Attitude Germ and How to Treat It

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' Lounge2 Comments

I call it “attitude germ” because of the way it proliferates. Similar to colds or the flu, the bug disperses through social contact: children with large social networks transmit it more readily than those who keep to themselves. How would you know if an outbreak has occurred? Check for a general loss of appetite for learning. Fear of taking risks, … Read More

Stop Your Attitude!

Alan BandstraThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

Cole’s yawn from the back row is loud enough for everyone to hear, but Audrey ignores it for now. She’s got to choose her battles, and this disruption isn’t worth a showdown. After a moment, Cole leans back and rests his feet on the desk. Students nearby smile, eager to watch the situation play out. “Cole, feet back on the … Read More

Where Do the Subjects Come From?

Steven LevyThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

I always scheduled a parent evening about 3 ½ weeks into the school year. Two things were happening by then. One, parents were thrilled that when they asked their children, “How was school today?” they didn’t get the usual, “Fine.” “OK.” The kids had all kinds of interesting stories to tell.  Parents liked that. The second thing was that the … Read More

Opportunity Costs of the Common Core, or Any System of High Stakes Test Accountability

Steven LevyThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

One of the highlights for me in my work with EL Education is our annual national conference, and the highlight of the conference was always the keynote presentation from the students. Over the past few years we were enthused by 6th graders in Rochester, NY, with their proposal to revitalize the city by rewatering the Erie Canal; stirred by 8th … Read More

Why Teach Math?

Steven LevyThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

I’ve never met a math teacher who was not asked to answer the inevitable moan from her students, “Why do we have to learn this?” Unfortunately, the most common response: “It’s going to be on the test.” What kind of message does that give about learning, and about math? Is working to get a grade on a test the kind … Read More

We Did Our Job: Devotional from CESA 2016

Barry GillerThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

In January of 2009, US Airways flight 1549 landed in the chilly waters of the Hudson River shortly after departing New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The movie Sully depicts the courage and fear of Captain Chesley Sullenberger as he led his crew and the passengers that morning. The film shows the aftermath of a media frenzy and the questioning by various … Read More

Real Work for a Real Audience

Steven LevyThe Teachers' LoungeLeave a Comment

Lauren was walking away from the copy machine with a stack of copies from the Spanish workbook. She looked like she had just been abandoned by her deepest hope. It was her first year of teaching, first year Spanish to sixth graders. She had tried to involve them in active projects, but everything she thought would be engaging yielded little … Read More

Honoring the Treasures They Bring

Steven LevyThe Teachers' Lounge2 Comments

16 years out of the classroom, and I still feel the summer begin to bleed as the corn ripens and what seemed like an endless July surrenders to inevitable August. I haven’t seen the leaves turn red yet, nevertheless, the anxiety of the first day of school creeps into my dreams. I stand before my class, entirely unprepared, even naked sometimes, or blind, the children jumping off their desks, running wildly wherever… God, please wake me up!