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Raising the Bar
posted by: Alix | July 25, 2012, 01:05 pm   

It has recently been suggested that, in order to elevate the quality and status of teachers in America, teachers need to take a “bar exam.” After all, doctors and lawyers have serious hurdles to jump over in order to secure and maintain their licenses. The work that you do as a teacher is just as important as the work that a doctor or a lawyer does—in fact you educate future doctors and lawyers. Why shouldn’t teachers be held to the same standard as lawyers and doctors?
Teaching Digital Citizenship in the 1:1 Classroom
posted by: Alix | July 23, 2012, 07:54 am   

There are many benefits to having students in a “one-to-one” classroom, where each student has access whenever needed to an Internet-connected device.  One-to-one classrooms can differ both with regard to the tools they use and the manner in which those tools are employed.  Some 1:1 classrooms, for example, have a class set of iPads at their disposal; others use laptops, netbooks, or tablet computers.  In every case, however, the key to a 1:1 classroom is that the tech devices being used are not shared with other classrooms (as is the case with a computer lab or a laptop cart that rotates from classroom to classroom) – instead, the teacher and students know that they will be able to access the devices whenever needed.
The ABCs of Avoiding Big Error
posted by: Alix | July 18, 2012, 09:13 am   

Teaching is about trial and error.  As a teacher, you know that students learn differently and that a lesson plan that works for one student might not work for another.  Through the years, you refine your technique by testing out various teaching strategies to discover what is and is not effective.  Unfortunately, with trial and error comes the danger of BIG error, and, if that’s the case, we know the terror of big error – you might get fired, sued, or both.
Math Anxiety
posted by: Alix | July 13, 2012, 12:49 pm   

Recently, someone told me that he had nightmares about triangles.  As a former music teacher, I was really unsure why anyone would ever think about triangles so much that triangles were plaguing this person’s sleep.  It occurred to me, however, that I sometimes think about music so much that my sleep is plagued with worry about perfectly analyzed tone rows.  If I get music anxiety and I’m a music teacher, then it shouldn’t sound so weird that a person with math anxiety could have nightmares about triangles.
Restorative Justice and Safer Learning Environments
posted by: Alix | June 22, 2012, 02:35 pm   

Every teacher knows that Rule #1 of running your classroom is to ensure that your students feel safe in their learning environment.  Schools today aren’t the little slivers of utopia that they were once upon a time, when discipline problems were rare and abruptly handled.  If we look at the schools of today through our “Negative Nancy” lenses, some might see bullies, repeat offenders of the school handbook, and, even, petty criminals lurking around every corner.  What can a teacher do to foster a safer learning environment?
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