Tag: good teachers

How to Really Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Parents all over the country are scrambling to buy flower, mugs, and apple-themed paraphernalia. As a former teacher and early childhood administrator, I know how important it is to let teachers know their hard work is appreciated. Especially these days when the profession is so maligned and judged. My ten-year-old granddaughter... Read more »

How Teachers Impact the Lives of Children with Special Needs

My granddaughter, who has so much trouble with her expressive language, has no trouble letting me know who her true heroes are. She can make a list on her iPad of every teacher she has had since age two.  When I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, that’s one question... Read more »

Thoughts About Good Teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week

Forty-five years ago, I stood in front of my students at Niles East High School in Skokie, Illinois, and tried to breathe life into A Tale of Two Cities. For a rookie English teacher, it was definitely “the best of times and the worst of times.” Some of them loved the book but there were... Read more »
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Grading First Graders, Seriously?

On December 3, 2013, the most recent scores from the Program of International Student Assessment (PISA), an exam given every three years to 15 year olds around the world in reading, math and science, were released. Despite the relentless and narrow focus on testing and accountability, American teens’ scores have not improved since 2000.  In... Read more »

Teachers Who Love Testing

The first grade teacher tests her students in reading at the start of school.  Amazingly, none of them do very well, which is a bit strange because some of them have been reading well for a year.  Children who are strong readers bring home very simple books, as dictated by their scores.  One child is... Read more »

Is there a fair way to evaluate teachers?

Fewer make the grade!  New state standards a jolt, particularly in poorer areas! Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune devoted much of the front page and two inside pages to the newly released Illinois school report card. Because the 2013 exams were made harder, test scores plummeted, especially in “poorer communities.”  Are these scores really the best way... Read more »
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Mr. Rogers and Dr. Seuss Would Have Hated Standardized Testing!

A friend of mine who trains Chicago public elementary school teachers how to teach reading was lamenting how stressful her job had become.  While she was excited about some new techniques that enabled teachers to differentiate for their students, I asked her how a teacher with 30+ young students could manage having all of them... Read more »

Good Teaching is an Art, Not a Mathematical Formula

After being a teacher for seven years and supervising teachers for 25 years, I still firmly believe that teaching is a calling and good teaching is an art.  As wonderful as it may seem to find an objective mathematical formula for evaluating teachers, people who have worked with teachers over a period of time will... Read more »