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May 17, 2017

What Happens When a Student Is Put Out of Class?

When I leave school to go home, I often see an older man who just sits on the broken part of a guard-rail next to the street. Cars crawl by during rush hour, but he is too tired to even beg for change anymore. He just sits. Put out. Like the trash. I wonder: When was he first put out? Where was he first put out? Will he ever come back? Who will be there for him when he returns?

May 10, 2017

Lessons From an Addict: What Teachers Really Need to Grow

"The researchers in this report did something about as rare as seeking advice from a drug addict: they asked effective teachers. Because of this outside-the-box methodology, the report makes common-sense recommendations that may seem obvious to teachers, but that are often not in place at schools and districts."

May 03, 2017

What I Want From My Next Teaching Job

My best times as a teacher, as a learner, the best things that have ever happened in and around my room, have happened with groups who were not racially homogenous..As a White teacher, I can say unequivocally that having a classroom that centers the voices of People of Color is crucial to good teaching.

April 19, 2017

Fighting for the Dreamers in and Out of the Classroom

There are some moments as a teacher that just never leave you. They remain burned into memory like still photos. These images have stories that all elicit their own emotions, varying widely from invigorating and awe-inspiring to sad and demoralizing. Amid news that a DACA protected student was just deported, I am reminded of one of the single bravest acts performed by one of my students: disclosing his undocumented status to the entire class.

April 13, 2017

When Teachers Believe Their Work Is Never Enough

There is a difference between critiquing and attacking yourself. Instead of letting negative thoughts pervade your day and contribute to self-doubt, harness them as a conduit for improvement. See failure as feedback, not the world's confirmation that you are substandard.

April 11, 2017

Who Cares About Questioning Strategies?

I get goose bumps seeing what children think and do when we provide them with a space for inquiry. Their questions often provide a springboard to real rigor and deeper learning.

March 21, 2017

Spring Break and the Equinox of Student Engagement

When it comes to engaging young people, DJs behind their turntables can teach educators a thing or two, especially during Spring Break.

February 23, 2017

What Happens to Teacher Leadership When the Money Runs Out?

This is the miracle of teacher leadership. When done right and when teachers are nurtured in an environment that is safe, where risks and mistakes and encouraged, we begin to trust one another and cooperate to achieve more than we could on our own.

February 13, 2017

Love and Teaching: A Transformational Connection

What may be most absent from the education reform conversation is a focus on the love of teaching itself. Not a love of the public schools versus charter schools. Not a love of one political perspective over another. Not a love of one solution at the expense of another.

February 09, 2017

What to Do When the Next Awful Thing Happens

I don't know what happened yesterday, but I can promise you it will make its way into my classroom tomorrow. It will be carried in on the shoulders of my students, on the faces of my coworkers. It will be broadcast on the radio on my drive in, showcased on my laptop screen during lunch.

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