Month: October 2019

  With depressing regularity, since the start of the 2016 presidential campaign, I've felt a tug to blow-up large chunks of planned lessons because of a morning indictment, Congressional hearing, or some norm-shattering tweet. On the days that I do, I set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes and we talk through the scandal du jour. In these moments, my students are always more engaged. They ask incredibly thoughtful... read more
  "OUR STUDENTS WANT TO KNOW MORE THAN WE ARE TELLING THEM."   Our students want to know more than we are telling them. I teach a class in which my predominantly White juniors and seniors teach all of the predominantly White freshmen and sophomores about racial literacy and social justice. I teach this class in a small town in Iowa. Day one is all about identity and Lillie—White, female,... read more
  As a reading intervention teacher at a D.C. Title I school, I see my seventh and eighth graders’ intelligence, curiosity, silliness and resilience. I see also in stark contrast and vivid, quantitative detail how far some need to grow to reach a beginning reader level and ultimately grade level comprehension. Why Are They in a Reading Intervention Course as a Secondary Student? We know the story’s... read more
  School discipline will always be a hotly debated topic. As an advocate, I have argued for more proactive, inclusionary practices that address prevention rather than reaction, but I realize that the ability to have positive behavior in the classroom is how we can ensure that students are receiving a high-quality education.   I WANT TO CHALLENGE US ALL TO LOOK INWARD WHEN THINKING ABOUT... read more
  The first wave of the new school year in America should have crested. The beginning of the school year means fresh faces entering classrooms, new ideas for pedagogy and active shooter training. The probability of a school shooter on campus, or what the National Rifle Association terms a “Mass Casualty Tragedy,” is deemed so high Mortenson Elementary School—just outside of Columbine, Colorado—... read more
  Not everyone who talks about teacher voice really wants to hear it. Take a peek into many schools and this is what you might see. A veteran teacher shares an idea she has about improving school policy or curriculum. Leaders smile and nod because she’s using her teacher voice. After all, that is what’s valued in this school. However, her voice brings no real change or reflection. What she said is... read more
October is ADHD Awareness Month and, whether you’re new to education or have been working with students for years, you have probably encountered Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in your school. ADHD is a brain-based medical disorder that impairs the management system in one’s mind, affecting six key executive functions of the brain—activation, focus, effort, emotion, memory and... read more

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