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June 15, 2016

The Opt-Out Debate: Parental Perspective

Two teachers respond to a parent's question about opting his child in or out of state standardized tests.

June 07, 2016

What Candidates Should be Saying about Education

It is time for a candidate to recognize that the most important factors in improving educational outcomes are to strengthen teaching and to improve the conditions in which learning takes place. Working toward the latter goal means returning to an era when we talked about smaller class sizes, improved access to materials and technology, as well as the creation or renovation of school buildings that provide safe, clean, and nurturing environments.

May 17, 2016

End of Year Action Plans: A Restorative Practice

By thinking strategically and proactively, we can implement systems which are sustainable and support healthy interactions in our communities. Restorative justice should focus on those things we are DOING -- not on what we choose not to do. How do you actively "wage justice" in this busy and stressful time of year?

April 28, 2016

A Football Coach's Philosophy: Work hard. Have fun. Take care of each other.

When I ask the boys to work hard, have fun, and take care of each other, I'm really asking them to engage in the process of becoming good citizens and people. I assist in this process by teaching them a work ethic that will help them to be successful individuals, an attitude that will allow them to enjoy life, and relational skills that will enable them to make life better for all those with whom they interact.

April 14, 2016

Making Computer Science "For All"

The state will have to decide if it wants to certify teachers or if instead wants to otherwise signal what it means to be qualified and prepared to teach computer science - because teaching computer science in school is not a new idea; but making computer science "for all" certainly is.

January 21, 2016

An Open Letter to Teachers Fighting Fair Share Fees: Your Fight Will Hurt Students

In my last post, I asked folks on both sides of the debate on the Friedrichs Supreme Court case to consider part of the moral foundation that might be driving each other's beliefs. In this post, I will address concerns that I have about what could happen to students if those who would undermine established state laws are successful.

January 16, 2016

What Lies Beneath: The Morality Behind Both Sides of Friedrichs

It is easy to get stuck in our existing "moral matrix" when thinking about an issue as emotional and personal as students in a school and how we treat the folks who work with them. The third foundation of Haidt's "in group/loyalty pillar of morality" helps us to move through the stale debates and name-calling about teachers unions

January 07, 2016

So How Do You Know They Got It? Showing Evidence of Learning

We are in an age of education where proof is required to show true success. Teachers often hear the question: "how do you know your students understand?" As a middle school science teacher of ten years, it would be easy for me to say, "Well, I just do. I'm a good teacher, and I know my kids." This is not enough. We have to show evidence.

December 24, 2015

Together With Hope: A Teacher's Holiday Reflections and Local Actions

David Sherrin often pushes me and our staff at Harvest Collegiate High School to connect what we are doing to the larger world and the issues facing it. He did so beautifully in an email to our staff two weeks ago and I asked him if--in the holiday spirit and in the spirit of challenging educators to think deeply and broadly about our practice--he would allow me to republish it here. I hope you find it as thought provoking as I did.

November 03, 2015

How We Should Move Forward After the Abuse at Spring Valley High

I teach my students to be "upstanders" when they are witness to violence, and in that spirit I want to express solidarity with those educators and activists speaking out against the assault of a black student at Spring Valley High in South Carolina by school resource officer Ben Fields.

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