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


Apples & Oranges: Why This Year's State Test Was a Waste of Students' Time


Last week a group of CTQ-Colorado teachers attended and offered comments at the State Board of Education meeting. The following post is a written version of my remarks. While the board passed a symbolic resolution (in a 4-3 partyline vote) to withdraw from PARCC, one state board member boldy and publicly supported the standards and advocated for the aligned system our students deserve. If we must insist on a standardized test, I want the best one for my students. Core advocates (and skeptics!) -- I hope you'll park your thoughts on PARCC (& Smarter Balanced) here. 


Speak Less, Act Right


The first time I read these words by a Holocaust survivor, they haunted me. “My eyes saw what no person should witness: gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. So I am suspicious of education. My request is: Help your children become human.” To fulfill that request, our actions matter far more than our words.


Advice to Myself as a New Teacher


Dear Mr. Barnwell (version 2004),


Chào mừng bạn đến Quốc Hoa Kỳ (Welcome to the United States)


Opening up my e-mail and sipping on my third coffee of the morning, I read the following message:

“Hello teachers.  Please welcome a new 10th grader, Ngoc Trinh, coming to us from Vietnam. We will have to do our best to support this student with her limited English skills.”

“Uh oh…” was my first thought. 


Simple Truth: Hashtags Can Save You Time


If there was ONE thing that I'd want every practicing educator to know about learning in social spaces it would be that no matter what field you are working in, there are TONS of folks who are sharing resources t


Why Don't Those Teachers Own Their Profession Already?


Hypothetically speaking, let's say a subset of all teachers decided to go against their district's wishes, teaching their curriculum according to a mix of research and expertise, but masking it under the name of the latest district buzzword. Would you blame them for not outright fighting against their administration's wishes or congratulate them for "owning" their profession?

Of course, that's a trick question because it largely depends on your lens.

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Justin Minkel

March 7, 2014

Confessions of a (Ssshhh!) Teach For American


Tolstoy wrote that people are like rivers. No one is all shallow or all deep, all rocky or all pure. Maybe it’s the same with programs. Teach For America has done so much good. Teach For America has done so much harm. When I talk about my two years in TFA, I feel like the Batman villain Two-Face.

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Noah Zeichner

March 6, 2014

What Global Education Means to Me


Last night I accepted the 2013-14 World Educator Award from the World Affairs Council of Seattle. It was a fun night with family, friends, colleagues, and students in attendance. Although I wasn't interrupted by music, my six-minute speech didn't leave room for extensive thank-yous. I would like to add an extra shout-out to the Center for Teaching Quality. CTQ has supported me in so many ways during the past few years.

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Kristoffer Kohl

March 5, 2014

And the World Educator of the Year award goes to...


The World Affairs Council (WAC) presents their 2013 World Educator of the Year award to National Board Certified Teacher Noah Zeichner this evening at Town Hall Seattle. He will be honored alongside Mercy Corps founder Dan O’Neill, WAC’s World Citizen of the Year.

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Bill Ferriter

March 4, 2014

Curating Content Collections on Controversial Topics [ACTIVITY]


Over the past few years, I've been using to give students the opportunity to practice curating collections of web-based sources on controversial topics.

I figure that curation is an essential skill in and of itself, given the sea of information that we swim in on a daily basis.  Pairing an opportunity to learn about curation with constant chances to evaluate the quality of web-based resources AND to do a bit of critical thinking about knotty issues seems like the perfect activity, right?

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Dave Orphal

March 2, 2014

My BYOD Adventure: Part 1, where our hero maps the journey...


“Mr. Orphal!  Why?  You’re sucking up all of my battery life!”

I just had to laugh.  “Quit your whining, Whiney McWhineypants!  Get your phones out and find the answer to the questions on the overhead.”

If it weren’t so funny, I’d be frustrated.  I tell my students to put their phones away, they whine.  I tell them to get their phones out for our class project, they whine. 

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