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For the New Year: A Reminder Why I Teach (1-2-12)
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As we begin a new calendar year, which never seems like as big an event as starting a new school year, I want to write a reminder to myself about why I teach. If it reminds you, too, then that’s a bonus. Just before winter break, which ends to tomorrow, I had an experience I’d planned on Read More >>


How To Make Them Learn (from 12-9-11)
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I recently caught a rerun of ABC’s comedy The Middle (a very clever show) in which the quirky, gifted son, Brick, didn’t want to go to Physical Education. Rather than forcing PE on Brick, the teacher was allowing Brick to stay back in the classroom and read. Dad went to talk to the teacher about the situation.The Read More >>


Teaching: a love/hate letter (from 11-26-14)
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Don’t think I am making light of a serious subject. I have seen abusive relationships for real, Fortunately, always from the outside, But sometimes first hand. So I am Dead Serious. Teaching… You are my profession, And I’ve had a long, long relationship with you. But Teaching, I have to say, This has become an Read More >>


Three Words to use to Ordain Teachers (from 2-3-12)
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This past Sunday afternoon I attended the ordination service for a friend who was entering the ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was a beautiful service, and made me think we perhaps need to have an ordination ritual of sorts for teachers, whose work, we tend to forget, is as much a calling as Read More >>


Symptoms, Causes, Cures (from 1-13-12)
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This past weekend an older post of mine, my “Teacher’s Letter to Obama: A Lesson in Irony” suddenly caught on. As of this evening, it has over 50 thousand hits, and dozens of mostly positive comments. A few of the “commenters” made the criticism that I didn’t offer any solutions, and other commenters pointed out Read More >>


A Teacher’s Letter to Obama: A Lesson in Irony (from 9-19-11)
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Note: When I wrote this letter, I had no idea who would be in the White House next. I have not written to our current president because I don’t think he would care what I have to say. Sadly, neither did the previous president. When it comes to education, everyone has been getting it wrong. Read More >>


You Can’t Have Standardization and Excellence from 8-25-11)
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Perhaps this cartoon from earlier this year says it all. But I feel a need to go more in depth. I haven’t seen anyone else deal with this topic. Florida passed Senate Bill 736 this year, which says that half of every teacher’s evaluation, and eventually every teacher’s pay, will be tied to the FCAT, Read More >>


The Importance of Intelligent Disobedience (from 5-15-16)
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The room is full of students. And they are all silent. Absolutely silent. Waiting for the instructions they are about to receive. They don’t do anything until they are told to. They follow every instruction as it is given. Of course, the instructions are given by a teacher… me. I am reading a script. I Read More >>


Run the Schools LIke WHAT Business? (from 7-10-11)
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This post may not seem to be about education at first – but bear with me. Two articles recently caught my eye after I saw them re-posted on Facebook. The first, posted by my wife, is “Driven off the Road by M.B.A.s.” It is about former GM vice Chairman Bob Lutz, and his book, Car Guys and Bean Counters. The article discusses Read More >>


What is Reading, and Can It Be Captured In Bubbles? (from 6-27-11)
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The student came into my room the morning after our state test scores came out. (This was back when test scores actually came out before students went home for the summer.) She looked dejected. “I can’t read,” she said. I couldn’t remember what her score was, so I asked her. She had either a one Read More >>


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