A mid-western farmer's daughter raised me, and she had a proverb for everything. But my personal favorite, and one that she repeated to me time and time again when I became a teacher is, "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." In other words we all respond better to praise than we do criticism. I think the same thing can be said when looking at a looming teacher shortage.
Recently in effective teacher Category
September 07, 2015
August 04, 2015
Perhaps if we were to give teachers the training and the autonomy like Finnish teachers get, we would see less of a need for standardized testing and more authentic assessment happening.
June 29, 2015
Before I move on to reason number three for why the California's Teacher Association (CTA) needs to reimagine tenure now, let me recap reasons number one and two. Reason number one is to restore faith in our public school system. Reason number two is because we need to ensure that our most vulnerable students are with our best teachers. Reason number three: Teachers want it.
June 23, 2015
The appeal to the Vergara case will be heard very soon. I don't claim to be psychic so I am making a well educated guess here when I say I think the appellate court will remand the decision for further study. This leads me to reason #2 why the California Teachers Association (CTA) should reimagine tenure now: The most vulnerable students need the best teachers.
April 29, 2015
One thing I will be forever grateful for in my time spent out of the classroom is the opportunity it gave me to watch teachers teach. As a support provider to teachers working at two large elementary schools and going through coaching blitzes, I have seen well over 100 teachers teach. Yes over 100. Because I always learn something when I watch teachers teach, I've decided to distill my reflections down into some key takeaways worth sharing with you.
March 23, 2015
The opportunity is there to negotiate for their priorities - smaller class-sizes, fully staffed schools, and a pay raise - if they are willing to accept three levels of performance in teacher evaluations. I think the three levels are worth it, if it means better conditions for teachers and students.
March 03, 2015
In my 20-plus years of teaching one thing I have learned is teachers need the protection of tenure to effectively advocate for their students. I joined the most recent Educators 4 Excellence-Los Angeles (E4E-Los Angeles) policy team out of a strong desire to preserve tenure, along with collective bargaining rights and our unions. Here are some of the big takeaways of our recommendations for creating tenure for teachers in California.
February 23, 2015
Permanent status, that's what I have earned as a second grade teacher in the state of California. I didn't even notice that my pay-stub had changed from the words "Probationary" to "Permanent." I didn't get a letter of congratulations from the superintendent, nor from my principal. It was just another ordinary day. The term tenure in California is used strictly with higher education faculty members.
February 19, 2015
For me this lawsuit, Reed v. State of California, which was won but then turned-over on appeal, lingers large in the backdrop of Vergara; it's the white elephant in the room every time I talk about teacher evaluations or effective teachers.
February 10, 2015
Teachers and the work they do are paramount to student achievement especially in Title I schools. So it would makes sense for ESEA funding to address teaching. The 2016 proposed budget for ESEA does this and more. The focus on teachers is not just about working conditions (i.e. class sizes, curriculum, etc.) but also about training, attracting, and retaining teachers.