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So far michele has created 187 blog entries.

School politics irritate teacher

Career Confidential|

   Q: I’m a second-year teacher, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around school politics. Several of my colleagues vie to be our principal’s favorite, even if that means tons of kissing up and self-promotion. These teachers are the quickest to volunteer for after-school clubs and take on team leader positions despite the fact that there’s no stipend. They actually compete  for these [...]

Taking care of ourselves and others: Creating a compassionate school


Eighth-grader Paige works with her kindergarten buddies, Tristan and Victor, on their letters. (Photo courtesy the author.) Schools can intentionally build cultures that emphasize kindness and calm. By Lori Nazareno and Alysia Krafel “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are — or as we are conditioned to see [...]

School board member feels unfairly attacked 

Career Confidential|

   Q:  I’m a member of a school board in a town in Massachusetts. I was in a grocery store last week when a woman confronted me. She got right up in my face and practically spit at me as she asked, “Why wasn’t Mr. Hull’s contract renewed?” I was taken aback. I said, “I’m [...]

The legacy of Justice Anthony Kennedy

col - Underwood|

In his more than 30 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy was a key voice on cases involving individual liberty, including several involving public schools. Justice Anthony Kennedy captured the nation’s attention the last day of the 2017-18 Supreme Court term when he announced his retirement. He has been an influential and stable [...]

School counselor’s hateful tweets worry principal

Career Confidential|

   Q:  I’m a principal who uses Twitter to share school news. Our student body is diverse, much like our district as a whole, and we have a lot of immigrant families. I’m always looking for ways to make students and their families feel welcome, and I train my staff in issues of equity, social justice, implicit bias, and [...]

Gossip has teacher nervous about returning to her last school 

Career Confidential|

Q:  Two years ago, I decided to leave the middle school where I taught English. I was happy there but a little stale, and I wanted a better commute. I also thought I might prefer teaching high school. After a year working in a high school closer to home, I knew I wanted to go back to [...]

Compliance specialist to principals: Call before it’s a crisis 

Career, Career Confidential|

Q: I’m a compliance specialist in a large district in New York. I’ve worked in my department for years, so I’ve learned how to handle a wide range of issues. Some of the same scenarios pop up year after year, and very few things stump me. And yet, the same principals reach out to me over [...]

9 ways educators can fight corruption

Career, Career Confidential|

Q:  A teacher I work with was shaking as he told me a senior had failed his class — one he needed to graduate. My colleague knew his supervisors were upset with him even though he had given the student plenty of chances. I said, “Look, I’m sure you did what you’re supposed to do [...]

Teacher feels threatened by colleague’s public recognition 

Career, Career Confidential|

Q:   I’m a teacher in a district where the central office recognizes outstanding educators at the elementary, middle, and high school levels with an annual “best educator” award. There’s a big hoopla and ceremony involving the Board of Education and County Council members and even local businesses, and the chosen teachers get a stipend for continuing [...]

Principal upset by staff response to school climate surveys

Career, Career Confidential|

Q:  I’m your typical “open door” principal. I have a parade of teachers coming in and out all day long to share concerns or solicit advice. I don’t think I come off as arrogant or unyielding. I’m very personable! (At least I think I am, based on my stream of visitors.) And yet, whenever my [...]

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