About Riina Hirsch

I have been an educator for 17 years. I love teaching like breathing. I am a former luddite turned blogger and professional development nerd. My BA in English is from Earlham College, my MAT is from Brown University, and my EdD in Teacher Leadership is from Walden University. I am also a Level 1 Google Certified Educator.

Deep Dive: The case for single point rubrics

Rubrics have fundamentally changed how teachers approach assessing student work. That is a good thing. On the other hand, standard analytical rubrics have not been without limitations. In response, different types of rubrics and strategies for implementing rubrics have emerged. Most recently, variations of a single point rubric have been developed and publicized. Single point [...]

By |2019-06-28T17:48:18-04:00June 28th, 2019|Instruction & Curriculum|0 Comments

Not All Charter Schools Are The Same

Not all charter schools are evil, corporate, for-profit monstrosities. Again: not all charter schools are the same. Some modern charter schools are operated by for-profit corporations or non-profits who pay their leadership exorbitant salaries. Almost all the common arguments against charter schools are rooted in those corporate models. They are the loudest, but not the [...]

By |2019-06-09T11:50:39-04:00June 9th, 2019|Instruction & Curriculum|0 Comments

Opinion: Age-Grading is Stupid

Age-grading is, in a word, stupid. It is built on a cultural conception of development that precludes the ability of individuals of different ages to have healthy, appropriate interactions and learn from one another. Unless, of course, a clear power dynamic defines the relationship: teacher-student, babysitter-child, employer-worker, coach-player etc., then the interaction is sanctioned. Instead [...]

On Being Radicalized: A Teacher’s Struggle

My whole life I have wondered how people become radicalized. What prompts someone to follow what started as logical beliefs to a dangerous extreme? It has always seemed so irrational to me. Now, I think I get it. The current political climate is testing me, radicalizing me, despite my best efforts to the contrary. There [...]

Reading and Writing Volume Counts

Volume is its own goal. The more we read and write, the better we read and write. That doesn't mean volume alone leads to excellence. It doesn't. But progress without volume is almost impossible. Last winter, I was privileged to attend the regional ELA teacher's conference in Missouri called Write to Learn. Two of the [...]