It is commonly noted that young people today don’t write as well as older generations (not that the older folks were such great writers, either). In this post, Justin Parmenter, who teaches seventh-grade language arts at Waddell Language Academy in Charlotte, explains why good writing has become rarer and what schools can do to reverse it.
Lawyers arguing that public school employees are due an immediate refund from a $550 million in escrow monies held by the state seemed to find some sympathy from at least two Michigan Supreme Court justices during a hearing Wednesday.
Since the money was paid under a statute found to be unconstitutional, “Isn’t paying back the money the only remedy?” Justice Richard Bernstein asked Gary Gordon, an attorney representing the state in the long-running dispute.Justice David Viviano seized on another point: Didn’t the state stipulate years ago it would return the money if the law was found to be unconstitutional?
One of the most frustrating things in education today is how much experts know about how to teach children but ignore what they know works when it comes to setting policy. Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education expert, has talked and written about this for years as it relates to the education of young children, and she is back here with a new piece that contrasts the key elements of a new learning framework she saw in Canada that uses best practices with what is done in the United States.
Over the past few years, I have learned from and been inspired by teachers across the country—those who have led social justice movements, published books, run for office, or started nonprofits. I have seen how a single teacher can transform education. But this kind of leadership isn’t limited to those teachers who have earned official leadership designations or amassed large Twitter followings. There are also those teachers who lead from within their classrooms and schools without attention and official recognition. These are the teachers who ask pointed questions, make classroom decisions counter to the status quo for the good of their students, and seek to provide quality education no matter how it might impact their reputation.
But I worry that what is often considered “true” teacher leadership is in service of the educational system as it is or becomes about the prestige of titles bestowed upon teachers from traditional educational leaders. I worry that defining teacher leadership in terms of specialized titles makes educators who are not labeled “leaders” feel as if they are not doing enough.
Real teacher leaders are the ones who refuse to let themselves, their schools, their students, their colleagues, and education as a whole stagnate. Here are several lessons I’ve learned from real teacher leaders who model practices I try to emulate every day.