the-heart-of-teaching

The Heart of Teaching

Alaina Adams Assessment, Current Affairs, Education, Life in the Classroom, Parent Involvment, Professional Development, Social Issues, Teacher Leadership

February brings many flutters and shudders for teachers. The flutters are connected to the chocolate, Sweetheart candy, and wonderfully-sappy cards that tell us how we’re the best teachers ever. The shudders come from a month full of test-prep and the emergence of

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So Few Students; So Much Time

Eve Rifkin Assessment, Education, Education Policy, Elementary, Life in the Classroom, Mathematics, Parent Involvment, Social Issues, Teacher Leadership

Every single student, all 190 of them, have a 30-minute long, midyear conference to which they invite parents, guardians, peers, teachers, and other staff members. They share work from their portfolios, talk about their accomplishments and struggles, reflect on their growth in the Habits of Heart and Mind, and set goals for the short and long term. The advisor facilitates each conference, but the student is truly in the driver’s seat. It’s not strictly a time to show off, although that happens sometimes. The roundtable conference is a time for honest reflection and hard conversations too.

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Why I Teach

Alaina Adams Assessment, Education, Education Policy, Life in the Classroom, Literacy, Mentoring, National Board Certification, Parent Involvment, Professional Development, Social Issues, Teacher Leadership

by Alaina  In a recent InterACT blog post, Kelly Kovacic gave a 90 second summary of why she teaches. In solidarity,  bloggers in Washington and Arizona are posting blogs to pay tribute to why each of us teaches. Why do

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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.

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Blown Out

Alaina Adams Assessment, Education, Education Policy, Life in the Classroom, Mentoring, Professional Development, Teacher Leadership

Data-driven instruction blew out the speakers in my car today.    No joke.   The day started like any other: coffee, commute, Power Point creation, teach, plan, teach, lunch, teach, and then . . . my new release period to manage

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