All Hands on Deck

An Anniversary Gift for a Colleague

Jen Ansbach, my friend and colleague from New Jersey, wrote this letter to her English department. I support everything she says and encourage you to check out the English Companion Ning. ———- Jen writes: I sent the following letter out to my department and other interested parties, including the media specialist. I also had the ECNing unblocked at school. Feel free to use this information […]

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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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Google Wave?

In Theory vs. In Practice This certainly sums up my experience thus far…. From Zee Slash Blog

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Today’s Contribution to Student Perceptions of Teacher Reliability re: the Internet

A person could get mighty ticked off about this…. Posted on Twitpic by Alec Couros, November 10, 2009

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Put Down that Baseball Bat NOW!

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about my teaching, i.e., not so great. Nothing’s horrible. My students seem to like me; I like them. There’s a nice feeling in our class. They work hard and we’re getting through the stuff they need to know. It’s just…not right. Like any good teacher, my first response to less-than-perfect teaching is to dig out […]

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Conflicts of Interest? [Sigh]

In the dream world of Arne Duncan et. al., it’s possible to measure learning because learning =  Important Stuff You Know and the  number of Important Things can be counted. All you have to do is look on sheets of paper to see how many black dots are in the correct rows. And don’t worry superintendents and principals– there are plenty of materials to help […]

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