Keep the Pride Alive…An Open Letter to the Family I’m Leaving

Well, today makes the last day that teachers will be in the school building, the day that starts the summer vacations, trainings, conferences, etc.  It’s an ending, but also a time of new beginnings for many of us.  Yesterday, my boss asked me if it had hit me yet, the fact that I wouldn’t be…

This Book Don’t Make No Sense…

Hey!  It was intentional, so don’t go around your school districts claiming that I can’t speak proper English- I can!  But, the title of this post originated because my students would always say this about some of the materials that we read when I was in the classroom.  One of my jobs as an educator…

Why Do You Do That?

Today was our first day back from Spring Break.  I arrived to school a bit early because we are also doing our state testing this week.  I wanted to make sure I was in place so things would run smoothly, and they did, which is a point of celebration.  I have to celebrate the other…

Fostering Independent Learners #1: Responding to “I Don’t Know”

Right now, I’m finishing teaching this online class where we discuss strategies to engage learners.  It’s interesting because the class is structured to cater to K-6 teachers, but I find the strategies can be used K-12.  One of the first nuggets of teaching wisdom I came across was how teachers should respond when students respond…

What About Us?

Last week, I had a conversation with one of my students who participates in the Young Gents program.  He’d read the article about how I’ll be transitioning to Kennedy Road Middle School next year.  Needless to say, he wasn’t excited about it.  It was breakfast time, and he said, “So, you’re just gonna leave us…

My Community Learns Professionally…I Think

My first year as a school teacher changed the way I view many things.  I always felt like I didn’t have enough planning time, no matter how much planning I got done.  There was always some data that needed to be analyzed, and there were always papers that needed to be graded.  As an English/Language…

Develop the Plan, and Remember the Lessons

I was speaking with one of my former students a few weeks ago who has gone on to college now.  Its always interesting to speak to my students at the age of 18 and 19 because there’s a level of maturity that happens that is great.  For me, sometimes I still see them as 14-year-olds,…

Doing the Right Work

I’ve been reflecting on my school year so far, more so now than ever because we are coming to the close of our first semester.  After analyzing some of the data that we’ve gathered over the past couple of months, I’m able to see that there is still a lot of work to do for…

Mastery Learning, part one

I’ve been away awhile, but it was intentional.  I’ve been doing some research on grading and literacy, and the two have blown my mind and led me to other research, such as Hattie’s work, effect size rankings, and a plethora of materials on improving adolescent literacy.  To make a long story short, what I’ve been…

Measuring Student Proficiency…and Reporting It Accurately

I started doing research in 2008 on grading and reporting, and that research eventually led to my dissertation topic, which was titled, “Teacher and Parent Dispositions of Grading Practices in Differentiated Middle School Classrooms.”  From the research I gathered, I was able to see that teachers implemented different practices, some of which were not aligned…