Tag: Teachers

Hey Teachers, Answer These 2 Questions And We’ll See Just How High Your Expectations Are

The first question is easy. Do you agree that all teachers should set high expectations for their students? The answer seems obvious. Of course, teachers should set the bar high for the kids they work with every day. It’s the second question that seems to really trip teachers up. Do you honestly believe that all students can meet those expectations?…

Education Reform Isn’t A 4-Letter Word

If you didn’t know any better, you might think there’s a civil war brewing right now in school systems across the country. It’s called education reform. Education reformers support school choice initiatives and accountability for public schools. Reformers are passionate about closing achievement gaps and building better public schools, but don’t necessarily believe that the conventional methods of education are…

Teaching Is Tough, But So Are You.

There was a day last year when I had to miss school because of a conference I was attending. I came in early the next morning to check on how things had gone while I was out, and I found one of the best notes from a substitute teacher that I had ever received. “I wanted to let you know…

Student Voice Matters

This past January, Rachel Belin and representatives of the Prichard Committee’s Student Voice Team came to educate my students on student voice. In one of the activities that they did with my class, my students were all lined up in the front of the room. Rachel explained she would ask them a “yes” or “no” question and then they would…

Labels Are For Products, Not Students

I can remember sitting down with my team of teachers at the end of the school year, filling out a form that included all of the students’ names, academic abilities, behavior issues, etc. This list would be passed to the next team of teachers that taught these students the upcoming year. We included which students should be with which teachers……

It’s Not Enough To Talk About Equity. You Have To Do Something, Too.

By the time I graduated college, I was well-versed in all sorts of teacher talk about equity and social justice. I had gotten into books like Pedagogy of the Oppressed and The Dreamkeepers, and they were basically my law and gospel. I thought the wisdom they imparted alone would be all I needed to close the achievement gap by myself.…

‘Tough Kids’ Need Love Too

For twenty years I worked in traditional school settings — “normal” elementary and middle schools. Then it all changed. I was sent to work at our district’s alternative learning center. I had heard about the ALC. That’s where the “bad” kids were sent. The kids that bullied others. The kids that brought weapons to school. The kids that made bomb threats.…

If You Want Great Schools, Build Great School Climates

Seeds don’t grow in bad soil. It doesn’t matter how much water or sunlight you give them or how much you drown them in Miracle-Gro. If you plant a seed in rocky soil, don’t expect much to happen. School climate — characterized by high expectations, positive relationships, student engagement, and more — is the soil that can make or break student performance.…

This Teacher’s Twitter Thread Went Viral, And For Good Reason

If you were on the Twitterverse yesterday, you may have seen this amazing thread that’s going viral. (I was one of the first to retweet, just saying.) It’s from Monte Syrie, a high school English teacher in Washington State. I’ve “storified” the thread he shared about his student, Meg, with his permission. It’s a great read that I think you’ll…

Citing Low Performance and Student Abuse, Interim Commissioner Lewis Calls For JCPS Takeover

Jefferson County Public Schools is facing a takeover. Referencing the low performance of several Louisville schools as well as abuses in student discipline, Interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis stated on Monday that he will attempt to give control over the JCPS district to the state. JCPS is one of the nation’s largest school districts, and the largest in…

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