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11 Collaboratory conversations you don’t want to miss!

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Our virtual community is turning 11! To celebrate: 11 productive conversations to give you a rush of professional insight, whether you have an hour or just 5 minutes.


Teachers! Leave Those Kids Alone.


When most of us were children, we had a lot of unsupervised time to explore. Sometimes we got lost. Sometimes we got hurt. We faced bullies, cranky adults, and aggressive neighborhood dogs. These adventures helped us learn to negotiate risk as we explored the ragged borders of our world.

Our students need exploration, complexity, and the risk of failure. If we spare them from struggle, we might rob them of fulfillment, too.


On unions and the future of the teaching profession


I’m no blame-the-unions pundit. After all, management—not unions—have imposed many of the rules that stifle creative (heck, even just sensible) practices in schools.

But here’s the plain truth: it’s time for unions to innovate.

Latest Blog Posts

Bill Ferriter

December 10, 2011

My beef with paper


I realized something this week: I have a deep-seated, unhealthy HATRED for paper.

Forms from the office, handouts from professional development sessions, and materials that need to be sent home to families sit in silent stacks on my desk, my counters, my backpack and my floor.

And that doesn’t even include the piles and piles of handwritten assignments that my 130 students turn in each week to demonstrate mastery.

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Bill Ferriter

December 7, 2011

What would happen if YOU took the End of Grade exams?


Good question, isn't it?  And a question that I've asked myself about a million times as I've proctored my state's sixth grade reading and math tests considering how FEW of the questions on the math test -- my personal weakness -- I'm ever able to figure out.

More importantly, it's a question that I've wanted to see state policymakers -- who seem hell-bent on tying test scores to systems of teacher and student evaluation -- answer publicly. 

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Ernie Rambo

December 4, 2011

Leading teachers


I wasted the first five years of my teaching profession. Maybe I didn’t truly waste those years, but I spent a few moments wondering why a few faculty members seemed to take charge of meetings or make presentations on our professional development days. What I didn’t realize at the time is that some teachers emerge as leaders of their colleagues.

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Dan Brown

November 30, 2011

Four-hour reading tests for third graders: Our brave new world


Where’s Hunter S. Thompson when you need him? Our national discourse has gone gonzo, hijacked by maniacs. 

I’ve done my best to tune out the cynical cluelessness permeating the Republican primary race, but these guys are actively working to ruin the country. It’s hard to single out only a few howlers, but just this month we’ve seen:

Mitt Romneybrazen distortion and lies about President Obama’s positions

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José Luis Vilson

November 30, 2011

Education’s secret technocracy


John, Yesterday, I had the opportunity to jump on a panel at Bank Street College with a few education colleagues (including representatives from Hechinger Report and Gotham Schools) about education and the media. Save for a few questions about my blog (see: teacher voice), the general topics at the panel centered around perceptions of teachers [...]

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