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CTQ bloggers write about transforming teaching. Share their posts and chime in!


Between Passion and Possibility: Creating My Dream School

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You never know when your possibilities will unveil themselves to you. I’ve told children that for 17 years. In January, I began to live my own.


An Opportunity to Share My Voice

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Los Angeles high school student Maria Urquilla describes what a class trip to Washington D.C. taught her about the importance of student voice.


Why Every School Needs to Require Tandem Bike Riding


One of the major benefits of marrying a teacher is the fact that we share a summer schedule. This summer, our schedule found us on Sanibel Island, FL. My husband, Paul, had mentioned riding a tandem bike on several occasions, and given that the number of bikes matched the number of people on the island, we went with the “why-not-today” philosophy.

Latest Blog Posts

Dave Orphal

June 21, 2014

Meet The Authors


 Co-written with Ms. Wendi Pillars

“Oh, my God!  Mr. Orphal!  They are so f*#@ing cute!”

I glared at Ashley, horror and shock on my face.  Was she far enough away from the computer we were using to Skype with the 3rd graders?  Did they hear her?

To her credit, Allison was just as horrified at her slip.  Both her hands leapt to her mouth, her eyes growing wide.  “I’m so sorry, Mr. Orphal,” she whispered.  “It just slipped out.”

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Paul Barnwell

June 19, 2014

What I've Learned During 10 Years In The Classroom


Last Friday marked the end of a my first decade as a full-time classroom teacher. The hundreds of student faces have blurred together over time, and old lesson plans are stashed away in filing cabinets or online folders. There’s plenty about the past decade I will forget or fail to revisit, and that’s ok.

After all, some things stick with us, becoming our sacred tenets about teaching and learning, shaping our personal and professional lives in profound ways.

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José Luis Vilson

June 12, 2014

The Uncertainty of Success With Tests

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Yesterday, after a grueling two periods with my more rambunctious class, the after-lunch crowd, I walked down to the auditorium, looked at one of my colleagues and said, "Just a couple more days left, right?" We got the news from our principal: the ELA and math pass / fail marks for the state tests had come out, and our percentage of students who met promotional criteria went up.  I also found out that, based on NYC promotional criteria, I only have three students who didn't meet promotional criteria, which means that the rest of my students absolutely did.

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