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School Stories

This category contains 95 posts

Love, Logarithms & Learning at its Best

For my first post (yay!), I’ve decided to share a project I recently completed with my students that started out small, but grew into something big that, in my opinion, truly showcased “learning at its best”. Many of my colleagues and friends know about or have seen a math rap video I produced with my … Continue reading

Let’s play: “Stand on the Line”

While progressing through my MA studies, I met with a young woman (I do not denigrate her youth, for she is only one decade younger than I am, but her outlook and attitude certainly were “youthful”) whose open expression of her life experiences affected me quite deeply. She was born and raised in Utah; her … Continue reading

Tale of a Broken System: A Student’s Perspective

Public education is a system of failure in America; it’s a system that no longer holds any true promise to a great future that one can build on. Over the past few decades its capabilities has seemed to have narrowed and its structure has seem to falter to the point of near catastrophic collapse. However, … Continue reading

Teach for Humanity

This is a story about experience.  Strangely enough, experience has the power to both sever and prompt connection.  There are threads of my story—my experience—that are particular to me as a black child, a black woman, and an African immigrant.  On the other hand, there are fibers in my story that are universal, and linked … Continue reading

Real Education Is Human

This post kicks off Blog for IDEC 2012 week. At an extraordinary and unusual school I visited recently, I observed a seven-year-old girl come before the school’s judicial council. The day before she had violated a cardinal rule of the school.  She had failed to look after her own safety.  She and four of her … Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street: The Education Edition (Part 1)

I am very happy to say that I spent my weekend occupying Wall Street. During this time, I had the amazing opportunity to speak with people who are not only angry, but hopeful. They are individuals who protest our country’s economic policies not out of hatred, but out of love for our country. They see … Continue reading

#occupyedu: challenge schools to change

A simple truth lurks behind our schools: we built them to keep our kids apart. But we can do better. Join #occupyedu to share the countless, unique ways you challenge the status quo in public education. Children, parents, educators, community members – all are invited. We cannot re-imagine or recapture schools without the stakeholders they … Continue reading

Co-curricular

I came across a new term today: co-curricular, well new to me. Now as my husband will attest, I make up words all the time. It is part humor, part just how I think and partly that I am just the world’s worst speller. So when I first read this term, I immediately thought, oh … Continue reading

No Friction Homework

When my children were about 11, 9, and 7 (I have twins so that’s four kids), the kids would arrive home after school, bus exhaust announcing their appearance.  They’d walk up the driveway wearily, their shoulders weighed down by backpacks filled with textbooks, notebooks and most especially, reams and reams of worksheets of homework.  Sometimes, … Continue reading

Let’s make school Facebook worthy

via Lost In Recursion. Last year my favorite course was my hardest to teach. I felt very strongly about the material, thinking almost constantly about it and how we could spend our time experiencing it. And yet, most days I felt class was stale and that the students felt and thought little during the experience. … Continue reading

What I’m doing to change schooling in my classroom – and how it’s worked

Lesson plan. Lecture. Notes. Test. Rinse. Repeat. We’ve all seen classrooms that operate like this. In fact, I’m sure that we’ve all been in classrooms that have operated like this. Mine wasn’t so different when I started teaching. I still vividly recall my first year: part of our drama 9 curriculum was to teach the … Continue reading

A Student Voice: Emma

The following is a guest post by Emma Gore, a rising 9th grader. She’d like to add her voice to the chorus of folks wanting to save our schools from the mediocrity of centering on standardized testing rather than a real education. Please respond. Feels like a Disney Movie When I was four, I was … Continue reading

Graduation Reflections

Imagine it is graduation day for your 8th grade students. After a 10 minute hike carrying their caps and gowns on hangers, they are gathered with you and another guide in a tarp enclosed canopy near a stream and the entrance to a trail in the woods. They are sitting in a circle having a … Continue reading

The Kids Are Alright

Yesterday my two youngest children graduated from high school. Unlike many of the parents cheering and hollering on the lawn on that beautiful June day, I was not deeply grateful to the institution that had just processed them through four years of standardized testing, sorted and tracked them, assessed their “readiness” for honors and AP … Continue reading

No Controversy Allowed! On Getting Kicked Out of a Middle School

I wanted to share a recent post I wrote for Common Dreams, a progressive news site. Here are a couple excerpts: Imagine our surprise when ten minutes after the presentation we found out that the second one was canceled. The principal – who’d come in a few times during my presentation but wasn’t able to … Continue reading

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