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Why I Keep Teaching (from 3-27-15)
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In recent years, it has become common for teachers who are leaving the profession prematurely to post letters or videos online explaining why they are leaving. I completely understand their sentiments and their reasons. I have almost been there myself. My wife and I at one point started a business that would be our exit Read More >>


Mr. Fitz’s UN-common UN-standards (from 8-14)
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If you are going to speak out against things, as I often do, I think it is good to also say what you are for. I don’t want to just be against the current version of education reform; I also want to be for certain things to be happening in education. So I decided to Read More >>


The War Against Thinking, Part 3 – How to keep students from thinking (from 7-14)
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I wrote about The War Against Thinking from a teacher’s perspective first, because discouraging teachers from thinking is what ultimately leads to discouraging students from thinking. Let me go back to my original, fundamental idea: you learn about what you think about, so school should be a place for thought. Since school is supposed to be a Read More >>


A Common Core Dialogue: Mr. Fitz Meets Dylan Trollman (8-5-14)
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Ever since I first saw him on YouTube giving a Common Core message to teachers in New York State, I’ve had a real problem with David Coleman. Coleman announced to the teachers that our message to students should essentially be that nobody gives a $#!+ about your personal story or your opinion (to use the Read More >>


The War Against Thinking, Part 2 – Textbooks, Programs, Curriculum Maps and the Spirit of Ditto Man (from 6-29-14)
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My first post about The War on Thinking focused on standards. I’m leaving standards behind now, but not completely. Because standards become the fuel that runs the weapons of mass instruction that keep The War on Thinking going. Those weapons against thinking? Textbooks, instructional programs, and curriculum maps. The companies that create textbooks and instructional Read More >>


The War Against Thinking – Standards (from 3-26-14)
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School should be a place for thought. That seems obvious. Thinking should be the main thing going on in schools. As Daniel Willingham points out in his book, Why Don’t Students Like School?, students learn about what they think about, so we should be trying to get them to engage in thinking as often as possible. Read More >>


Teacher Bergeron: How to Handicap Great Teachers (1-31-14)
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I once had a visitor to my classroom–someone I wanted to send a message to about the standardization of teachers. I had my class read the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, I’m not “subtle” but I am “effective.” Effective, that is, at making a point. Not Read More >>


Do NOT Stay in the Four Corners of This Text! (from 12-29-13)
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Do not stay in the four corners of this text. Do not be boxed in. This text wants to ask you questions that take you outside itself. Think about the best books you ever read. THE best book you ever read. Do you remember where you were when you read it? What the cover looked Read More >>


The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Education Reform
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When school is in session in buildings, our students go to physical classes and… do what exactly? They often sit. They sometimes talk to the teacher and to each other. They do work of varying sorts. We call this learning. But what are they really learning? Are we really investing in their intellects, or has Read More >>


The Intellectual Bank Account: How to Invest in Students’ Minds (8-22-14)
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The allure of the Pro-Standardized Testing Narrative is that on the surface, it seems to make sense. If you want to improve something, you measure it, work to make it better, and then measure it again to see if you improved. Right? Well, maybe if you are working with inanimate objects or factory-like processes. But Read More >>


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