Teachable Moments, for all of us


On Friday, when discussing the earthquake and tsunami that had just struck Japan, I remember saying to students, "It looks like the death toll will be in the hundreds, which is horrible, but considering the size of the earthquake is pretty low." Well...as I write this,1 the official death toll is at 2,414 and expected [...]

Tim Gunn & the role of a teacher

As mentioned in previous posts, I've been spending a lot of time reading research and thinking about my Master's Project. I'm working on a self-directed learning1 unit in which students choose their own specific topics of study within a broad category (i.e. climate change) and follow their interests and passions while documenting and publishing their [...]

Communities of reformers & learners (great posts 2 & 3)

Communities of reformers

Some posts hit you exactly when and where you need to be hit. Dina over at The Line wrote a post that did just that recently. In a new school where I'm not exactly enthralled with the existing culture, I've found myself frustrated often. I haven't been posting as much in part [...]

When frustration is a good thing

I keep waiting for that day when I look at my curriculum and am happy with what I see. You know, that point where it's really good and perhaps only needs a few minor changes each year.  After years of constant tweaking, improving, and overhaul it seems like that day should be right around the [...]

Better teachers make better schools

Teachers are the key. To be more precise, highly effective teachers are the key. Putting high quality educators in every classroom would increase student performance more than any other reform movements. This isn't just my opinion, it's also the opinion of Professor Edward L. Glaeser according to his op-ed in the Boston Globe.

Dr. Glaeser [...]

Welcome to my wiki

My last school required that all teachers have web pages in order to (at minimum) communicate the daily schedule to students and parents. I used it for my schedule, but also as a jump-off for online assignments.

My new school does not require all teachers to have web pages. Yet I enjoyed the benefits of [...]

Oh, snap!

It's been a frustrating week or so.

Since misery loves company, I found it interesting to read a post by Darren Draper in which he says:

Google 2001 is nice, but what some teachers really need is more like Google 1983. That way their experience on the Internet would better coincide with the experience they [...]

Caught on YouTube

The NEA recently posted an article about teachers who have been unknowingly taped digitally recorded by their students who then posted the videos online. The article mentions some cases where teachers are clearly acting inappropriately. However, it also mentions a few cases in which the video clip was taken out of context or edited in [...]

Desks of the future?

A recent education-related post from an unlikely source was pushed my way this week regarding new touchscreen desks designed to be used in educational settings.

"Multi-touch smart desks" could be used to authentically improve instruction. However, is it the best way? The most cost-effective method? The most relevant to our students' future technology usage?

Some [...]

Don't worry (Just fake it)

New school, new district, new state, new region. I was hired at the end of May and moved to Connecticut the end of June. In mid to late July, I started my attempts to contact my new high school to get information about my new position. What is the curriculum? Who am I teaching it [...]