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May 31, 2018

Who Do You Picture When You Think of a Leader?

Nobody's more pragmatic than a would-be teacher leader who knows that taking on leadership roles means expanding the workload. More to the point, teacher leaders understand that the only definition of leadership that matters in education world is keeping one's promises. Getting stuff--the right stuff--done. Gender is irrelevant, they'll tell you.

May 11, 2018

The Grinch Who Stole Teacher Appreciation Week

It's time we asked ourselves just who gets 'appreciated' once a year--and whose work is considered vital, essential and fully professional year-round, with no need for annual symbolic gestures. There's something about Teacher Appreciation Week that smacks of a pat on the head for being willing to go the distance without adequate compensation or support.

April 10, 2018

Suffering Teachers Can't Be Good Teachers

Teacher walkouts are the ultimate outcome of wringing every drop of energy, patience and creative juice out of a well-meaning workforce.

March 16, 2018

Sing On, Children! How the Arts Help Social Movements Take Flight

An urgent call to teach our children this: Making and appreciating art that reflects our collective joys and sorrows is part of what it means to be human. Art helps human movements and causes take flight.

February 16, 2018

Every Day We Fail to Take Action, We Choose This Fate

We live in a country that turns its back on our very future: our public schools, the precious children who attend them, and the teachers who sacrifice their energy, spirit and personal resources to keep these children safe and growing.

January 22, 2018

Should Teachers Invite Policymakers Into Their Classrooms?

In my teaching career, I have had more than the usual number of opportunities to have outsiders (including media, education organizations, researchers and, yes, legislators) visit my classroom. And I can testify that most visitors don't come to learn something new from an hour or two walking in the teacher's shoes. They come with an agenda.

December 31, 2017

Teacher in a Strange Land: The Best and Worst of 2017

Angst is not what teachers, parents and school leaders are looking for in their op-ed/blog reading. Inspiration, perhaps—or confirmation that their observations and ideas are shared. Thoughts about coping, adapting, revising—it's what teachers do, and have always done. But this has been an extraordinary year. The entire realm of education policy is up for grabs (and grabs is the correct word).

July 20, 2017

The Many Ways We Are De-Professionalizing Teaching

The policy goal here is de-professionalizing teaching, establishing it once and for all as a short-term, entry-level technical job designed to attract a revolving door of "community-minded" candidates, who will work diligently for cheap, then get out because they can't support a family or buy a home on a teacher's salary.

February 21, 2017

Advice for New Teachers: Bring About Change

"New teachers: Don't stop speaking up when others may discount your thoughts, or make you feel as if you are too new to know any better."

January 12, 2017

Students: You're the Reason I Come to School Every Day

School talk today is generally around rigorous content and 21st-century skills and how we can measure those to make schools accountable. There is, however, a much more powerful, if subtle, set of factors that makes going to school worthwhile for both students and teachers.

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The opinions expressed in Teacher in a Strange Land are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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