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John Holland

July 26, 2015

Craving Criticism


I crave criticism. I think it is a holdover from my years of training as an artist. People don't realize that is what really happens in art school and art classes. You spend several weeks working on a project, put it out there for everybody to see, and then you pick at it, look under the hood, ask and answer questions. It is a called a critique, and that is how you learn. In order to learn, an artist prostrates him/herself on the body of knowledge of the collective. There are no right answers.

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William  Tolley

July 13, 2015

Grace and American Education: An Open Letter to President Barack Obama


It’s time for you, Mr. President, to remind Americans of the paramount significance of education; how schools concretely—and sublimely—affect our lives, the health of the nation and the greater good of a broader world. As your actions over the past month have shown, sometimes a leader needs to intervene, ignore the point/counterpoint analysis and inspire the efforts of opposing sides toward broader approaches and bolder solutions.

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Liz Prather

June 30, 2015

The Dylann Roofs I Have Known


In 1996, I assigned my class to read an essay by an African-American author and came face to face with racist resistance.  When I saw the arrest of South Carolina Dylann Roof for the killing of nine people, I recognized that face from many I had seen in my own classroom. 

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Liz Prather

June 23, 2015

Teaching Hope: The Connection between Life Expectancy and Academic Success


When I queried my sentences on 100 "life inventory" questions ranging from "Who would be happy for you if you won a million dollars?"  to "Why do you write?" to "Where does God live?" it was the answers to the question "When will you die?" that caught my attention. I noticed a strange pattern emerge among the answers given by my AP and my regular English students. 

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Liz Prather

June 8, 2015

What's a Summer For?


In April, I attended an all-day writing retreat held at a regional university.  About three-quarters of the people in attendance were teachers; the other quarter, writers and poets.   The writing prompts were standard fare for these sorts of retreats – explorations into the past, clarifying values, cultivating gratitude.

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Marsha Ratzel

June 3, 2015

Teacher collaboration isn't for the weakhearted


Think unit and lesson planning is easy?  It's not.  Especially when it's done thoughtfully.  More and more I realize this is why I collaborate, and for me since I'm the only science teacher in my building, why I must rely on virtual collaboration.  You have to be tough and go out there and find similar-minded folks if you aren't lucky to have them in the room next door to you.

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Nancy Gardner

May 28, 2015

Why Would I Teach For Thirty Years?


What is it about the profession that keeps some people there for 30 years?


Many teachers would automatically reply “I love the kids”, but after almost 30 years in the classroom, I have a different answer:  “It keeps me young.”  Not to sound self serving, but I do feel rejuvenated and fulfilled from the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship, and I know that teaching helps keep me in shape both mentally and physically.

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Nancy Barile

May 25, 2015

The Future Teachers Club - Empowering the Next Teaching Force


Want to provide high school students with an opportunity to participate in an educational experience that will enable them to explore teaching and which will help develop the strong leadership traits found in high-quality educators? Find out how! 

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