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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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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