Those Who Can, Make Movies

Eve Rifkin Assessment, Education, Education Policy, Life in the Classroom, Literacy, Mentoring, Professional Development, Teacher Leadership

At a Microsoft conference for educators last summer I got to take home a bunch of pink erasers (I was hoping for something sleeker). The erasers read “make mistakes”. The folks at one of the most successful corporations on the planet know that mistakes lead to great ideas and that they should be made regularly. We need to start rewarding innovation and risk-taking if we want good, or even great teachers. And those are the very things that will be punished if we think that a standardized test taken by a hungry or moody teenager can tell us everything we need to know about good teaching.

Read More

If I Had a Film Crew

Alaina Adams Education, Education Policy, Life in the Classroom, Mentoring, Parent Involvment, Professional Development, Social Issues, Teacher Leadership

I, rarely, watch movies about teachers – mainly because it drives my husband nuts when I yell at the screen because a teacher has pulled a karate move with inner city students, has placed chains on doors to lock out crime, or is connected

Read More

Big Pumpkin

Jen Robinson Uncategorized

As a kindergarten teacher, I always loved reading the story, Big Pumpkin by Erika Silverman. Maybe it was the singsong, predictable prose. Well she pulled and she tugged and she pulled. First she pulled hard and then she pulled

Read More

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows

Eve Rifkin Current Affairs, Education, Education Policy, Social Issues, Teacher Leadership

As co-founder of a small charter high school, I decided to interview Mike Klonsky, Chicago-based leader in the modern small-schools movement. Mike and I have a lot in common: we agree that small schools offer a more humane and functional alternative to big schools. We also share the belief, as evidenced by research and our own experiences, that small schools have lower teacher turnover, experience less violence, and allow for greater teacher autonomy.

Read More