Are You Teaching in Lonely School?

These comments rolled across my Twitter feed yesterday morning.   Every secondary classroom I’ve visited since the start of the pandemic is in the Lonely School. No faces on the Zoom or Google Meet screens. Few voices besides the teacher’s. Here’s how a couple of ninth graders recently described their experiences: “All my school is very different and separated right now.” “For some reason, I […]

Read More Leave comment

When Theory Breaks Your Heart

I recently spent time in the classroom of a newish Language Arts teacher. He works in a high school school in one of the poorest parts of the city. Every life story of every student is hard to hear. The day I visited, fewer than half his students were present; he says that’s typical. This teacher finished school to earn his teaching credential less than […]

Read More 6 Comments

#SOL17: Gobsmacked*

I could have titled this post “Learning By Happenstance,” because I happened on an announcement about a town hall regarding education cuts in Oregon and decided to go. It was an eye-opener, to say the least, especially for someone trying to make sense of a completely new education system. What I learned: Two pieces of Oregon legislation dramatically changed the course of the public schools, beginning in […]

Read More 2 Comments

Discards

When I told people I was moving to Portland, OR, I received pretty consistent reactions. “Oh, I love Portland.” Or, ” Ohhhh, I have always wanted to go to Portland.” Or, “Ha— I’ve seen Portlandia. I’ve heard it’s just like that.” But it would be a mistake to reinforce the impression that PDX is an idyllic hipster haven. Yes, there are independent bookstores, coffee shops on every block, […]

Read More 16 Comments

Reforming the Start of the School Year

It’s the start of a new school year! Teacher energy is high. Administrators are keenly focused on supporting their teachers to get off on a great start. Unless you’re the English teacher in this situation. I’ll call her Randi. Randi is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher with fifteen-plus teaching years under her belt. She moved to a new school four years ago and, once again, […]

Read More Leave comment

Hitting the wall

I’ve lost it. I’m so angry I could… oh hell, I don’t even know what to do I’m so angry. Nothing happened, not anything any different than any other day. I read a couple of teachers’ blogs. I checked in on Twitter. And all of a sudden it was as if I couldn’t breathe. Here’s what I read. Brian Crosby’s blog, Learning is Messy. Last […]

Read More 4 Comments