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Paula White

grandma, teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE), DEN STAR, Google Certified Teacher, camper, Gifted Resource Tchr, NETS*T certified, lover of learning
Paula White has written 75 posts for Cooperative Catalyst

Understanding Teaching

I recently wrote this sentence on the 6 Schools, 5 Decades and 1 Dedicated Teacher post: Leading and learning with the adults that surround your kids is just as important as leading and learning daily with your students. Teaching in a silo-especially when you are good at it–is like living in a well, deep and cold. I … Continue reading

20 Year Old Dinosaurs

Adam and Monika, this one’s for you, in response to your comment here and the ensuing conversation about learning. This is also cross-posted at Reflections of the TZSTeacher. When I taught kindergarten, I had a unit about dinosaurs. Young children are fascinated by dinosaurs.  I don’t know if it’s the “monster” connection, or the big … Continue reading

Joy in Standardized Tests?

Much of the conversation in response to this weeks’ blog posts has centered around joy in learning and joy in school. Here’s my story of this past week. I am my school’s testing coordinator.  This is my first year doing it and we are doing all of our state tests online.  I am coordinating 10 … Continue reading

Must-Do List From the Co-op

This week we decided to follow up on some of the conversations we’ve been having and co-create a list that answers the question: What MUST we DO to transform schools into places of authentic, democratic learning? At one point we mentioned involving someone else in creating this list as well, and I know several of … Continue reading

5 Decades, 6 Schools, 1 Teacher Dedicated to Kids

Work smarter, not harder! That’s what I’m doing here–this post actually is meeting a homework assignment for me, AND allowing me to write for the Coop Catalyst blog this week as well. The question in my class is: “Reflect on your teaching career and create a timeline of events that have had a significant impact … Continue reading

Do It From The Classroom

This week’s Cooperative Catalyst blog question mirrors an #Edchat twtpoll question:  How can teachers have a bigger influence on education reformation? One of my favorite songs relatively early in my career was by Whitney Houston, called: “Greatest Love Of All“ It began with these words: I believe the children are our are future Teach them … Continue reading

A Call To Action

Recently I saw a series of tweets sharing this link: In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis – Henry Giroux. The interesting thing to me is that it was written 15 days ago–what took it so long to become a RT by so many? The writer is all over democratic schools and … Continue reading

What Was Life Like Before Standards And High Stakes State Tests?

First, let me give credit to Becky Fisher (@beckyfisher73 on Twitter, who blogs at The Calculus of the  Classroom) for her help with this post. She brilliantly uncorked the thoughts and opinions expressed here. As I read “Subverting Myself” and “Start Doing The Minimum…And The Maximum” it occurred to me that I have been teaching … Continue reading

Empowering Self-Directed Learners

Many of you who read my personal blog know that I became a teacher because of a specific event that “wounded” me as a young child.  In trying to answer this week’s cooperative catalyst question, “How do we support students developing as efficacious self-directed, social learners and involve parents as partners in that journey?” I … Continue reading

Is ANYBODY not Wounded By School?

That’s a sincere question. I’m wondering if any of us escape from our at least 10 years of schooling unscathed? For this week’s blog, we all agreed to read the book Wounded By School by Kirsten Olsen and write about it. The author says, in the introduction, “Because of school’s long, powerful presence in our … Continue reading

Why Can’t My Kids’ Writing Be Proof They Can Write?

This week’s question:    How might we leverage or scale up authentic assessment models to challenge (or supplant, I add) standardized, high stakes tests? 1.  First, make sure teachers have a clue what authentic assessment is. 2.  Then, make sure teachers understand deeply what authentic assessment is. 3.  Be sure to check whether teachers know … Continue reading

Turf Wars and Democracy

This week’s catalyst question is “How are students, teachers, and administrators fostering or getting in the way of democratic education?” My post will show that fostering or inhibiting democratic actions sometimes happens deliberately and sometimes not so purposefully. I am a Gifted Resource Teacher and in my system, that means that quite a bit of … Continue reading

Toward a More Perfect Union?

This week’s question for the cooperative catalyst group is: What role do common core standards play in realizing, actualizing, and implementing democratic education? As I thought about how I would go about answering this, I realized I couldn’t think this small. . .yet.  And, as I say that, I realize that question really  is a … Continue reading

Structures for Democracy?

In one of my very first blog posts ever, I spoke to the rules I used to have in my kindergarten classroom.   See Rules-Schools Have Too Many! I agree with one of my commenters that these are rules for life. Be Safe. Be Considerate. Be a Thinker. And, I believe that if all people … Continue reading

Schools SHOULD BE Where We Learn Democracy

I grew up, as probably many of us did, in a traditional school. It was a neighborhood school, where I walked or rode my bike to school, and often rode it home mid-day to have lunch with my Mom. We had between 250-300 students, with two teachers per grade. I don’t remember there being any … Continue reading

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