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Leadership and Activism

This category contains 314 posts

Taking Time to Practice Democracy #yearatMH

originally posted at the IDEA Blog. Are we ‘school-year’ wise, but lifetime foolish? Immediately after finishing the first video chapter of “A Year at Mission Hill,” I went over to the school’s website and read their mission statement. I was first struck by just how beautiful it is; their care and dedication to “helping parents … Continue reading

Youth Voices in Afterschool Programs (Guest Post by Greg Williamson)

For many years, I have worked to engage young people in the many decisions that affect them in school and outside of it. I hear  many people in education talk about supporting “youth voice” or student centered education. Yet is education student centered if student are not given a voice in creating it?  I believe … Continue reading

The Revolution Will Not Be Quantified (Seattle boycott solidarity)

This post was a submission to my local Patch news site as part of the national Garfield solidarity day today. Also I would like to thank Katie Strom for some of the information and wording on high stakes tests. Revolutions are rarely, if ever, sudden. They are a final breaking point – the product of … Continue reading

Teachers as Activists Part One: Little “p” politics

Recently, I attend a meeting of the Austin Social Justice Teachers Inquiry Group, during which we talked about… politics. A scary word in a school. Big “P” Politics referred to ways teachers can be involved politically beyond the walls of their classroom; little “p” politics meant bringing current events and social justice into lessons and … Continue reading

#openschools: the Swartz dilemma

You run a tech-infused classroom. Kids do all sorts of work on the computer from reading fluency practice to released test items to word processing to new- and multi-media projects in response to class texts. You’ve scrounged up a bunch of unsupported computers from past replacement cycles in your building, and your tech person has … Continue reading

The Evaluation: schooling at the end of teaching, unions, & care

Nearly sixth months ago, I posted “The Evaluation,” a near-future science fiction short story imagining public school teaching as day-labor inside a techno-bureaucratic panopticon. Since then, I’ve tried to hold myself accountable for posting about the work that my kids and I do together, which I love and in which I believe. I want to … Continue reading

Keeping My Students Safe Isn’t Easy

I want to keep my students safe, I really do, but it really is impossible. When it comes to student and staff safety, there are so many things wrong with the way my school is built and run that I don’t know where to begin. Our principal reminded the staff again this week that only the front … Continue reading

The Care of Your Soul Became Mine

I would like to remove some rocks from your field so that you can plant more wheat. And those hills I see that are part of you, I have some trees in mind for them and flowering grasses, so that you won’t erode when the elements pour. Are we not lovers? Cannot I speak to … Continue reading

The Monday After Newtown

I really hate coming to school the first day after a school incident somewhere else.  No one ever knows whether it will be a biggie to our kids or not, so we have to prepare and really think through how to support our kiddos.  I don’t mind that,  in fact, I want to be prepared … Continue reading

Our Responsibility

            In the wake of the horrible tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, it may be time to reflect on our responsibilities as a society. No matter our role, we all have an individual and collective responsibility in how we respond to tragedies of this magnitude. Certainly our hearts, thoughts, prayers … Continue reading

Why Not Teach For America

Well, it’s about that time of year — when seniors start frantically applying for fellowships and internships and jobs, the socially conscious among them aching for a career that will allow them to change the world, others looking for something they can put on their application for law school. Then comes along the recruiting powerhouse … Continue reading

Learning the Vernacular: Slang in the Classroom

My sixth grade teacher was the only Black male educator in our entire school system when I had him as an eleven year old. In my racially and economically diverse elementary school, virtually all the Black children in each grade were put into his class every year–a fact which as a young student upset me. … Continue reading

My schools GSA letter to East Aurora School District 131

Ohio Virtual Academy/ Gay-Straight Alliance From: Ohio Virtual Academy High School Gay Straight Alliance 1655 Holland Road Suite F Maumee, Ohio 43537   October 22, 2012   To: East Aurora School District 131 417 Fifth Street Aurora, Illinois 60505 ATTN:  Mary Anne Turza Stella Gonzalez Annette Johnson Richard Leonard Raymund Hall Anita Lewis Ignacio Cervantes … Continue reading

The Third Way

“The Third Way” is a phrase sometimes used to describe a new, third alternative after two somewhat opposite alternatives are explored and found wanting or inadequate. For example, the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, founded a way of life, an eightfold path, that was a “third way” after he rejected the excesses of indulgence on the … Continue reading

Collaborate, but collaborate better than thy neighbor(?).

Originally posted at educatedtodeath.com We’ve had several meetings this year that have all had a similar message: “create a competitive environment in your classroom to motive your students”. We are told that they respond well to competition. They should always strive to do better than their neighbor. We are also expected to tell them that … Continue reading

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