligibility. If I didn’t do so by January 31, I was out of luck. As in, not a candidate this year. My first response, of course, was to yell toward the kitchen, in the general direction of my wife: “Didn’t you SEE this? This is serious! (yadda, yadda, yadda).” She calmly explained that she’d only opened it earlier that ...

It’s true that I said, “It’s all about the money,” and also wondered whether or not the NBPTS process might have a negative impact on my teaching this year, as reported in Michael Alison Chandler’s Washington Post Jan 22 article about the National Board, “Teachers Tackle Their Own Extra Credit.” Unfortunately, Ms. Chandler failed to mention anything else I said during our recent hour-long phone interview. She took my comments out of context, successfully offering me up as a grumbling cynic in counterpoint to the smiling super teacher in the article and accompanying photo, a Loudon educator ...

On to Entry Three, “Instructional Analysis: Small Groups.” This time, my faithful Hum partner Jen filmed me as I checked in with kids working in small groups of 3-6 on a creative project called “3 D Posters.” The purpose of the assignment was to compare structure and other aspects of text and context of “Western” and non-Western works of literature in order to draw conclusions about the authors’ worldviews and aesthetic principles. In support of our year-long canoe project, the works being compared are James Michener’s Chesapeake and Native American author N. Scott Momoday’s The Way to Rainy ...

Tuesday is the last meeting of a graduate course I teach for GMU called “The Teaching of Writing.” This farewell class will take place at a local pub and feature a “readaround” where we’ll share and respond to pieces developed in workshop that are collated in a class anthology, titled (by class vote) Tuesdays with Emmet. The course, for teachers of grades K-high school and any subject, was based on an established writing project model. For 15 weeks, 23 colleagues and I met weekly to hear presentations from other teachers about some aspect of the teaching of writing; to ...

When we last left our hero he was dangling over a vat of boiling eggnog fiddling with a utility belt that had suddenly grown a couple of notches too small over the holidays. We now return to our regularly scheduled program, in which said hero makes his escape by completing the task of listing three factoids about the ninth grade class he videotaped in the media center that relate to the remaining five standards pertinent to Entry Two. The taped lesson that is the basis for my “whole group instruction” entry has me giving kids a mini-lesson on database research ...


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