Showing posts from March, 2016

Why Our Grading System is Failing Our Kids

"Mommy, I have a stomach ache because I got a 90." That is one of the last things my first grader said to me before she went to sleep tonight. I've never written a post from the parent perspective before. This is new territory and I've avoided it until now because my expertise and experience lies in secondary education. I didn't feel it was my place to comment on elementary education without studying and experiencing it. The thing is, I have an expertise at being a mother of two little girls who are just starting school–one is in first grade and the other is in preschool. My daughters’ game of choice is "playing school" with a little easel and some books and paper and a class made up of dolls and stuffed animals. They teach through singing, drawing, and encouragement. They build in rest time and quick chats with the pretend parents who pick up their stuffed animal students at the end of the day. It's funny how my 4 and 7 year olds have intu

What Tech Savvy Teachers Want Policymakers to Know

Issues of data privacy, school-home communication, and equity are hard to ignore in the new climate of education. Communities are hashing out how to best use technology as a tool in education, especially in a job market that is forever changing and increasingly utilizing technology at every turn. From the classroom, school-wide, and district-wide educators' perspectives there are a few essential elements policymakers should hear. At SXSWedu, educators like  Jose Fausto ,  Matt Worthington , and me had the opportunity, alongside moderator Governor Beverly Perdue , to share our experiences and insights on these challenging, but exciting, topics during our panel . Here's a quick summary: Teacher-Tested Effective Uses of EdTech Exist Teachers love technology that gives them a chance to create and curate content; give students a learning experience that is fitted to their personal needs; provide a feedback loop between students, teacher, and parents instantly; and when the

That Moment When Your Students Find You Online

Note: A teacher at my school stopped by my office this morning to tell me this quick story, and it ended up being so inspirational that I felt moved to write about it and share it. I have her blessing, of course. Drawing by a middle school teacher from when she was in middle school herself. Middle school students are a wonderful combination of curious, mischievous, and sweet. Sometimes it seems as though the mysteries they are most curious to investigate are the personal lives of their teachers. At this adolescent stage they have finally come to realize that their teachers don't sleep under the desk each night. Since our students now have devices in their hands that can quickly find information, they tend to search for anything they can dig up to help unlock the teacher mystery. One of our middle school teachers comes from an artistic family and was eager to create her own art when she was in her own adolescence. She was hungry to get feedback on her work and to learn from