leaving-the-classroom

Leaving the Classroom?

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

So I’m reading Katy Farber’s book, Why Great Teachers Quit: And How We Might Stop the Exodus, which explores the demands, challenges, and rewards experienced by classroom teachers across the country who are staying in the trenches of public education

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Accomplished Teaching?

Alaina Adams Education, Elementary, Life in the Classroom, Mentoring, National Board Certification, Professional Development, Teacher Leadership

by Alaina As 2010 comes to a close, many of us are reflecting on our accomplishments – and things we’d like to do better in 2011. In education, teachers are doing this same kind of reflection. What is it, though, that

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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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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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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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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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Nothing Special

Eve Rifkin Education, Education Policy, Elementary, Mentoring, Professional Development

Jim has been teaching 1st grade for twenty years. Opportunities to work collaboratively with his colleagues should be as common to him as his annual bulletin-board-supply shopping trip, and yet over the course of his 20-year tenure, Jim has spent countless hours in, what he and most of his colleagues would describe as, “the fancy-man-in-the-suit-with-the-power-point trainings”. If Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule holds true, then Jim and so many others have become experts at feeling patronized and isolated.

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