In Defense of Standardized Testing: A Reflection

Standardized testing: just the thought of these assessments strikes terror in the hearts of teachers. If only our students cared as much about how they score on state-mandated tests. Most of the educational literature reflects a negative view of standardized testing, but they serve an important purpose in American education: to indicate teacher effectiveness through [...]

The Royal Wedding: Why Should We Care? One American Teacher’s Perspective

The news broke this morning: another school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to entertain the thought that this most recent massacre is the 22nd school shooting this year. I can’t bear to think that ten more families will be planning funerals and that [...]

Project-Based Learning: A User’s Guide

Over the past several decades, trends in education have come and gone or been resurrected with a new name. “Group work” is now called “cooperative learning.” Teacher-centered learning in the form of lecture and discussion in secondary education has taken a back seat to student-centered learning where students have a greater voice in determining how [...]

10 Thoughts During a Failed Lesson

Thought 1: "I like this lesson" It might not be my best, but I'm satisfied with it. It's educational. It's collaborative. There's some entertainment value. It certainly is important to their lives and what we've been previously talking about. It'll be successful. Thought 2: "What the h*#%! is going on here?!" It doesn't seem like [...]

3 Steps to Helping Students Develop College-Ready Writing Skills

Teachers are forever reminding their students that what’s going on in their classrooms will be ‘important to know in high school and college’ - but how many students actually believe them? I remember one student who replied to me when I said that: “Yeah, that’s what they say every year. And it’s never really true [...]