Recent Blog Posts
Let me ask you a quick question: Rate the last ten reform initiatives that your school, district and/or state embraced on a scale from "Ridiculously Simple" to "Ridiculously Complex." Now, think about which reform initiatives made a lasting impact and which were abandoned before the end of the next school year.
At the end of each year, teachers often reflect on their learning and practice to note their successes and areas of improvement. I would like to use this blog to honor my greatest source of growth this year and to encourage other teachers to think about their own sources of inspiration and growth.
In difficult budget times, I can honestly say that I don't envy state legislators who are forced every spring into the uncomfortable position of cutting valuable programs in an effort to save cash. Trying to decide between protecting programs that support teachers or firefighters or cops or senior citizens or the mentally disabled or the poor -- and by default, axing programs that support those same groups -- has got to be the worst part of being an elected official.
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recently completed a report about my school district in Oakland, California. In in a previous post, I’ve summarized my initial reactions to NCTQ’s report.
In this post, I dive deeper into NCTQ’s second finding, “The district evaluation system is confusing and data are not used to drive decision.”
"Can you read my story?" one of my eighth graders asked me this morning. It was an innocent enough question. I was excited about the work all the students were doing and started reading her story right there without giving it much thought. The stories are already several pages typed, so reading one takes some time...
Maybe we're the crazy ones to think that the school year is an actual full year of teaching. The lull between the "big tests" and the end of the school year gets students thinking that we ought not learn anything anymore. Obviously, for teachers who've been doing this for a while, we want to get as much juice as possible out of our schedules. For example, it's one thing to have extra time at the end of a period, but at the end of a school year?
There's just no way. They have learning to do.
Poking through my feed reader last Friday, I stumbled across this great Ted talk by digital pioneer and provocateur Seth Godin.
I just read this great report by many of my Collaboratory colleagues, Teaching 2030: Leveraging Teacher Preparation. Since teacher preparation is on my mind, I want to add a point to the conversation that I've been meaning to mention for a while.
In a time when technology is drastically changing the way that we work, learn, and play, it is essential that school leaders have a clear plan for driving digital change in their classrooms, districts and communities. These two tips can help:
Remember that tools don’t change learning spaces; Teachers do:
While integrating technology into learning spaces will require investments in new digital tools and services, many school leaders forget that investing in tools alone is never enough.