In less than twelve minutes, National Board Certified Teacher and author Roxanna Elden with humor and candor distills the crucible facing new teachers and their students. I’ve embedded the video below; it’s an extremely worthwhile watch.
Within the TED-style talk, Elden mentions her book See Me After Class, which I’ve read and can attest is a must-have for any new and prospective teachers. She facetiously refers to it as “Hard Liquor for the Teacher’s Soul.”
I’m reading Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton Christensen, Michael Horn, and Curtis Johnson. The book envisions a future for education dominated by personalized, computer-based learning. I have issues with some of their conclusions— especially since much of their thesis rests on an unquestioning acceptance of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences— but midway through the book I was thunderstruck. They may have hit on the best shortcut to closing the achievement gap I’ve heard of.
I’ve been asked a handful of times recently if I recommend for someone to enter teaching through alternative certification program. It’s a tricky question.
I’ve been through both of the main induction models into teaching. First I joined the New York City Teaching Fellows alternative certification program and endured a chaotic rookie experience in the Bronx; later I earned a master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in a program based on taking time on learning the craft.
I spent time over the weekend with a recent graduate from an Ivy League university. He’s a brilliant, articulate, cosmopolitan guy who I am confident will rise to the top of his field (international relations). We started to talk about teaching— particularly Teach For America (TFA), which several of his peers were joining— and I started to get upset.
“Isn’t it a good idea to get the top people in there?” he asked, echoing a compelling talking point.
Last week, 50 employees— mostly senior staff— of the U.S. Department of Education spent their Wednesday shadowing teachers in D.C.-area schools. “ED Goes Back to School” is the first program that I know of in which senior policymakers systematically spend quality one-on-one time in teachers’ shoes. I think it’s brilliant; this type of program can and should be replicated in states and districts across the country.
The following post was written by an extra-special guest blogger and thirty-four-year veteran teacher: my mom, Marcia Brown.
Co-teaching Shakespeare to second-graders stands out as the highlight of my thirty-four-year career as a public school reading specialist. For the five years before I retired in 2005, I supported teachers and students in our study of the Bard, a journey that led us to intriguing discoveries daily. So when a former colleague (let’s call her Olivia) asked if I would help her develop a second-grade Shakespeare curriculum in her new school, I responded with an emphatic “Yes!”
Ever been to a “prep” rally? It will be hard to top the one at Jennings High School in Jennings, Missouri where earlier this month teachers pumped up their students to take the EOC (End of Course) tests with a hip hop video.
The 4 minutes of rapping educators has gone viral. Check it out:
What do you think: is this brilliant and motivating? Sad misallocation of energy and resources? Harmless fun? Superficial noise? Teachers authentically connecting with students? Something else?
Barnett Berry is the Founder and President of the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), Inc., based in Carrboro, NC. CTQ seeks to dramatically improve student learning by advancing teaching as a 21st-century, results-oriented profession. He wrote TEACHING 2030 with 12 accomplished teachers.
Dan Brown is a teacher and the author of The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle. His writing has also appeared in The Boston Globe, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, and Education Week. He is a co-author of TEACHING 2030.
John Holland is an artist, a teacher, a writer, and an innovator. After 12 years as a preschool teacher, John began working at Early Head Start/Head Start Program as a child development specialist. He is a co-author of TEACHING 2030.
Ryan Kinser is a 6th grade English teacher in Hillsborough County, Florida. After a career in television production, Ryan taught in urban Washington as a D.C. Teaching Fellow. He is a member of the Hillsborough New Millennium Initiative.
Renee Moore has taught English and journalism for 20 years in the Mississippi Delta region at both high school and community college levels. She is National Board Certified, a former state Teacher of the Year, and a co-author of TEACHING 2030.
Mark Sass has taught public high school for 18 years and has been involved in various leadership positions and policy discussions in Colorado. Mark is a member of the inaugural Aspen Teacher Leader Fellows.
In addition to our regular transformED bloggers, we frequently feature guest posts written by teachers involved in CTQ communities. We welcome teachers to share their reflections and expertise on transformED.
Noah Zeichner is a National Board Certified Teacher in Seattle. He currently serves in a hybrid teaching role, dividing his time between teaching social studies and supporting CTQ's global teacher leadership initiatives.