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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.

June 16, 2017

The War on Teachers and the End of Public Education

We have genuinely reached a tipping point, one where we're struggling to get young people to go into teaching as professional career (as opposed to two-year adventure before law school). Our state legislators are openly declaring that teaching is now a short-term technical job, not a career, and thus public school educators don't really need a stable state pension. That's not only a war on individual teachers, but a war on teaching itself.

June 01, 2017

Top of the High School Class? Not Good Enough!

There seems to be a social movement (or at least a book) suggesting that success in a professional career is not enough, that valedictorians are merely conformists, hard workers, even suck-ups, not the kinds of disruptive movers and shakers who change the world. But--should they be disrupters?

April 09, 2017

Misguided Things People Say About Public Schools

The unexamined national goal now seems to be a productive, compliant workforce, at the lowest cost, not an educated citizenry. Instead of building on our public education infrastructure, we talk about "failing schools," and bogus international testing data.

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."

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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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