Category: All Posts

Why Professional Development Should Be More Like ‘MasterChef’

The alarm goes off. You roll out of bed, sidle to the kitchen, and have a glass of water while you fumble for the button on the coffee maker. Semi-alert, you suddenly remember: Today is a professional development day. Perhaps you just issued an imaginary sigh of relief, reassured by your school’s focus on staff ...

Teaching Controversial Issues in ‘Interesting’ Times

"May you live in interesting times." —Chinese curse (apocryphal) Early in my career, when I was teaching at a magnet school in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City, I was baffled every year when at least one student would submit an essay making the case for Adolf Hitler as a misunderstood genius. I ...

Semester Without Grades: An Early Report from the Field

  This past August I seized the opportunity be an early adopter (read: guinea pig) by requesting that my principal let me pilot a transitional gradeless classroom (our goal is to be a fully standards-based high school within 3-5 years). Six months later, I am emerging from the initial messiness of the process (that stage ...

Teaching Center 2025: What Key and Peele Know, and Don’t Know, About the Classroom

    In a video widely shared on social media recently, Comedy Central's Key and Peele envision a world in which teachers are treated like professional athletes, earning multi-million dollar salaries, with successful teachers placed in failing schools via the draft system and the most elite educators sought after by BMW to endorse the latest ...

Grace and American Education: An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

  Dear Mr. President,    Predicated on dissatisfaction for a job half-done, Joseph Thrasher recently took measure of your "Ten Days" in The Guardian. His criticism that recent victories for your administration barely met his expectations for hope and change was, however, penned in a half-hearted "doth protest" tone betrayed by his exhilaration for the pride that Americans could now feel in a president speaking ...