We probably all have memories of our favorite teachers, the ones who inspired us and still make us smile years later. And then there are the ones who are like Grendel at the banqueting hall in Beowulf, casting a long shadow.
It seems like almost every day more evidence comes in showing that teachers are the most important single factor when it comes to education quality. While that makes intuitive sense, it is also critical to have empirical evidence to support it.
Even on the difficult days, remember that you are never forgotten. Students who read this letter will think of you. They think of you all the time. We all will talk about the stories of teachers that we adored for decades. We will laugh, cry and appreciate. We carry what you taught us in our minds, and also in our hearts, for the rest of our lives.
There is no question of the cancerous effects of groups like PennCAN and the Commonwealth Foundation. It may be years before we know the full range of the damage they have inflicted on our children and schools or how long it will take to repair that damage. One thing, however, is clear: Philadelphia teachers and students deserve our interest and support.
When teachers embrace students as individuals and recognize their personal strengths and needs, young people in poverty can develop the kind of confidence needed to propel them beyond their circumstances.
A few years ago, my daughter and I worked with AIDS orphans in schools in Tanzania. The Ebola crisis is another grim example of the challenges that strike hardest on people in poor countries. Education is one of the most effective tools we have to combat poverty.
Make no mistake: dress codes are increasingly becoming an excuse for sexualizing women and disgracing young girls for the apparent pleasure of those in power. It's bullsh*t.
Last week I quoted a principal who said about the student achievement data in her school, "They are just numbers, but the teachers here know that every number represents a kiddo's face."
I had no idea what I would be as an adult because I didn't see anybody I could be. What I would have given to hear a high school teacher say, "I'm gay," "I'm a lesbian," "I'm queer;" to tell me that I could grow up to be a person a young man would respect?
When I started teaching, it never occurred to me to NOT be out in the classroom. But the big open secret in education is that many teachers across the country remain closeted, at great peril to themselves and even more so to our students.
This leap first, look second search for quick fixes contributes to the ultimate "opportunity cost" of failed education experiments. It undermines the absolutely essential effort to help teachers walk in their students' shoes, to listen and respond to their kids.
When we hear the phrase "risk taking," we often think of harm or danger. However, the act of growing, developing, and discovering yourself necessarily involves risk.
He humored me and assigned me to the right (as opposed to the left) side of the bleachers with the sopranos. I strained to reach the notes.
As a country, we have done a shoddy job of giving these life-changing teachers and classrooms the recognition they deserve. And at a time when schools are more focused than ever on rigorous teaching and deep learning, we have to do better. We believe great teachers deserve our full attention.
How are Brazil and other Latin America countries innovating mathematics education? This year, 35-year-old Brazilian mathematician Artur Avila became the first Latin American to claim the prestigious 2014 Fields Medal.
A quarterback throws a perfect spiral pass to his receiver. The timing is good and he leads his teammate so they can catch the ball in stride. The only problem is what if the receiver doesn't put up their hands to catch the ball?