A teacher’s perspective, part 2: when the arc of teaching is lost

A teacher’s perspective, part 2: when the arc of teaching is lost

This is the second post of a two-part series written by a friend and colleague who teaches at large public school in New York City. Part one described some of the changes brought about by the introduction of the evaluation system known as the Danielson Framework as well as the continuing pressure to involve technology in every aspect of the learning and teaching process. Here, the writer discusses some of the effects of those changes, on both a small and a large scale.  

The abandonment of chalk and talk for the Smartboard has had some strange consequences. Screens have a passive, television-like feel to them, which is reflected in students’ reactions. Often, when I write something on a Smartboard, it does not occur to students to take notes from it (why take notes from a TV?), and I have to force them to write it down. (more…)

A teacher’s perspective, part 1: the 21st century classroom

The following guest post was written by a friend and colleague who teaches at a large, selective New York City public high school. Over the last several years, her descriptions of the changes wrought by various new technologies, the imposition of Common Core, and an increasingly byzantine evaluation system that effectively punishes teachers for teaching, have provided me with an illuminating glimpse into some of the more alarming changes the public school system has recently undergone (and continues to undergo), and piqued my interest in understanding how standardized testing fits into the secondary landscape as a whole. I have found her insights invaluable, and I invited her to write this two-part series because I thought that it was important that those insights be shared with a wider audience.

Twice a year, during parent/teacher conferences, I get to meet you. I get a fascinating snapshot of your families, and what my students convey to you about my particular classroom. During these brief moments, I often wonder how much you really understand about how differently your children’s educational experience is from your own. Today, I would like to clarify how profoundly different it is.

Perhaps you read the educational pages of national newspapers. There you will find desperate appeals to revamp education. Some of the themes you see are as follows: (more…)