Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

  • Philadelphia Teachers Contract Cancelled

    on Oct 23, 14 • in Current Events in Education, Educator Professionalism, Policy • with Comments

    Philly Federation of Teachers

    In my article “Teacher Activism,” I explained the background of the takeover of the School District of Philadelphia by the state of Pennsylvania. The District is still under the control of the School Reform Commission (SRC) which is not elected nor does it have any taxing power. Until 2013 the SRC managed to negotiate contracts with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT). For some reason although the teachers are still working under the last contract the SRC has not been willing to negotiate fairly with the PFT. Suddenly, On October 6, 2014, the SRC cancelled the

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  • The Looking Glass of the School to Prison Pipeline: Why Reading Abilities Matter

    on Oct 20, 14 • in Policy • with Comments

    School Bus in Alaska

    “Mrs. Warren, I love you!”  Andrew (one of my students) yelled  as I gave him a high five after connecting the events to the story in A Lesson Before Dying and the trial of Troy Davis. The other kids laughed at his outburst, but  we kept moving so that we could finish the discussion and work for the day. When he yelled that out in class,  our class was ‘knee deep’ in reading the novel about a mentally handicapped defendant, Jefferson, who was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. My kids (especially my

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  • The Loneliness of the Post College New Teacher

    on Oct 20, 14 • in Educator Professionalism, From the Front Lines, Instruction&Curriculum, Policy • with Comments

    exhausted teacher

    “The weekends are the hardest.” a young, new coworker friend of mine said, “I think I’ll get another dog, it’s too lonely.” I remember reading somewhere that some of the loneliest people in the world are those of the newly graduated college student, and it seemed that my young, coworker friend was no different. It made sense to me as my own children were at the end of their college days and embarking on a brave new world of their career choices.   My kids managed to survive this time of their lives fairly easily as they basically stayed in

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  • Classroom Management in Middle School

    on Oct 16, 14 • in Instructional Strategies, Policy • with Comments


    Middle school students are both exciting and difficult to teach. They are exciting because they are moving toward adulthood and constantly changing. They are difficult because they are not fully mature and often lapse into behaviors of younger children. Finding classroom management techniques that work at this age takes some trial and error. Here are some classroom management techniques that worked for me. Establish Authority- Make it clear to your classes that you are the only adult in the room. On occasion I would have clarify this by saying – “My room, my rules, my game,

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  • Turning that Picture into Writing

    on Oct 15, 14 • in Instructional Strategies, Literacy, Policy • with Comments


    On my bathroom wall at home, I have a large framed drawing my son made in first grade. It has a lot of underwater action, including thought bubble over the shark saying “I am the king of the ocean.” Another thought bubble over a fish close to the shark’s mouth reads, “I am going to die!” It is a fun picture but it wasn’t until I was teaching second grade that I realized that this was a detailed story my son had “written.” The actual writing in his daily journal was pretty basic. It usually

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