Why is it that when teachers become the learners, they are the worst students? How often during PD do teachers arrive late, leave early, talk above the speaker, scroll through Facebook, answer emails, and mindlessly doodle--anything to resist engagement? Many even exhibit overtly negative responses: eye-rolling, sighing, arm crossing, and flat out refusing requests by the presenter to participate. So often in professional development, it seems like no one is happy, no one is engaged, no one is learning.
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August 03, 2016
July 23, 2016
A quick licensing route perpetuates the misconception that "Anyone can teach." Lessening the requirements for an entry-level license degrades the professionalism of teaching and disrespects the rigor required to obtain a professional license. Instead of seeking temporary fixes, individual states should seriously investigate solutions that offer teaching as a sustainable career choice and do the hard work to keep skilled teachers on the job.
June 23, 2016
Most of us spend part of our day teaching young people how to get along, and be empathetic toward one another. And when we begin to speak out in broader ways, we do it hoping to make a positive impact and bring people together. As a result, we often find ourselves unprepared to be on the receiving end of someone else's harsh, personal criticism.
June 15, 2016
The end of each school year is the beginning of the next fresh start for all of us. It is our chance to begin anew, to re-write the playbook, and to get it more right next time. In this way, commencement is for teachers too.
June 09, 2016
Your worth as a baseball player doesn't come from your position; it comes from how you play it. It's true, you can stand out there for 18 innings and put in your time and think the world is unfair. Or you can move. You can back up third or second, you can gauge the batter and you can encourage your teammates. Standing is a choice. Moving is a choice.
May 18, 2016
I would describe our system as a spider web of interdependency, and I believe it will take transformation of almost every thread to rebuild it into a system that our kids not only deserve, but that our economy will need to continue to grow. There is no simple, cheap miracle fix that will bring about transformative change for the education profession and the American education system; the entire web needs to be re-woven.
April 20, 2016
America has always had a complicated relationship with its public schools. Stop 100 people at the mall and ask them about their child's teacher, and you will hear affection in the vast majority of responses. Dare to suggest that a small school close and merge with another school 10 miles away, and you will hear passionate loyalty. Yet we still perceive our national system to be inferior
April 07, 2016
A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to come to Washington DC and talk about innovative models for professional development that are cropping up around the country. I sat on a panel with a very distinguished education scholar from Harvard, two practicing teachers, and two principals; all of us engaged in re-imagining how professional development can and should be delivered to teachers. I shared the work I'm helping lead in Burbank to an audience of advocates, policy-builders, union leaders, educators, and non-profit organizers.
April 05, 2016
Before making any sweeping changes to education policy, I would want to know this: What do teachers think? Even better: What do our best teachers think?
March 07, 2016
In schools across the country, the décor of hearts and snowman is being replaced by shamrocks and rainbows as the winter blahs begin to melt with the rising temperatures. I often read leprechaun tales to my students in March, encouraging them to write what they would spend the pot of gold on or w...