Reform or Deform: Which is it?

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

  Like its sister-term, “accountability,” the term “reform” has had a few minutes of fame in education this year (see this swell piece by blogger-extraordinaire Nancy Flanagan). Here, Flanagan blatantly opens her piece with the statement, “Hello my name is

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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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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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