Want to know which blog posts “went viral” in 2013?

The CTQ staff have gathered the thirteen most-viewed blog posts of 2013, and encourage you to review a fantastic year for teacher leadership.


Oh, what a year it has been for teachers as thought leaders…

  • Members of the new CTQ Collaboratory generated more than 450 conversations (and 3,750 comments!) on teacher leadership.
  • Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don’t Leave (Jossey Bass, 2013)—which tells the stories of 8 CTQ Collaboratory members—inspired teachers and policymakers alike to think differently about the profession.
  • Teacher leaders spoke to dozens of groups of policymakers, community partners, funders, administrators, and teaching colleagues about their visions for high-quality schools to benefit all students.
  • Publications from Education Week to Phi Delta Kappan to GOOD (among many others) published hundreds of pieces by teacher leaders (round-up of highlights coming soon!)

Meanwhile, teacher leaders’ blog posts on the CTQ site attracted more than 150,000 pageviews. Check out the top 13 CTQ teacher blog posts of 2013:

  1. Teaching Nonfiction Reading Skills in the Science Classroom, by Bill Ferriter. In this post, Ferriter shares CCSS-aligned handouts and materials that he uses to teach nonfiction reading skills to his sixth-grade science students. May 20, 2013.
  2. Technology is a Tool, NOT a Learning Outcome, by Bill Ferriter. Ferriter argues that students are not inherently motivated by technology or use of technology within the classroom. Instead, he says, students are motivated by opportunities to make a difference in the world, to ask and answer their own questions, and to learn together with their peers. While technology can assist with these goals, says Ferriter, technology is just a tool—not its own learning outcome. July 11, 2013. 
  3. Creative Commons Resources for Classroom Teachers, by Bill Ferriter. If your students are using images, video, or music in the final products they are producing for class, says Ferriter, it’s vital to introduce them to the Creative Commons. Here’s a practical guide for how to teach your students about copyright laws and an excellent list of resources that practicing teachers can use. September 8, 2013.
  4. Starting with the End in Mind, by Dave Orphal. Dave Orphal’s mantra for lesson planning is “start with the end in mind.” In this blog article, Orphal walks us through “backward planning” as a viable way to increase student engagement and enhance their learning outcomes. July 11, 2013.
  5. Three Reasons North Carolina’s New Plan for Paying Teachers is a Bad Idea, by Bill Ferriter. In this scathing article about North Carolina’s education policies, Ferriter argues that Phil Berger’s teacher compensation plans are a bad idea, and provides three distinct arguments for why this is the case. October 21, 2013.
  6. From a Classroom to A Community of Readers: The Power of Book Clubs, by Jessica Cuthbertson. Book clubs help students become better readers, argues Cuthbertson. Learn about her experience implementing this innovative practice in her classroom. December 7, 2013.
  7. You’re Doing What?!? Guilt and career choices in education., by Megan Allen. In this piece, Allen reflects on her early career and the choices that she has had to make, advocating for a new variety of teacher leadership—that of the teacherpreneur, a teacher leader that designs innovative policy solutions without leaving the classroom. July 14, 2013.
  8. Five Pesky Classroom Behaviors That I Don’t Allow, by Ariel Sacks. These are not class rules, says Sacks, but these five behaviors must be dealt with as they arise in the middle school classroom. August 16, 2013.
  9. Have We Made Things TOO Easy for Today’s Kids?, by Bill Ferriter. In a world where teachers are always just an email away,homework is constantly posted online, grading policies favor second chances over consequences, and schoolwork doesn’t sit at the top of anyone’s to-do list, have we inadvertently made things too easy for today’s kids? September 22, 2013.
  10. False Transparency and the Airport Princess, by Bill Ferriter. Stuck in an airport after a flight home was cancelled, Ferriter encountered an “airport princess” with a simplistic view of how the complex air traffic system works. Ferriter recounts this episode, parallelling it with our educational system and the “false transparency” argument of Dan Lortie. October 17, 2013.
  11. Why Teachers Don’t Like the Term “Best Practices”, by José Luis Vilson. No matter what the experts say, argues Vilson, teachers must put their feet down when they need to make a decision that will work for their students. This is one of the reasons that teachers don’t like the term—are there others? July 29, 2013.
  12. 3 Ways to “Summer-ize” Your School Year, by Jessica Cuthbertson. “If I’m a better version of myself in the summer,” writes Cuthbertson, “I must work to bring more of my ‘summer self’ into the school year.” If you saw each of your school days as a brand new (and clean!) whiteboard, how would you “summer-ize” your school year? August 5, 2013.
  13. Learning When to Hold Our Ground, by Ariel Sacks. In this piece, Sacks shares her energetic reaction to another teacher leader’s post in the CTQ Collaboratory. Teachers, and teacher leaders, writes Sacks, are often faced with situations where we’re asked to compromise. This requires difficult decisions, says Sacks, so how can teacher leaders learn to hold their ground? July 3, 2013.

Did you have a favorite CTQ blog post this year? Comment to share the one you found most memorable.

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