38 Days a Teacher: Leadership, Followership, and Fellowship

I found myself standing in front of 27 students, my first day as their teacher, the Monday after Thanksgiving. I was brought in as their Spanish teacher to pick up the pieces after their previous teacher ran screaming into the night, unable to deal with the behaviors and diverse academic needs of the 130 students [...]

Budget Cuts? Don’t Take It Out On The Teachers – Or The Students

I spent the day today working with professional educators.  This group of experienced teachers gathered to learn more about mentoring those just entering our profession.  Technically, we’re there to participate in the California teacher credentialing program, which requires beginning teachers to partner with experienced support providers. But while I was sitting there, learning about learning-focused [...]

The Reality Conundrum: What We Know Works vs. What We are Required To Do

The reality is this: what we know works and what we are required to do as teachers often don't align. The conundrum is how to choose. We want to choose what we know is best for our students 100% of the time. Sadly, our institutional inertia and regulation and testing means that too often isn't possible. [...]

A Broken Teacher Evaluation System

About this time last year, I comforted a co-worker after her first post-observation “conversation.” The principal had berated her without allowing my co-worker to defend her lesson plan. Just a few weeks earlier, I had been the target of a post-observation meeting. The principal claimed that my lesson plan was ineffective and not “best practices,” even [...]

By | 2016-12-09T13:14:26+00:00 December 9th, 2016|Professional Development, Recruitment & Retention|1 Comment

NCTE and ALAN Conference Highlights

I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving in Atlanta, Georgia at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE (ALAN) conferences. As a first-timer, I didn't know exactly what to expect. I have been to local and state-level teacher conferences before as well as national blogging [...]