What do Americans want their teachers to be like? What do they really want out of their schools? Within a space of a week I saw the media send out very mixed messages. We know Americans are meant to see these reports as examples of what teachers should be like. But which is it—A or […]
My Dream About EDUCATION and the Democratic (or Republican) Debate
I fell asleep last night during the democratic debate and I dreamt this is how it all unfolded. The scary part was there were no answers to the questions about education when I woke up. In my dream Anderson Cooper said: America’s democratic public schools, how we treat and instruct the next generation, our children, […]
Should School Leaders have Professional Teaching Experience?
Leading means inspiring, not commanding. Leading means loving the people you lead so they will give you their hearts as well as their minds. It means communicating a vision of where you can go together and inviting them to join. Major General John Stanford, Superintendent of Seattle Schools, 1995–1998 A school leader who has never […]
Students and Bears, Oh My! How Common Core Discards the Importance of Reasoning and Intuition
This post is about reasoning and intuition with students and bears, and what we have lost by focusing on Common Core State Standards and not the students themselves. There are interesting similarities. Let me start with bears. I just returned from visiting Glacier National Park. Glacier is full of bears—both grizzlies and black bears. So, […]
The End of the Road for PUBLIC SCHOOL Teachers? I Don’t Think So!
Is it the end of the road for public school teachers? It seems like a bad sign when a respected teacher wins an award for teaching, and during a conversation afterwards on CNN, tells young people to go into teaching only if they enter the private sector. Last week Main teacher Nancie Atwell became the […]
How Common Core Disparages Teachers and Drives Critical Moral Thinking out of the Adolescent English/Language Arts Classroom
Why are schools and teachers permitting Common Core to take over what they have always done well, teaching middle and high school English/Language Arts (ELA) classes? And how destructive is it to students who don’t learn to foster ideas about what they think about a novel, instead, merely picking out technical points of the text? […]
Happy Father’s Day to Dads Who Speak Out: Keep Up the Great Work!
As a teacher, I once arrived at my classroom early in the morning to find a father of one of my students quite upset. I shakily ushered him into the classroom where he proceeded to lecture me about what his son had missed out on in school, up to that point, and what he believed […]
“Coaching” Applied to Teaching–Why I Don’t Like It
“Teaching Coaches” have become commonplace as public school curriculum is converted to Common Core. The plan is to enlist teachers, lots of them, to coach other teachers how to instruct using Common Core. In most places these teaching coaches get a stipend of $5-6,000 to help transform a school district into a Common Core wonderland. […]