When I Learned I Was White

A week ago, I read Jose Vilson’s Educon 2.3 reflection, “#Educon, Edu-Nerds, Chris Lehmann, and A Slice of Race in the 21st Century”. Jose’s post was a powerful reflection on race, told through an anecdote of a conference session he attended. In that session, a participant commented that inquiry-based learning may be great for some kids, but others might need direct instruction. Chris Lehman, principal […]

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Take My Gradebook. Please.

It’s time to turn in grades. Thus begins the all too familiar struggle– at least, all too familiar for me. I’m always amazed at the certainty some teachers have about grading. They’re the teacher, they grade. Period. Me, I agonize. Do I grade each student according to his/her progress from the start of the semester the end, or do I compare student to student, lining […]

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Small, Dazzling Moment

I am not a fan of 4:00 a.m. Not even Ted Rives’ brilliant performance poem of that title can persuade me that there’s anything magical about that time. Last week I found myself wide awake at precisely 4:00 a.m., wrestling with my pedagogy and the life of my current class. I’m teaching Literacies & Technologies in the Secondary English Classroom, AKA Literacies. This could be […]

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I didn’t pay her, I swear.

It’s amazing how much life can come up between blog posts. I meant to follow up on a train of thought I started in the post before this, while I was composing a syllabus for the semester that’s now 3 weeks old! Here I am, syllabus devised and in action, my students wonderfully talented and dedicated, and me? I’m back to wrestling with questions about […]

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Beyond FAIL

So, who failed this past semester? That’s the thought that’s been wandering through my mind. Me, for teaching a couple of classes I didn’t think were great? My students, for being different from previous students? After some reflecting, I’m going to argue for a third perspective. The word fail is so harsh, so final. It feels lousy. It makes it seem like the best option […]

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Giving Thanks for Community

Thanksgiving day was so glorious weather-wise that my husband and I headed out for a long hike. We made a pretty steep climb to the top of a ridge paralleling the Hudson River. Although most people don’t usually pick November as a favorite month, I love how you can see the bones of the earth– the stark outlines of terrain– that show through the bare […]

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Zombies No More (part 3)

Zombies Part 1 Zombies Part 2 To recap In a seminar in writing and teaching nonfiction, I asked my students to develop an instructional plan based on their assessment of a stack of middle school students’ papers. The result? Papers that sounded nothing like the bright, committed young teachers I had come to know; instead,  stiff monotones of edu-babble describing drill-and-kill activities straight out of […]

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Zombie Teacher Bots (Part 2)

from Jose Kevo Continued from “Zombie Teacher Bots“. Not long after, 2 other students appeared at my office door. “So, here’s what I’m hearing about the assignment,” I said. They listened, exchanged glances. After a few seconds, P., with her usual bravado, said,  “Yup. That’s what happened to me.” How do you respond to a statement like this? I’m a fan of transparency in my […]

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Zombie Teacher Bots

“It’s because I’m a lousy teacher,” I announced to my husband as I got ready for bed last night.  He turned to look at me & kept brushing his teeth. “Yep. I’m reading these papers and they’re killing me– killing me, I said– but it serves me right because I’m a lousy teacher.”  I slammed a few drawers to see if it would make me […]

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