Recent Blog Posts
For several months, many of us have been following the documentary series, "A Year at Mission Hill." Each week we peeked inside the daily life of one of the most amazing schools in America. The last installment of that series is now online, and it is probably the most interesting 10 minutes you'll spend all week.
Sam Chaltain describes it well:
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.