Education, Illustration, learning

Hey Teach #3 (Comic)

Hello educator friends, Over the past several years--hell, for almost two decades now--I've been thinking a lot about how to express my discomfort with the dichotomous nature of a lot that we see, hear, and talk about in education. For example, I've written about growth mindset before here, and about the messages about learning we… Continue reading Hey Teach #3 (Comic)

Education, learning, Lessons Learned In Combat, Random FYI's

Four Stories That Homework Tells Children About School, Learning, & Life

At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I must begin by acknowledging that the topic of homework is a hot-button one. Several times within the past few months, I have been part of a Twitter conversation about homework that has effectively blown up my digital devices with each resuscitation. "Homework" as a concept makes… Continue reading Four Stories That Homework Tells Children About School, Learning, & Life

Education, learning

Some Thoughts on Alfie & the #GrowthMindset

I can remember the very first time I experienced the brilliance that is Alfie Kohn. I was in Rhode Island with one of my most beloved educational mentors, Gert Nesin, at the annual NELMS convention-- not yet finished with my certification program and increasingly eager to "unschool" myself from the teacher education I experienced as an undergrad. I… Continue reading Some Thoughts on Alfie & the #GrowthMindset

Education, learning, Literacy

Write On: Short, Easy Ways to Nurture Your Writing Habit

I'm going to point out a nasty, embarrassing truth here: most teachers of writing are not themselves writers. That's not to imply that all writing teachers must be authors of their own books, or regular contributors to professional journals, or even fillers of countless notebooks year after year; after all, most teachers of science are not themselves… Continue reading Write On: Short, Easy Ways to Nurture Your Writing Habit

Education, learning, Literacy

Why I Reread A Childhood Fave Every Summer

One of my favorite summer traditions is not dependent on sunny, dry weather. It costs little to no money. And it fills my heart with more joy than watching contestants from The Bachelorette duke it out over a woman who has no intention of actually marrying a dude she became engaged to after six short weeks of simultaneously dating him… Continue reading Why I Reread A Childhood Fave Every Summer

Education, learning, Literacy

A Better Summer Slide Graphic?

Well, folks, it's that time of year! Time when we reflect on the past school year, dream about all of the ways we will be a better teacher come September, and curse the custodial staff for refusing to let us install air conditioners in our classrooms. It's also that time of year when we begin… Continue reading A Better Summer Slide Graphic?

Education, learning, standardized testing, testing

The Problem with NH’s PACE Program

The New Hampshire Department of Education (NH DOE) has been positively gleeful about its "first-in-the-nation" strategy for ensuring public school accountability. The Performance Assessment of Competency Education program, or "PACE" for short, will, its supporters claim, guarantee that public schools across the state be held accountable for making sure that students demonstrate "measurable progress" toward… Continue reading The Problem with NH’s PACE Program

Education, learning, Literacy

Free, Easy, & Fun Summer Learning (Sangria Not Included)

One of the aspects I like best about being a teacher is the freedom we educators have during the summer. Not in the sense of having our summers "off"--because who, among us, truly do nothing work-related over the summer?--but in the sense of having the space and the time to reflect, to learn, and to dream… Continue reading Free, Easy, & Fun Summer Learning (Sangria Not Included)

Education, learning, opt out, standardized testing, testing

Um, Yeah–It Actually IS about Testing

There are a myriad of reasons why families and students decide to opt out or refuse standardized testing. Some refuse because they resent the number of hours teachers spend testing (and "preparing") students when they could be engaging in more meaningful instruction and assessment. Some refuse because they are frequently tied to teacher evaluation, which… Continue reading Um, Yeah–It Actually IS about Testing

Education, learning, Lessons Learned In Combat, Literacy

Creating a Digital Poem: Thoughts on Process

What does your Facebook news feed look like? If yours is anything like mine, it's full of text--but not the kind we typically value most in schools. Sure, there's written text. But we'd be hard-pressed to find a news feed that doesn't also have images, videos, and links to other web content. Am I right?… Continue reading Creating a Digital Poem: Thoughts on Process