Size Matters

Let me tell you about a couple of end of year school events I attended at two different schools. The first event was an end of year awards banquet for a charter school with about 240 students in grades 6-12. This school’s primary curricular focus and methodology revolves around Advanced Placement classes. Keep in mindContinue reading “Size Matters”


Education, History, and Place

My heart is aching this morning. Actually the last few days. Also the last few days I have awakened at five in the morning with a migraine. I do not doubt the two are connected. My logical, western-thinking mind tells me that a chemical imbalance (maybe something I have been eating or drinking) is causingContinue reading “Education, History, and Place”

Aha Moments. The Joy of Teaching

Teachers teach for the “aha” moment. That’s the real payment for teaching. When that student lights up with understanding and says “I get it!” There isn’t much better than that. It is in that moment when the student finally figures out something he or she has been struggling with, but it is more than that.Continue reading “Aha Moments. The Joy of Teaching”

Vroom Vroom! Speeding up to change…not much!

I heard Ted Kolderie speak once (I think it was him) where he provided this metaphor for the public school system: it is an engine running at maximum RPMs. In our efforts to improve education we have simply stepped on the gas—more testing, more standards, more, more, more. But the engine is already running atContinue reading “Vroom Vroom! Speeding up to change…not much!”

Hamburger Model of Curriculum Planning

Curriculum planning is often thought of as a linear process. First create objectives or (I prefer) guiding questions. Then think up a bunch of activities for those objectives/questions. Then figure out how to assess what students learned through those activities. This can lead to what I call the “activity trap.” Planning in this sequence canContinue reading “Hamburger Model of Curriculum Planning”

Learning to Teach from the Red-Eyed Vireo

“What day is it?” It’s today squeaked Piglet. “My favorite day,” said Pooh.                         -A. A. Milne  Though, most have heard their call, most probably cannot identify the red-eyed vireo by sight. It has a bold face pattern with a white eyebrow, bordered above and below with black, and a ruby red eye. The bodyContinue reading “Learning to Teach from the Red-Eyed Vireo”

A rising tide raises all boats (or standardizing education to maintain structural racialization and worker bees)

A rising tide raises all boats. This is a Reagan-era phrase referring to trickle-down economics. The idea was that as those with the resources (the biggest boats floating on the economic ocean) poured their capital into the economy, the economy (the tide in this metaphor) would grow and all the boats floating on the water,Continue reading “A rising tide raises all boats (or standardizing education to maintain structural racialization and worker bees)”

Reflection, Reflection, Reflection!

If you ask a realtor what the most important factor in home sales is, many will say, “location, location, location.” I believe that the most crucial step to learning is reflection. Reflection, reflection, reflection! This is when new skills and knowledge are cemented into place and the learner moves from “renting” the knowledge to “owning”Continue reading “Reflection, Reflection, Reflection!”