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
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 connectedRead More
An old adage suggests that if one wishes to understand why something truly happens, the question“why?” must be posed at least five consecutive times. This allows the questioner to get below surface-level influences and arrive at the root cause. IRead More
Was I destroying the fabric of our democracy by being a fair and sensible principal? Will the kids would grow up to assume that most decisions made by adults were equally fair and sensible? YIKES!Read More
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
As teachers we listen to our kids. We know when they have had a bad day and need extra attention or praise. We know when they have a supportive home and when they need that support from us. We useRead More
You can keep waiting for Superman, but he’s not coming. I find the title of a certain highly controversial documentary to be ironic, because it is problematic in its symbolism, alone. To invoke such iconography during the debate overRead More
According to the US News & World Report Data:
* The number 1 school has only 1% of its students eligible for free and reduced lunch.
* The number 2 school has only ONE STUDENT eligible for free and reduced lunch.
* The number 9 school, an AZ charter, has not one single student eligible for free and reduced lunch.
The season of fall brings cooler weather, elections, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and… parent/teacher conferences. The school year is well underway and most students have finally found their groove and are becoming familiar with their new grade level, and enjoying new friends.Read More