Recent Blog Posts
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...
Often when my alarm goes in the morning, I groan because I want five more minutes of sleep. But the day after the Colorado elections, I didn’t just want to hit the snooze button. I wanted to rip the alarm clock out of the wall and sleep all day. Reality felt extra harsh that day.
Proposition 103, an attempt to raise three billion dollars for public education failed profoundly in the election the day before. Two-thirds of Coloradans voted down the amendment that would give a trickling stream of funds to the desert-like public education system in the state. This would have required a minimal sales tax increase by applying a tried...
Acting like a highly accomplished teacher---newly appointed President and CEO of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, Ron Thorpe, responded promptly and thoughtfully to an open letter from my TLN colleague and NBCT, John Holland. Both pieces deserve attention for their content, and for what the exchange tells us about how the kinds of...
An interesting Tweet -- sent by a close friend of mine -- landed in my stream the other day. Here's what it said:
Any reading suggestions for ways to address dysfunctional PLCs?
Good question, isn't it? And one that I'm sure a TON of #atplc folks ask on a daily basis.
Here's a few titles that you might find useful if your learning team spends more time wrestling with conflict than focusing on student learning:
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
By far the best book that I've ever read about dysfunctional teams is an oldie-but-a-goodie from the business world titled...
Last week, CTQ blogger and teacher John Holland wrote an open letter to Ron Thorpe, who was recently named president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). In his letter, John expressed his hope for what the NBPTS could accomplish under its new leadership. “I hope you are a special kind of leader,” John writes, “a ‘boundary spanner’ who is future-oriented and ready to collaborate with a wide range of...
Carl, Shaniqua, Raymond, Joshua, and Miranda (not their real names) won’t be going home from school each day to Mom and Dad. Instead, they are going to foster homes or group homes where they live with other foster children.
Children who are in the foster care system have all of the same hurdles to face as their peers: grades, tests, dating and changing bodies. In addition, they face even more challenges: instability, lack of school supplies, sometimes even feelings of shame about their foster-care status.
I know many great foster families but this post isn't about the varied experiences foster children have in their foster homes. This is specifically about schools and teachers.
Schools could do a lot better at identifying...
Recently, I stumbled across a post by Seth Godin that was super valuable to me. In it, he spotlighted a series of books that he was currently reading.
As simple as that sounds, Godin's post was helpful simply because it turned me on to interesting titles that I may never have found on my own in the sea of paper that is published every year.
Essentially, Godin became my information filter -- pointing me to books that had a higher likelihood of being valuable because they were prescreened by someone that I trust.
So I figured I'd start doing the same thing here on the Radical every now and then.