The Teacher in a Strange Land is moving. Not from this felicitous home at Teacher magazine--but literally. Out of a nice house, into a small apartment--and eventually, into our new log home in northern Michigan, the manifestation of a life-long dream. Blueprint Mania, Testing Angst and Teachers' (Impassioned) Letters to Obama are bubbling around me, and I'm stuck in the basement, boxing up books --books! so many books!--preparing for the obligatory garage sale, and sneezing--dust! so much dust! Packing up also means clearing out. I've spent many grubby hours pulling earnest, typewritten-on-onionskin term papers out of filing cabinets and ...
Do you have to be a good teacher--in the "mastery of instruction" sense--to be a teacher leader?
It shouldn't take a team of hip Harvard-based researchers and a $6.3 million payout to know that when you bribe kids, they'll generally do what you want them to do. Until you stop paying them, anyway.
Wondering about the value of individual silent reading during the school day? Meet Claudia Swisher of Oklahoma...
Is setting aside time for all students in a school to read a good idea, or a colossal waste of time? Is there more inherent value in transmission of subject-matter information by text than in getting lost in a ripping good story?
What would it look like to actually use the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers and other demonstrably talented teachers to reach our national education goals?
Seriously--what do teachers have to do to prove their dedication and their worth?
Is there a disconnect between being "good at math"--and being able to teach it well? Once again, it's about good instruction and useful curriculum.
Curriculum and instruction aren't as whiz-bang exciting as market-based reforms, but they're the key reasons why kids learn--or don't learn.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. Meet someone who can do that: Diane Ravitch.