All Hands on Deck

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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In my second year of teaching 12th grade, a mysterious chunk of money showed up in my paycheck. When I asked around, other people said they’d gotten it too. No one knew why. It happened two more times that year. Eventually we learned it was merit pay, awarded because of some institution-wide accomplishment no one knew anything about. It was a nice chunk, as I […]

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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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High School at the End of the World

I’m nose-down into reading for my second doctoral exam, which is probably why I have 2,601 unread blog posts in my reader. With the memory of my recent excursion into a “good” public school fresh in my mind, this one caught my eye today (and it’s only dated February 20.) From their blog, Everyday Literacies, Michele Knobel & Colin Lankshear post: We’re very happy to […]

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Choosing Sides

This week, I spent an afternoon in a “good” high school. I was there to show the English department some tech tools they could bring into their teaching. The afternoon started with the usual stop at the front desk to sign in. At this school though, they don’t don’t just look at your license, they take it. The young woman at the desk earnestly explained […]

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Yesterday was TEDxNYED. The curators, all volunteers, put together a fabulous series of speakers who have lots to say to educators. Here are some thoughts about the day. *** Highlights for me included a chat by the paper towel dispenser in the women’s room with Ning CEO and co-Founder, Gina Bianchini. Ning is a powerful educational tool, but current terms of use set the minimum […]

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Background Thoughts from the Wife of a Geek

Today I started a wiki of digital resources for the folks I am privileged to teach with. I found myself thinking about how my personal experience with technology has informed  my views of pedagogy & technology/software/web-based tools, and I ended up writing a page called “Background thoughts from the wife of a geek.”  I’ve copied it, below. The ethos of “technology” I’ll argue that some […]

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The Power of the Follow

If it’s #followfriday (#ff), this must be Twitter. #followfriday is when folks who Tweet list names of folks they think other Tweeters might want to follow. This custom has a sweet history.  Michah Baldwin, the originator,  says, It wasnt hard for people to suggest folks to follow, because everyone has people they follow that they find interesting, insightful, funny, intelligent or whatever it is that […]

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From Boardroom to Classroom: More Collaboration Buzz

I wouldn’t presume to cross into the world of business & finance  and start telling them how to get their act together. While I mostly don’t value the influx of business perspectives into education,  certain ideas make great metaphors for educators to think about. Evan Rosen’s piece in the February 5 Business Week online edition is one example. Rosen writes about the power of collaboration […]

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