School Stories

This category contains 95 posts

I Love My School (Guest Post by Student Veronica Pollock)

There aren’t many charter schools out there that are earth friendly and where students learn about the environment as part of their education. Ridge and Valley Charter School (RVCS) offers this. The students at RVCS love the environment. We take community action. We have fundraisers running all the time, such as for animal shelters, food … Continue reading

“Above Us Only Sky”: A Writing Teacher’s Manifesto

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” John Lennon is right. From the time I was a small girl, people have told me that I’m idealistic, which always came across as a nice way of calling me naïve. But when it comes to teaching, I am one of Lennon’s dreamers. … Continue reading

Playing with Math

This post was first posted on my personal blog as Visualizing Math. Thanks to David Wees (who has retweeted it) and David Loitz for the push to put it here as well. I love math.  Am I an expert at it?  No.  Do I make mistakes as I teach it?  Probably–but I work hard not … Continue reading

Pathways to Healing After a School Shooting

I’m a self-proclaimed news junkie. Every morning, I begin by scanning through major news sites online, by poring over Facebook and Twitter posts, updating myself with what’s going on in the world. This continues throughout the day, just as it did on Monday, when I saw BREAKING NEWS cross my Twitter feed with a statement … Continue reading

Acknowledging Our Assumptions

I don’t quite know how to begin this or how to write it, or how to end it, but there are thoughts hiding in my mind, flying around in it, and scurrying here and there that just won’t let me NOT write. I think the unrest began consciously at Educon, when Kirsten Olsen summed up … Continue reading

Can A Community Support Education?

Can a group of like minded parents and community members, support an education model for our children? An education that is designed for our evolution and not for our economy? Can we change the paradigm and create a new kind of education that is more organic and true to the needs of our imminent future? … Continue reading

An Eighth Grader’s Letter to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook

I wanted to share a recent post I wrote for, an online community for people passionate about creating a better world. Here’s an excerpt from “An Eighth-Grader’s Letter to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook”: This past week, I taught a humane education course to an eighth grade class in Blue Hill, Maine. The course focused … Continue reading

The learning trough: the five-month update and metaphors related to animals

It’s the end of a semester, and the end of an experiment in my classroom that I’ve detailed in past posts. A short recap: I gave students the freedom to choose what they wanted to study (from a broad list of about 35 different topics, more choice than I had during any given semester while … Continue reading

Wanted: Common Core Stories

After the big splash of Common Core Standards coming on the education scene there’s been a notable silence since they have begun to roll out. I’m looking for stories of how these new standards are playing out in schools for better, the same, or worse.  I began asking as we pulled new calendars out of … Continue reading

Apocalyptic teaching in 2012: skate or die

[Cross-posted from] I believe in negotiating curriculum, instruction, and assessment with students. I believe in inquiry and erring on the side of students’ pursuits over that of the state. I believe in asking students what they want to do and asking myself how I can help them accomplish their goals. I don’t think we … Continue reading

The Few Like You Are Still The Few Like You

Following up on Pam’s post, “Once Upon a Time We Put a Human on the Moon,” I have to say I agree with much of what she said. In the “olden days,” there were desks in rows, kids doing worksheets, very little choice in assignments, mostly the teacher as dictator, and teachers who taught as … Continue reading

New Year, New Teacher-my classroom resolutions for 2012

It has been a long time since I’ve posted on my own blog because lately, I have gone into survival mode–just getting grades done and hanging on to my sanity leading up to the holiday break. The fall semester was filled with triumphs and successes for my students and me, but I also must admit … Continue reading

Making It Real…and Making a Difference!

Why did any of us go into education? I would suspect that for many of us it was all about making a difference in the world…the thought of making learning irresistible to kids and having the opportunity to change a life through inciting a love of learning certainly enticed me to the field. I’m in … Continue reading

Teaching to the Test? What is the Point of This? Northeast Social Studies Exam … Guess Which Grade

My question is this: what is the point of all this memorization? I can understand having to learn the geography of the Northeast. But there is no word bank, and when did Social Studies become a big spelling test? Continue reading

Reflections on a Lesson Plan: A Place of Empowerment and Self-Expression

Spend a few minutes at my middle school and you’ll quickly notice students talking over everyone–teachers and each other. Our school has proclaimed to be dedicated to social justice, and I can’t help but wonder how this culture of talking over one another is effective to empower students and help them develop strong voices. My … Continue reading

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