Recent Blog Posts
In a recent New Yorker article, noted surgeon and author Atul Gawande makes an interesting observation: Professional athletes – who are already at the top of their game – almost ALWAYS hire a coach to guide their continued growth yet successful professionals in fields like medicine and education somehow believe that “being coached” is beneath them.
This dichotomy stood out starkly to Gawande after squeezing in a tennis lesson with a 20-something tennis pro who helped him to improve his already impressive serve – Gawande was once a highly ranked high school tennis star in Ohio – in just one lesson.
I have been teaching long enough now that I have the pleasure of watching some of my former students become my colleagues. One of them is Maxwell, a young man now in his early thirties whom I have known since he was a ninth grader. Thoughtful, respectful, and intelligent, Maxwell has always leaned toward public service. He was raised in a foster home by a loving, elderly couple, and after their deaths, helped to raise his two younger sisters. After graduating from college with honors, he served two tours in Iraq; then the married father of two boys decided he wanted to be a teacher and a role model to other Black young men.
Max has taught history at several high schools, and is highly respected by co-workers and students. For those...
I wanted to share a guest post I did for the online discussion portion of Learning Matters, John Merrow’s education show. I wanted to write, “I am thankful to you for standing up for teachers for 30 years.” I knew that wasn’t what he wanted when he asked,
“What about the current state of education are you most thankful for?”
I am most thankful for increased focus on accomplished teaching in...
By Kristoffer Kohl
Kristoffer Kohl is a former classroom teacher working currently as a policy associate at CTQ to further the vision of TEACHING 2030. He previously collaborated with a team of accomplished teachers to produce the report “Transforming School Conditions: Building Bridges to the Education System that Students and Teachers Deserve.”
During recent visits to a few schools known for their innovative practices, I was struck by one...
One of the comfortable traditions that I've gotten into over the last few years is spending time over the Thanksgiving break thinking about the people in my PLN who have changed who I am as a professional.
And no joke: I'm thankful for a TON of people.
Thanks to my buddy Mike Hutchinson, I stumbled across an interesting new tool the other day called Tripline, which allows users to create sweet little photo-enhanced interactive map-based presentations.
As the Tripline guys explain, the possibilities of sharing and learning through locations are almost endless:
At its most basic level, Tripline is a way for you communicate by putting places on a map. That's a very human activity that has been happening for thousands of years.
We've added a social layer to that communication...
If throughout last Friday you heard guttural screams in the distance, it was probably one of the thousands of National Board Certification applicants attempting unsuccessfully to learn their scores online. Pearson’s servers crashed, making breathless teachers wait an extra 48 hours to discover if they had achieved.
I made it! I’m a National Board Certified teacher. After the initial shouting-at-the-computer euphoria wore off, I immediately started thinking about how I could help other teachers find out about and navigate the journey of National Board Certification. A tiny first step one is to continue to nag every educator I know to see Mitchell 20, a great movie about how the National...
In one of the more surprising decisions that a public school district has made in recent memory, the Jefferson County Public Schools in Colorado has started selling advertising space on student report cards.
For $90,000, Colorado's nonprofit education savings plan has bought the right to slap a big, fat advertisement on the bottom of every student report card for the next three years.
In a district with 86,000 students who...
For Antarctic explorer Roald Amundsen, 1911 was a year to remember. Having set out with a team of five, Amundsen accomplished the impossible, becoming the first person to successfully travel to the South Pole.
What made Amundsen’s accomplishment even more remarkable was that he was literally racing another team – led by accomplished polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott – across the frozen continent.
Despite being similar in almost every way, Scott’s journey ended in complete disaster.
Not only did Scott and his men fail to arrive at the Pole...
I recently watched a documentary about teachers and the National Board process called Mitchell 20. The efforts of one of those teachers, Daniela Robles, made an incredible impression on me. After attaining National Board certification in 2004, I have not been able to convince any of my colleagues to do the same. Daniela was so moved by the National Board process, that she was able to convince twenty of her elementary school colleagues to sign up for the rigorous program.
National Board candidates have a less than 50% chance of certifying in their first year. The process often takes three years for teachers to attain National Board...