Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

  • Standardized Testing Failure

    on Feb 27, 15 • in Featured, Opinion, Policy • with Comments


    First, a bit of history: Standardized tests began in the early 1900s as a way to determine intelligence. Those IQ tests were used to determine whether high school students should be on an academic track or a commercial track. Later they were be used by the military to determine who would be a good candidate for officer training. Standardized testing became more common place during the 1950s and ‘60s as a way to diagnose educational gaps and determine what remediation might be needed for individual students. Since the passage of NCLB, the focus of standardized tests has

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  • Chicago Teachers Union -vs- Rahm

    on Feb 25, 15 • in Current Events in Education, Educator Professionalism, Featured, Opinion • with Comments


    Last night, teachers throughout Chicago did happy dances. We were celebrating the outcome of the mayoral election where the current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was forced into a runoff with Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Emanuel had a war chest of about $30 million dollars plus PAC money. Garcia ran a grassroots campaign with the support of the Chicago Teachers Union. He was the teachers’ candidate. To make this easier to explain, I am going to talk as a Chicagoan. We don’t call them Emanuel or Garcia, they are Rahm and Chuy. It isn’t disrespectful. It is how

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  • 12 Ways To Reclaim Your Personal Life: Why Teaching Isn’t 24 Hours

    on Feb 25, 15 • in Educator Professionalism, Featured, Management, Opinion • with Comments

    12 Ways to reclaim your personal life

    For the average teacher – or worker for that matter – the expectations of the job are mounting. Each year we’re given more to do with the same amount of resources, namely time. There are only 24 hours in a day, and teachers should be prioritizing them. Certainly, this is not a post to advocate lackluster performance at school. Not in the least, we want you to be your best in school. But we also want you to be your best outside of school, for your family’s sake – and for your own sanity. Here

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  • Growth Mindset: The Power of “Yet”

    on Feb 23, 15 • in Featured, Opinion • with Comments

    Growth Mindset

    “Yet.” A powerful three-letter word that means, “an implied time, still, even or nevertheless”. There seems to be a phenomenon going around the world that I personally find amazing! It’s reaching schools, churches, and people in general….it’s the power of the little word “yet.” In a world depleted of hope; in a world of wanting what we want, when we want; it expresses our required patience and belief in one’s self or another person’s abilities to realize that some things are worth waiting for and those things take work, time and don’t always come in the form of anything that could be remotely

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  • Setting Up a Cooperative Learning Classroom

    on Feb 23, 15 • in Featured, From the Front Lines, Management, Opinion • with Comments


    At recess yesterday I began sketching my classroom layout for next year. Crazy, I know. I am the teacher who likes to do trial runs on pretty much everything. Owning my own school gives me the ability to do that. I use the beginning of each quarter to lay out goals and expectations for my students that are a bit more challenging than the average classroom has. Each quarter I reassess and tweak my ideas until I have a smooth running machine. So when I came across the many ideas leaning toward a cooperative learning

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