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Ariel Sacks

October 1, 2014

Why Professional Development Sessions Must Include Real Experiences


This year, nearly every teacher in America will experience hours and hours of prepared, often mandatory professional development sessions.  The range will be huge—from useful to not very, from inspiring to practical, to grating or sleep inducing.  Many teacher leaders are moving into roles that require them to lead professional development workshops for teachers.  There is so much potential to spread expertise around our profession, but how do you create a great PD session? 

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Terrance Amsler

August 29, 2014

Why ‘proficiency’ in the Common Core era is misleading


On my resume, I write that I’m proficient in Spanish.  Do I have, as some would say, an embarrassing accent? Yes. Do I forget to use the subjunctive or misconjugate the presente perfecto? More often than I’d like.

Yet despite these shortcomings, I’m able to have enjoyable and successful conversations. Most of us would probably consider this ‘proficient.’

But in the world of the Common Core standards, I’d be assessed as “approaching proficiency”--or below the proficient level.

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Lauren Hill

August 8, 2014

“I Remember That Worksheet!” Said No One…Ever!


Shelly Praria taught my daughter, Sophie, in the first and third grades at Northside Elementary in Woodford County, Kentucky.  Moving my daughter from her Montessori kindergarten to public school was a difficult transition for both of us, and I am grateful to Shelly for her patience and kindness.  She helped my daughter develop habits of mind that she refers to frequently, even as she enters middle school this year.  The joy and thoughtfulness Shelly brings to her classroom is evident when she speaks about her students and her practice.

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Justin Minkel

August 7, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Fury: Why Respond to Reader Comments?


Imagine this: Last week, I had just finished teaching a math lesson when a stranger started shouting at me through an open window. I couldn’t figure out whether his shouted monologue was a response to the math lesson I had taught, or if he was just having a bad day. By the time I came up with a response, he had wandered off and started shouting into another window.

Blogging can often feel like the scene described. We put ourselves out there, and we sometimes get pelted with snark, rants, and fury as a result. Still, I continue to read every response to the posts I write, and I reply to many of them, for three enduring reasons. Teacher-bloggers, what's your philosophy on responding to reader comments?

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