Three Little Things and One Huge Thing in My Life as a Teacher

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So, I wrote a thing about getting into my forties and nearly slicing my thumb off a few weeks ago. Surprisingly, people seem to like it. I love you, bloodthirsty readers.

And, I consulted on a thing about New York State’s teacher evaluation system, acronym APPR. Written by Dr. Aaron Pallas of Teacher’s College Columbia University. If you still have no idea how or why you got the score you got, read this. It’s important. Journal where it’s published below.

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And, I had a thing came out in Educational Leadership last month about teacher morale. Headlined with Rafe Esquith and Nel Noddings, dear god, help me.

And lastly, I am no longer a classroom teacher.

About three weeks ago Expeditionary Learning, where I’ve been writing as a consultant these past few months, offered me a 20 month contract as a full time staff writer. I took it.

Expeditionary Learning is just about as close as you can get to a repository of all the stuff I’ve been trying to crystallize in my classroom for the past fourteen years: portfolios, student-led assessment, growth models and mindset, community roots, thematic curriculum, collaboration on all levels, inquiry-driven lessons. If you go back through the blog (now seven years old– wow), you’ll see all of this, and you’ll see me struggling to carve it out in my school.

So you’ll see that even more than this being an exciting new way to contribute something to the field of education… it’s also a relief.

I’ve hung back from posting because I haven’t been sure about how to make this transition work on the blog. I want to continue writing here– it’s essential to me to continue writing here– but I don’t want the blog to end up looking and sounding like a mouthpiece for EL, either, much as I love them and am on board with their vision.

So I need your help.

How can I make a transition from the classroom to educational non-profit work for you, my readers?

What can I continue to add to the conversation?

What can I add that is new?

What annoying things can I not do, or stop doing?

What do you find valuable about this space?

That’s about it, folks. Do leave a comment for me. It will help a ton.

3 thoughts on “Three Little Things and One Huge Thing in My Life as a Teacher

  1. A 20 month contract, does that mean you’ll return to the classroom at the end of that time? (I really have no idea how these things work.) If so, during that period it seems likely you’ll be thinking about how what you’re doing will impact you back there. Is that something you could write about?

    Your piece in Educational Leadership was fabulous. The first thing I do when I get the journal each month is look to see how many actual teachers have a piece in it. I was thrilled to see yours. We need to hear teacher voices more.

  2. You couldn’t go to a better place than Expeditionary Learning, Dina! Your voice joined with theirs will increase the impact of both in classrooms far and wide. Looking forward to keeping up our correspondence!

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