Latest Voices

Posted 3 weeks ago

Open Letter to Pre-Service and Early-Career Teachers

By Anna Baldwin

Dear Pre-Service and Early-Career Teachers: Recently I finished the semester at the University of Montana where I have spent four years as an adjunct. I can describe the attitude most of you pre-service teachers have toward your new career: cautious idealism. You have some sense that the job ahead will be difficult yet gratifying, poorly …

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Posted 4 weeks ago

The Why of Teacher Leadership

By Barnett Berry

By Barnett Berry and Vicki Phillips Robin “MeMe” Ratliff has taught Health and PE for almost two decades, and like many teachers she has been active in her discipline, joining the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and leading workshops for her colleagues. But as MeMe recently told us, “I was expected …

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Posted 1 month ago

What Hollywood gets wrong about transforming schools

By Kristoffer Kohl

You know at least ten of them. You are might be one yourself. And you see them depicted on the silver screen as Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver, Erin Gruwell in Freedom Writers, Louanne Johnson in Dangerous Minds, or the fictionalized John Keating in Dead Poets Society. I’m talking about rock star teachers. With …

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Posted 2 months ago

“Make me care…” The Power of Story

By Christopher Bronke

“This is a simple story but not an easy one to tell. Like a fable, there is sorrow, and like a fable, it is full of wonder and happiness” — Cerami and Benigni The power of a great story can never be underestimated. As co-director and writing coach for the National Blogging Collaborative, I have had …

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Posted 2 months ago

Improv(e)ing Education: Can Improv Thinking Open Our Minds To Learning and Teaching In Ways Traditional Education Has Failed? I’d Say — Yes, and . . .

By Lisa Hollenbach

This great MindShift article, How Improv Can Open Up the Mind to Learning in the Classroom and Beyond, found it’s way into my inbox again. A quick glance at the publication date of the article (January 30, 2015), I smile knowing this was right around the time I started to learn a bit more about …

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Posted 2 months ago

Becoming a better teacher (and person) 140 characters at a time.

By Julie Hiltz

I know the exact moment I took ownership of my professional development: August, 2012.  I was just beginning to explore Twitter and I stumbled upon The Connected Educators Book Club led by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. My practice suffered from the same hurdles that many teachers face: siloed practice that doesn’t readily allow for collaboration or peer …

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Posted 2 months ago

A Wide Open Door…to Shallow Waters: the dark side of Twitter

By Christopher Bronke

This has been one of the hardest pieces I have ever written (and I have openly tackled race and discrimination in education more than once — as a white, middle-class male working in a fairly affluent, mostly white school). I have started and stopped it more times than I care to recall, each time destined to failure …

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Posted 2 months ago

Why I Plan to Stay in Teaching

By Justin Minkel

I groan each time another “Why I Quit Teaching” story pops up in my Facebook feed. These columns by teachers who decided to leave teaching are often confessional, occasionally self-righteous. Some manage, bizarrely, to be both. The proliferation of these pieces indicts a system that drives out new, mid-career, and experienced teachers for all the …

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Posted 3 months ago

The Sun is Shining & Other Lessons I’m Learning from Journaling

By Renee Boss

Standing in a hotel room in the Sunshine State, I accepted a call from the nurse at my doctor’s office. “Your recent results from your yearly physical indicate you are completely healthy on all accounts except one — you have a severe vitamin D deficiency.” Thoughts of a sailor’s teeth falling out from Rickets and other maritime …

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Posted 3 months ago

Culture Building Stories for the 1st Week of School

By Jamie Ponce

As a classroom teacher for 10 years, I distinctly remember looking at my plan book from the previous year each August, and thinking to myself, “What did I do the 1st week of school last year? I need to make better plans this year.” Invariably, this never happened- mostly because the 1st week of school …

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