This fall I've been thinking a lot about what makes a good team in a school context. I'll share some of these thoughts, but I really want to hear your ideas on this subject.Read More.
Last week I spent an afternoon coaching teachers on preparing for parent conferences. That same day, after work, I attended my son's fall parent-teacher conference. Given these different perspectives on this tradition, I figured I could share some thoughts for making these conferences...Read More.
In early October, I reviewed Paul Tough's new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. I saw implications for policy, funding, and teacher preparation, as...Read More.
When we started ASCEND, the K-8 school in Oakland, CA., that I've written about here at Edutopia, we asked our students to practice six habits. We called them the "Ways to Ascend," although later students remembered...Read More.
Last week, my son's third grade teacher sent home what at first glance looked like a long homework assignment -- three sets of survey questions with many lines for his responses. After reading the directions, we learned that I was to ask him the questions and transcribe his responses. Each night...Read More.
I knew I wanted to get to know my students. I wanted to hear about their lives, look through their eyes, experience the sounds of their world, and survey their emotional landscapes. I also knew I needed to do this in order to be a more effective teacher: I could tailor instruction to draw...Read More.
If I could, I'd lay money on the claim I'm about to make: If you do the one little thing I'm about to suggest, you will have a great school year. Here it is:Read More.
When I first started teaching and was overwhelmed by the demands and complexity of the job, my survival strategy was simply to take all the advice that came my way and implement it. So when my wise mentor suggested that after the first day of school I call all of my second grader's parents, I...Read More.
A student I taught 12 years ago (when she was in the sixth grade) emailed me recently sharing that in the fall, she will become a middle school English teacher. "That was the best year of school for me," she said, "I just want to help other kids have an experience like that." I was thrilled;...Read More.
When people ask me if I'm taking some time off while school is out, I respond, "a little," being intentionally vague. I'm embarrassed, actually, that I'm taking so few days off this summer (a total of eight, really).
"It's my choice," I add. "This is self-imposed." But is it, I wonder...Read More.