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Rod Powell

June 26, 2014

Teachers vs. Policy makers: From Showdown to Rapprochement


I love the French language. It has so many phrases and words that seem to capture moments in ways that English can’t. C’est l’avie, Je varrais, L’etat c’est moi (Louis XIV references—forgive me, I’m a history teacher). They all have deeper meanings than my North Carolina dialect can conjure up.

But there’s one French word in particular that captures my recent experience at the National Conference of State Legislatures' “Leading the Way to Student Success” conference: rapprochement.

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Justin Minkel

June 22, 2014

A Great First Date with Marriage Potential: Legislators and Teachers Get to Know One Another


Teachers and legislators have plenty of first dates. What we need is more marriages.

We've all experienced those one-off meetings that are a trading of monologues rather than true dialogue. Lawmakers deliver pre-crafted talking points, teachers speak truth to power without worrying whether power listens; meeting adjourned. Last week I experienced a welcome exception to that script, when five teachers from CTQ met with 30 Education Chairs for two days of debate, dialogue, and a shattering of stereotypes.

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William  Tolley

June 10, 2014

5 Reasons to foster relationships between national and international school teachers


There are currently more than 6,000 international schools around the world, serving nearly 4 million students. Sadly, this rich source of cosmopolitan human potential is barely tapped by teachers in the United States. Worse yet, very few international school teachers maintain contact with teachers back home. Using the United States as a model, here are five reasons international school and home nation teachers should strive to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate:

1. Ready-made global connections.

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Megan Allen

June 10, 2014

Game of Desks: A Song of Money and Lives


Confession: I’m a big fan of The Onion and an equally big fan of Game of Thrones. In light of those two facts, I’d like to introduce this week’s blog in the form of a movie preview I’m working on (with a trailer to come!). I had this “aha” the other night as I was settling in with the show and a glass of red zin, realizing that there are so many similarities between Game of Thrones and the current situation in public education. Probably not what George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series had in mind, but the metaphor emerged in my head and spoke to me.

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Lauren Hill

May 28, 2014

Mirror, Mirror: Why I love the NBPTS


I’m shy.  But when I’m with my students, I feel full of energy and assertiveness.  Teaching has gifted me with my voice, and I’ve learned to use it in all corners of my life. 

Yet, despite so much evidence of my worth to my students, in my deepest heart (and often at the forefront of my brain), I often felt like less of a teacher than the guy next door.  Regardless of my professional successes, insecurity began to undercut everything I achieved in my classroom.  I moved in and got comfy with some serious shame.

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Marie LaCassa

May 20, 2014

5 Takeaways from the 2014 EdSource Symposium


Earlier this month, I attended the 2014 EdSource symposium, an event drawing some of the biggest names in education to discuss "Testing Students and Evaluating Schools in the Age of the Common Core." Much of the discussion revolved around professional development and the field tests for California's statewide assessments, also known as Smarter Balanced.

While most of the attendees were California teachers and educators, I think many of these takeaways are relevant to educators in other states as well.

My Top 5 Takeaways

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Megan Allen

May 14, 2014

Green eggs, brown eggs, and hatching teacher leadership


Special thanks to Mount Holyoke College Psychology Visiting Assistant Professor Amy Grillo for her support and beautiful eggs, as well as Dr. John Holland from Viriginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Jon Eckert from Wheaton College for their research guidance and wisdom. 


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Rod Powell

May 9, 2014

Why I'm a Common Core Renegade


This guest post appears in coordination with Teacher Appreciation Week and #TeachingIs, a social media movement seeking to elevate public perception of the teaching profession. Click here to learn how you can participate.

Education in North Carolina is at a turning point. Word on the street is that Common Core is in deep trouble here… I guess it all depends on what happens in our capital during the next few months.

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Sandy Merz

May 1, 2014

The Common Core Debate: I'd Rather Be Well Than Right


In some future time, historians may write that debates at the dawn of the Common Core Era brought forth a period of unparalleled collaboration and mutual support between parents and teachers. Or they may write that those debates drove a wedge between parents and teachers that made civility and mutual respect a distant memory. 

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