Recent Blog Posts
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.
I had the privilege of being on a webinar panel with Linda Darling Hammond, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, and Joseph Bishop as they highlighted the recent report "For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence." You can find more about the report and hear the webinar over in the Collaboratory.
It's May. It's spring in Colorado. My 6th graders are starting to sound, smell, and act like ... 7th graders. Sunshine and storms trade places depending on the day, so outdoor recess is not a given. Energy is high and motivation is a struggle. Summer is just around the corner and weeks, days, and hours away. Many instructional hours away.
Last week, I got the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual NSTA Conference on STEM. For those unaware, STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, shorthand for trying to get kids interested in technical fields. With federal support, people from kindergarten to the university level has been trying to grapple what STEM is, and what it should look like, especially in schools with limited funding.
While there were some great presentations (not to mention two of my own), I found myself having more questions than answers about this idea of STEM.
I don't have a ton of time to write today -- I've spent the past week teaching and learning alongside of some really progressive thinkers in Australia -- so I figured I'd share a few handouts that I've been using in class this year to teach nonfiction reading skills in my sixth grade science classroom.
Debates continue to swirl over the use of student test scores—and any number of statistical models—to assess which teachers are effective or not. Fueled by the priorities of the U.S. Department of Education (including its Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind waiver rules), 40 states are now using some form of value-added (VA)1 or student growth (SG)2 models in their new teacher evaluation systems.
It seems to me that too many educational reformers are simply terrified about a zombie horde of so-called ineffective teachers shambling toward our city’s children, moaning, “Brains!” It seems to me that the National Council on Teacher Quality may be falling into this trap.
That’s the only explanation I can give to NCTQ’s first recommendation for my school district, “The district needs to do a much better job of hiring and assigning teachers.”
I just spent a glorious day at the Mississippi NBCT Summit on the campus of the University of Mississippi.
The highlight of the summit was a pinning ceremony for many of this year's Mississippi teachers who achieved Board Certification, which included a husband and wife team!
The summit also featured NBPTS President Ron Thorpe, as well as State Senator Gary Tollison, chair of the MS Senate Education Committee. I was part of a panel that responded to Thorpe's remarks and offered our own take on the future of teaching in Mississippi.