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Philosophical Meanderings

This category contains 336 posts

To Quit or Not To Quit: That is the Question

In recent news, there has been a barrage of videos, letters, and articles from educators around the country – explaining in no uncertain terms why they are walking away from the teaching profession. Excessive testing, an administration that isn’t supportive, difficulties with classroom management, a lack of autonomy – the reasons continue and continue. These teachers have gotten much attention for their … Continue reading

Leadership Should Permeate Everything You Do

Today I got my annual “Happy Holidays” email from my Superintendent.  It never ceases to amaze me how she turns everything into something to make us think. Leadership does permeate everything she does. Here’s the latest from our Coop Catalyst friend and author, Pam Moran (and I post this with her permission.):   Dear Colleagues: … Continue reading

The Curve

1 Back in the day, the cops used to monitor us from their server that intercepted our texts from the cell phone towers built around our schools, so we’d buy burners with cash, write lists of numbers (always eventually eaten later by a kid named Sally, short for Salamanca), send a single text to all … Continue reading

Economics 101: Dark Times on Wall Street (and Chemical Alleys)

Through various history lessons we know of the effects that Wall Street has upon our lives. The Black Tuesday that heralded The Great Depression, Wall Street’s Black Monday of 1986 and the Flash Crash of 2010, make it seem that economic circumstances are entirely dependent upon what takes place on a street in New York … Continue reading

I have a cunning plan…

Next year, we’re planning on implementing a new SIS and gradebook at our school. Groundbreaking news, eh? The kicker is that our new gradebook supports individual assignments for individual students. Think about that for a second. For the first time, I can build assignments that are specific to an individual student, and not have to … Continue reading

The license

1 “Damn it.” The same level. Four hours. No way out. No other accessible saves. Nothing to do but fight the impossible boss battle over and over again. Mike gestured and the cheat menu popped up to overlay the screen. A new sword. New armor. Boots of the unfathomed initiate. Buffs. Debuffs. Permaboosts. Spells, allies, … Continue reading

A Thin Line Between Silence and Voice

A few days ago, David Loitz, Imagining Learning’s Seed Steward, posted a rough cut of a new film he is making about the Voices of the young people (and some of the adults) who have been involved in Listening Sessions.  In watching it, in listening to those familiar faces and voices that I met just … Continue reading

Teachers accountable to teachers: busting bureaucracy organically

Originally posted at educatedtodeath.com Suppose we looked at teacher accountability in a new way? I propose we trust teachers—a little laissez-faire education if you will. This might require higher pay and a serious look at teacher education and quality, but it’ll balance itself out. With less money thrown at testing and corporate remediation materials plus … Continue reading

The Fault/Power Paradox of Traditional Schooling

The student/teacher relationship where the teacher’s job is to maintain control and the student’s job is to submit to control is a pervasive characteristic of the traditional school paradigm, and I’d bet all of us have experienced it. Sometimes the exchange is subtle and involves the student feeling at fault for an unfair situation. One … Continue reading

Teach for America: A Terrific Model for Expansion!

Since Teach for America has been so successful at solving the problems of education in our country, I’m proposing we take their model and apply it to other failing systems and issues at hand. If the biggest problem in education is a lack of quality teachers, and we can provide those teachers and thus solve … Continue reading

I’m Angry

It’s Monday, and I’m angry. I’m angry because, after a weekend of careful planning, after differentiating an assignment for students who have mastered skills at different levels, after catching up on all of my grading, after getting my lesson plans in on time with the TEKS and the Reading Comprehension standards and the ELPS, I … Continue reading

Nothing but this

[This post originally appeared at Classroots.org.] In the first part of his new book Present Shock, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff explains how we have come to a “now-ist” “presentism” resulting in “narrative collapse.” If I understand him correctly, Rushkoff argues that new media, social change, and technologies make traditional story-telling untenable. While we are accustomed … Continue reading

Is It the Standards Fault that They Worry Me?

“..but this is what I teach my college students…”  My mother, who is an English professor, is looking at the new 5th grade common core standards.  I shake my head, sigh, and realize that I now have another mountain to climb when it comes to making school relevant, engaging, and exciting for students.   I … Continue reading

Beyond “The Teaching Crisis”

[This post originally appeared on Classroots.org.] Despite school, some of the kids and adults inside it are able to hack classroom- and school-sized nodes into relevancy. I think subverting the status quo in public schools is – at some scale – an overt political act. While some subversive teachers keep low profiles, their students know … Continue reading

Victim Shaming, Rapist Celebrating Society: The Lessons Children are Learning

A few months ago, I wrote a post about how rape culture has a strong relation to America’s taxpayer-funded schools. Since, the evidence of rape culture in schools has shown such a strong connection to the existence of rape culture that the truth has become axiomatic. However, that is just the brunt of this issue, … Continue reading

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