Good enough for my kid?

col - Richardson|

American values about education are never more clear than when we think about what we want for our own children. I know that I’ve evaluated every classroom I ever observed on whether I would want my own child in that classroom. If I deemed the teacher excellent, I would be happy to have one of [...]

The medium is us

col - Richardson|

“We become what we behold  . . . We shape our tools and, afterward, our tools shape us.” — Marshall McLuhan Periodically, I see a query about what person, living or dead, you would most like as a dinner partner. High on my list is Marshall McLuhan. In college, I was captivated by the ideas [...]

Practical preparation for all

col - Richardson|

I never thought of myself as a vocational student when I was in high school. But, in fact, my daily high school newspaper class was a practical course with direct career implications. For one hour five days a week — plus scads of hours after school — my classmates and I did everything that was [...]

In reform decisions, somebody knew consequences

col - Richardson, featureblog|

“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” sputtered the leader, as it finally dawned on him that, no matter how many times he snapped his fingers, he couldn’t conjure up effective and affordable medical coverage for millions of Americans. Pleased by the media’s response, “Nobody knew. . . ” became his signature line. [...]

The lure of teaching

col - Richardson|

A newly minted teacher of elementary and special education recounts her long journey to a teaching credential. Jillian Stelma was walking through the halls of her high school when a girl touched her back and changed her life. A girl she did not know was tracing a number on her back, and, when Jillian turned [...]

Pick up the phone — now!

col - Richardson|

This is the time of year when I honestly would prefer to sit back, watch the snow gently drift down, and muse about the single red cardinal who alights in the fruit tree outside my office window. But my inbox is full to overflowing, especially on Mondays. Authors still send Kappan hundreds of manuscripts every [...]

White like me

col - Richardson|

  The writing prompt from the presenter was simple enough: How has your race influenced your life? I dutifully bent my head and put my pen to paper and . . . nothing. I had nothing to say. Race had not influenced my life. No experiences to reflect on. Nothing. I sat up and looked [...]

Time to learn, time to teach

col - Richardson|

How schools use time is an evergreen issue in education. No matter what time of year it is, time — or the lack of time — is always up for debate. But, although time and learning have been at the forefront for a couple of decades, we haven’t exactly embraced significant improvements. We grumble about [...]

Getting better at learning

col - Richardson|

Katie was an exceptional 4th-grade teacher. Honestly, she was the single best classroom teacher whom I’ve ever witnessed. As she taught, she seemed to be tapping into multiple brains simultaneously, quickly analyzing what different students needed and responding in the moment to meet those needs. Add to that her warmth and humor, and her classroom [...]

A fresh start

col - Richardson|

Martha Lacy didn’t study Laundry 101 during her undergraduate work in education nor in any of her principal preparation courses. But as principal of David Weir K-8 Preparatory Academy, a Title I school in Fairfield, Calif., she learned that dirty clothes were often one reason children missed school. If children were unaware of their own [...]

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