In her latest blog entry, TLN’s Teacher in a Strange Land (Nancy Flanagan) highlights a visit with an activist State Teacher of the Year group, gathered in awesome Omaha, Nebraska. The STOYs are backing federal legislation that would formalize a process of teacher input into Congressional deliberations on important ed policy matters. Nancy both praises the initiative and weaves in a cautionary tale, based on her first foray into education politics during her tenure as Michigan TOY in 1993. The subtext: “Yes, folks will try to use you to promote their political agendas. Be aware, but don’t miss the opportunity to speak for kids and the profession.”

Just around the virtual corner at the TeachMoore blog, another TLN’er and former state Teacher of the Year (Renee Moore – Mississippi 2001) shares the pain of college educators who are beginning to feel some educational accountablity “trickle-down.” Christmas is coming and there’s a new goose in the oven. Or is it a gander?

TLN’s Tempered Radical (Bill Ferriter), himself a recent candidate for state teacher of the year, temporarily abandons philosophical rumination in favor of a paean to his current favorite 21st Century classroom resource, VoiceThread. The free web-based tool makes it easy for users to combine visual images and voiceover to produce narratives that can instruct and provoke discussion. Bill offers an example from his own sixth grade classroom and includes handouts he’s using to engage his students in some noodling of a higher order.

Jumping off the TLN website into another virtual domain, we come across the third entry in TLN’er Susan Graham’s new blog A Place at the Table, hosted at the Teacher Magazine website. Susan considers a common dilemma for teachers — whether to “out themselves” concerning their political views. As a teacher, is it best to remain a political enigma in your local community? Or is that just a cop-out?

TLN bloggers — conquering the edublogosphere, one RSS feed at a time.

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