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Get support and guidance from change makers who are organizing and implementing real improvements to our educational system.

Elena AguilarDecember 11, 2013

Sometimes, in order to gain perspective on a situation, I imagine myself zooming into outer space and looking down on whatever is going on. From a distance of thousands of feet above whatever craziness is happening I can see more clearly and determine the actions that are available for me to take.

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Mark PhillipsDecember 9, 2013

That's the title of a lecture I attended as a graduate student, given by Ken Blanchard, the noted author of The One Minute Manager. I wish I'd taken it a little more to heart -- or brain -- at the time. Two years later, in my new position as a first-year faculty member at UC Santa Barbara, I wrote a letter to the editor of the school paper chastising the chancellor for his sexist opposition to the formation of a women's center. I was right. I was also stupid. A first-year, untenured faculty member publicly criticizing the chancellor is stupid. The next day, I was called on the carpet by my dean, who said, "How the hell could you do that?!" I learned -- the hard way.

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José VilsonDecember 2, 2013

Approximately 20 years ago, one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time was released upon the world, and those of us who listened to it haven't been the same since. The gritty, hardcore sounds of the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album left an indelible mark on hip-hop and music as a whole. Along with showcasing the works of artists who would go on to have individual success, such as Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) melded the unfiltered underground sounds of the early 1990s with soul and funk samples for commercial appeal. With nine members in the original Wu-Tang Clan, one can only wonder how this conglomerate of rapping styles could come together and create a sound rarely, if ever, replicated since.

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Karali PitzeleNovember 27, 2013

What if all professional development modeled the pedagogy that school leaders ask of their teachers? If we would use principles of PBL, cooperative learning, differentiation, and the workshop model every time we conduct a professional development (PD) or hold staff meetings, teachers might gain a clearer understanding of these approaches, and have the scaffolding and collegial collaboration they need to master them.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronNovember 25, 2013

Come winter, we are all due for a season of giving. What with testing, grades due, and just the general rushing towards the fast-moving train that is the holiday season, we could all use it. It's a time of year that is about singing in unison, strings of lights illuminating the darkness, and thinking of others. And, while not entirely in the spirit of the "season of giving" thing, it's also about competing to give the most tear- or guffaw-inducing present. Ah, the holidays.

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Nicholas ProvenzanoNovember 22, 2013

'Tis the season for heading to the stores or websites in search of the perfect gift for that nerd in your life. It can be tough chore to find the right gift for an extra nerdy person, but I have sorted through ThinkGeek and found some excellent choices for your beloved nerds (or those who appreciate the nerd way of life).

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Anne OBrienNovember 13, 2013

We (meaning all of us -- educators, parents, businesspeople, politicians and others) often default to an economic argument in discussions of public education, no matter the particular initiative at hand. The economic argument resonates with the public, which understands the importance of education in getting a good job and providing for one's family.

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Rafe EsquithNovember 11, 2013

Editor's Note: This post is an excerpt from Real Talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith. Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. © Rafe Esquith and Barbara Tong, 2013.

The special activity that has kept me engaged for three decades is the annual production of a Shakespeare play. It did not start out this way. Many good ideas evolve slowly, taking shape over many years and constantly getting better. The backstory of our productions might give you a notion of how your special idea might take shape and become a unique force in the life of your students.

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Elena AguilarNovember 8, 2013

One of the most common complaints I hear from teachers, administrators, and staff working in public schools is something along the lines of, "I don't feel appreciated." I'd like to propose that by simply incorporating a range of practices that allow ourselves and others to express gratitude, we might transform our schools.

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Heather Wolpert-GawronOctober 21, 2013

There is a panic amongst writing teachers that is based on the myth that our baby, narrative writing, is shunned by the Common Core standards. I'm here to encourage everyone to take a deep breath and repeat after me: "Nobody puts baby in a corner."

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