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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.

May 02, 2018

Are the Reading Wars 'Settled Science'?

I certainly hope there's never a rigid, unchanging agreement on the One Best Way to teach people of any age to read. All scholarly disciplines should undergo regular re-assessment, as research reshapes knowledge. There are still classrooms in the United States, after all, where evolution is not settled science.

April 20, 2018

What Feeds Bias in the Education World?

I'm not naïve enough to think that schools could turn hearts and minds in a K-12 generation. But could they do significant good, given the right tools and incentives?

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.

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.

February 09, 2018

What Is a 'Quality' Curriculum?

Using a range of materials, and, more important, creating hands-on experiences and interactions with big ideas within a discipline, helps students construct and apply knowledge.

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).

November 30, 2017

Are Schools Responsible for Teaching Boys to Respect Girls?

There isn't a teacher in America who has been able to avoid what happens on CNN or Fox News--children bring their families' values into the classroom. And the easiest path for educators is to reproduce the cultural norms of the communities where they teach. But maybe these past few days represent a sea change in national thinking about gender inequality.

September 08, 2017

Do Perks for Teachers Compromise Their Integrity?

Schools and teachers are the objects of commerce and policy, not co-creators or idea-generators or genuine partners. We get "gifts" from business, if we are producing what they need.

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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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