At the end of a school year, there are so many measurements which could indicate that a teacher was "effective" -- graduation rates, grades, test scores -- quantifiable and ostensibly objective. Whether a teacher was effective must definitely be measured by how much his/her students' learning...Read More.
When I taught, one way that I made it through the last few weeks of school was by thinking about the following year -- what I'd do differently, curriculum I wanted to try out, field trips I would take my kids on. And as I took down the things on my walls, I contemplated how I'd decorate for the...Read More.
My last post was also about instructional coaching and I started it off by stating that in order for instructional coaching to work, the conditions must be right. A reader asked, in the comments, what exactly are those ...Read More.
Instructional coaching works, or rather, it can work when conditions are right. Perhaps because some principals and district leaders have seen the impact that an effective coach can have, a handful of coaching positions still exist in this era of extreme budget cuts.Read More.
For decades, my grandmother boycotted Mother's Day. "Mothers should be appreciated every day!" she'd argue. By the time she was in her sixties, she surrendered, figuring she might as well be doted on once a year.Read More.
Margaret Wheatley, a brilliant thinker and organizer, writes: "I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again: simple, honest, human conversation, and not mediation, negotiation, problem solving, debate, or public meetings. Truthful conversation where we each have...Read More.
In some of the elementary schools in the district I work in, teachers are strongly encouraged to display the results of student tests (such as reading fluency or interim "benchmark" assessments) in the classroom. Each child's score is identified -- a name next to a number, visible to all...Read More.
Some years ago I taught a life skills class to a group of eighth grade boys. The curriculum I offered wasn't working. They were disengaged -- they wouldn't read, write, or talk about what I wanted them to talk about -- and they were mounting a rebellion.Read More.
In a recent post, I shared a strategy for developing writing fluency in students. One comment asked about grades for journal writing, suggesting that if students don't receive a grade they won't be motivated to write.Read More.
The news out of Egypt this week has been gripping and fascinating, and made me really miss my days as a classroom teacher. All week I've been thinking: what would I do if I were in the classroom? How would I teach these events?Read More.