March 2016 Archives

Well, that time of year is fast approaching: the dreaded "testing season." In the coming weeks, Education Week and many other education-focused journalism outlets will be filled with stories about the horrors and opportunities of testing. I'll continue to share about the performance assessment process that we use at my school, but I wanted to take a chance to enter into this public conversation in a more explicit way. I hope to do this in a way that can move beyond the partisan bomb-throwing that often characterizes this conversation.

Readers of this blog know that I am a committed union leader and activist (see my perspective here, here, and here). Unionized teachers with a strong voice in shaping education policy represent our best chance to incorporate teachers' classroom-based knowledge into the decisions that directly impact classrooms and young people. But this won't just happen on its own. Kathleen Melville — a master educator, organizer, and leader who I met at a teacher leadership institute in the summer of 2012 — reminds us that we must commit attention and energy to our union if we want to keep it "fit." The Caucus...

Social media is everywhere and it is a part of our culture. I am thinking about ways to use platforms like Twitter to model explicitly alongside my students and their families how it can be used to enhance, engage, and enrich not only learning, but our conversations and our relationships. As a nation we know in the future that we are going to need to collaborate globally, use digital tools, and think critically to solve world problems. Why not begin in kindergarten?

Harvest Collegiate High School school has organized our curriculum around four Habits of Heart and three Habits of Heart which we believe "promote critical thinking and active responsibility." Each month in our group gatherings, we focus on a different habit...March's focus is the Habit of Perspective, in which we try to answer this question: How does this look differently from someone else's shoes?

Very big ideas lie behind even very simple mathematical relationships. One problem with math curriculum developed under pressure to cram in as many topics as possible, is that they often fail to adequately explore these big ideas. Instead, jumping right to the trick.


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