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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.

Latest Blog Posts

Rob Kriete

February 26, 2014

Whack-A-Mole and Master Teachers


I recently attended the eighth birthday of my one of my beloved nephews which was held at one of these “pizza and games” mega-centers.  The complex was a labyrinth of video games, air hockey tables, basketball shooting machines, and anything that can be fed a token.  Upon entering, my senses were overwhelmed by the cacophony of buzzers, beeps, sirens, horns, screaming children, hollering parents, and consistent announcements for individuals to pick up their orders at the counter.  The chaos and the stressful feelings of this scene somehow reminded me of my rookie classroom experience wherei

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Justin Minkel

February 26, 2014

Serenity, Courage, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference: Q and A with Sandy Merz, Part I


Arizona educator Sandy Merz is one of the most thoughtful teachers I have ever met. I asked him if he’d be up for doing an exchange of Q and A on our respective blogs, in the style of David Brooks and Gail Collins in the New York Times. This collaboration is the result. Part I includes Sandy's thoughtful musings on the Serenity Prayer in the context of teacher-led change.

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Bill Ferriter

February 22, 2014

This Is Who I Am.


One of the things that I hate about the "networked" world that we live in is that we often only "know" people through the posts they write or the Tweets they send out into the ether.  That often gives us a false sense of just who somebody is -- and when we're satisfied with that level of connection, we inadvertently lose out on the more human aspects of relationships.

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Jon Eckert

February 21, 2014

Five Reasons We Did Not Choose Teach for America


The impetus for this and the following post came from a conversation with one of my pre-service teachers. She expressed her frustration with having what she was doing as a Master of Arts in Teaching candidate de-valued by Teach for America on our campus. Disclaimer: some of the best people I know in education have entered the profession through TFA and remain in education, so this is not an indictment of all things TFA. These students’ response has its roots in being marginalized for investing time and resources in preparation.

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Jessica Cuthbertson

February 20, 2014

So You Want to Be a Teacherpreneur?


Have you ever dreamed of teaching and ___________ simultaneously? Is a hybrid role for you?  Do you crave release time to complete a meaningful project that you've been planning in your head for years? 

You may be a budding teacherpreneur if you find yourself affirmatively nodding to the following seven signs: 

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Paul Barnwell

February 19, 2014

Why I No Longer Use Bellringers


This past trimester has marked a drastic change in my beginning-of-class instruction. I’ve forsaken one of the most commonly implemented classroom and instructional management strategies: the bellringer activity. I no longer am beholden to bombarding students with content demands for all 70 minutes each and every period.

Instead, my students and I take 4-5 minutes at the start of every class to practice mindfulness with a simple breathing meditation. And so far, I’m happy with the results of replacing instant work demands with the expectations that students simply be.

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