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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if-i-had-a-film-crew

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

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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.

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Sorry, Superman.

Mike Lee Current Affairs, Education, Education Policy, Elementary, Life in the Classroom, Literacy, Mathematics, Parent Involvment, Social Issues

  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 over

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coffee-talk

Coffee Talk

Alaina Adams Books, Education, Education Policy, Life in the Classroom, Professional Development, Social Issues, Teacher Leadership

One of my favorite skits on Saturday Night Live was “Coffee Talk,” in which a Mike Meyers-inspired character, Linda Richman, praised the likes of Barbara Streisand, said everything “looked like butta,” and encouraged viewers to “talk amongst themselves” with a one-word command: “discuss.” Yes, the characters on this

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