June 26, 2014
by Rod Powell
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.
June 24, 2014
by Mark Sandy
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Oppi festival in Helsinki, Finland with several colleagues from the U.S. education community. Our mission: find out what makes the Finnish school system so effective and explore what practices might be adapted for our schools back home.
During our time in Finland, we got the chance to visit several schools and speak to students, teachers, and administrators about their experiences. After the trip, the phrase that resonated most in my thoughts was: “Relationships are key.”
June 22, 2014
by Justin Minkel
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.
June 18, 2014
by Bill Ferriter
A few weeks ago, I wrote an honest confession about the struggles that I've had to feel connected with my kids this year. The bit really resonated with readers, generating a ton of comments on the Center for Teaching Quality's version of the Radical.
One of my favorite comments came from Deidra Gammill -- a SUPER bright mind and SUPER great writer who ought to be blogging herself. Deidra's argument was that the movie versions of teachers that are pushed on society actually do more harm than they do good by setting unrealistic expectations for who we are and what we do.
June 17, 2014
by Megan Allen
Today especially, we need a big ole' dose of hope, straight from the halls of teacher prep. In a guest blog post, Jenny, a pre-service teacher from Mount Holyoke College (and one of Megan Allen's students), shares her perspective on the teaching profession: #TeachingIs a call to be human.
June 16, 2014
by Renee Moore
In response to questions posted at the National Journal.com Education Insiders blog about the recent court decision on teacher tenure in California, I offered the following thoughts:
I disagree with posing student and teacher rights as binary opposites. Every student, in every public school in America, deserves a quality teacher. Every teacher deserves to be treated like a true professional—which includes having due process before losing one’s position or teaching credentials. Doing the latter actually helps ensure the former.
May 31, 2014
by Jessica Keigan
Reflections on the end of the school year and the moments that feel like they may drown us.
May 28, 2014
by Jessica Cuthbertson
Today, the world lost a grandmother to us all.
This morning, when I learned about the passing of Maya Angelou, I immediately thought of my grandmother. While the two women experienced very different backgrounds and destinies, they are both phenomenal women—women who I look to as mentors—tangible examples of unconditional love and unwavering grit.
Who are your phenomenal mentors? Who in your own life is an example of the person you want to become?
May 23, 2014
by Barnett Berry
HEALTH ADVISORY: Some parts of CTQ’s newest TeacherSolutions report may be downright painful to read, due to documented inefficiencies, lost opportunities, and disconnectedness.
Consider yourself warned.
It’s no huge secret that student learning demands teachers’ ongoing learning. International student achievement data—and esteemed researchers like Marc Tucker and Ben Jensen—have told us so for decades.
May 20, 2014
by Marie LaCassa
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