Ariel Sacks, on the advice of a yoga teacher, has taken to practicing mindfulness in the classroom. It's interesting stuff: When we take the time to notice things, we are creating an opportunity for ourselves to illuminate the choices we make on a regular basis, some of which we may not even be aware. Lately, I've even been taking time to notice what I notice. Do I take as much time to notice the progress one student makes, or how well a lesson went, as I do berating myself about a student who was messing around period 4? How I ...


Amid all the talk about firing ineffective teachers, award-winning educator Renee Moore argues that the real cause of poor achievement in schools might just be "ill-conceived administrative restrictions": It sounds paradoxical that those charged with being educational leaders in their buildings or districts may actually be impediments to quality instruction, but that is a truth many of us in the field have to deal with daily. She notes that, faced with clueless one-size-fits-all mandates and inconsistent policies, even accomplished teachers find they often have to resort to subterfuge to do their jobs in way they know they need to. She ...


Will Fitzhugh, editor of the Concord Review, warns against placing processes and skills above content knowledge in literacy instruction, saying that, in the manner of kudzu, they will "choke attention to the reading of complete books and the writing of serious academic papers by the students in our schools." On the Core Knowledge blog, teacher Diana Senechal seconds him and chides those who think they can have it both ways (i.e., by combining a skills-based instructional emphasis with meaningful content): Process does replace content when it is accorded the highest place on the scale of values. To put process ...


In preparation for a future project, we've been doing some reading recently on so-called 21st-century skills, so this story about an art teacher in Louisiana who teaches students how to draw from the right (non-verbal) side of the brain caught my eye. The idea, according to the teacher, Paulette Purser, is to get the students to slow down in their representational drawings and examine problems from different perspectives. This ultimately helps them become better problem-solvers, she says—one of the key 21st-century skills, incidentally. Several times during the course of a class Purser will reportedly exhort her students to slow...


A geometry teacher in Jefferson County, Ala., was paid a visit by the Secret Service after he reportedly attempted to elucidate a lesson on parallel lines and angles by illustrating where one would need to be positioned in order to shoot President Obama. The secret service did not find a "credible threat," and the teacher is not expected to be placed on leave or be terminated—though he is apparently going to get a good talking-to. "We are going to have a long conversation with him about what's appropriate," the district's superintendent said. "It was extremely poor judgment on his ...


Education bloggers react to the news that a Rhode Island is rehiring all of the teachers it had fired in a turnaround effort earlier in the year.


Congratulations to Teacher blogger Tamara Fisher! Her blog, Unwrapping the Gifted, made the "Top 50 Blogs for Teachers" list compiled by Rasmussen College. Teacher's Blogboard—although now defunct—also made the list. (It's been replaced by Teaching Now, the blog you are currently reading.) A shout out to Education Week reporters who also cracked the top 50: Stephen Sawchuk for Teacher Beat and Christina Samuels and her guest blogger Lisa Fine for On Special Education. According to Allie Gray of Rasmussen the list is based on blog content as well as search-engine page rank....


Parents from a California school district raised $2 million in two months to save the teaching jobs of over 100 teachers who received pink slips in March.


Will Richardson posits that one problem with evaluating teachers on the basis of student test scores is that it values knowledge over learning.


A recent study finds that both white and African-American schoolchildren have a "white bias"—white students overwhelmingly so.


The 93 teachers who were all fired from a Rhode Island school can now reapply for their jobs, but only half can be re-hired and they're facing off against 800 other applicants.


In an editorial, the Denver Post defends a bill just passed by the Colo. Legislature that will tie teachers' tenure status to students' academic progress: Despite hysterical assertions to the contrary, it is not meant to set up teachers as scapegoats for the sociological and economic disadvantages that their students bring to school with them. It is not an effort to fire teachers en masse. It is an effort to recalibrate their mission in a very specific way. The foundation of this measure is the firm belief that even students who come from troubled circumstances can learn. These are the ...


Twelve-year-old Greyson Michael Chance appeared in a 6th grade talent show in Edmund, Oklahoma last month and today he is a YouTube sensation. With an appearance this morning on the Ellen Degeneres Show and more than eight million views of his YouTube cover of "Paparazzi" by pop singer Lady Gaga, Chance could very well be the next Justin Bieber or better. If you need convincing, listen for yourself and check out the faces on the female students as he performs—they go from mild disinterest to shock and awe. Chance explained to Ellen Degeneres this morning how he found out ...


New York's State Education Department and teachers' unions have brokered a deal to revamp teacher evaluations by linking them to student test scores, according to the The New York Times. The agreement is expected to boost the state's chances of winning coveted federal Race to the Top money. Under the agreement, teachers would be measured each year on a 100-point scale, 20 percent of which would be based on student improvement on state exams. Another 20 percentage points would be based local tests developed by individual school systems, while principal and peer observations make up other parts of the evaluation. ...


We can all agree that the "Behavior Developing Institute" is a terrible name for a district's program for troubled students. But isn't changing it to "The Oxford Center" maybe going a little too far?...


U.K. educators aren't wild about the teaching style outlined in the hit U.S. education book.


Education officials in Massachusetts announced a new initiative to recruit high-quality teachers for jobs in underperforming schools across the state.


How is that a high school freshman who reads at the 5th grade level is picking Shakespeare more quickly than other students in his English class? His teacher, Epiphany in Baltimore, doesn't think it's a big mystery: I told him this was because he knows what it means to work at reading while he's doing it and the other students don't. He is willing to sit and grapple with the language and the other kids who are not used to working hard are not willing to. Therefore, he's getting it quicker than the others....


Can this story be real? Apparently the teacher-job market in Ontario is so tough that some non-religious educators are taking up Catholicism in an attempt to get coveted positions in parochial schools, according the Canadian Press. "I don't particularly like going (to mass) every Sunday, but if this is what I have to do, then I'll do it," said a Toronto-area teaching-candidate. According to data cited from the Ontario College of Teachers, some 12,200 new teachers are vying for about 5,000 open public school positions in the province. All employees of Toronto's Catholic schools, meanwhile, must be Catholic—and...


After betting his Spanish teacher that he'd wear the same pair of shoes daily through all four years of high school, a football captain is only weeks away from fulfilling his promise.


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