Month: September 2016

Unpacking the Standards

Why Care About Standards? New Jersey has gone through a host of academic standards over the years, from the 1996 Core Curriculum Content Standards to the 2010 Common Core State Standards to the currently adopted NJ Student Learning Standards. As teachers, it can be easy to be dismissive of these changes. Why bother investing in learning about them when they change every so often? But every profession advances. We would not want our doctors performing sloppy, invasive surgeries when laparoscopic techniques surpass them in efficacy and recovery. Likewise, educators should not fall behind the movement to increase rigor and...

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Teaching in Sickness and in Health

I croaked on my first day of teaching. Literally croaked. It is the stuff of nightmares that teachers dread coming true. The first day of school already brings out spectra of emotions, from excitement to frustration to elation to angst. It is the day teachers are able to set the tone of their classrooms, to lay down rules and expectations, to redirect summer-addled minds back to purposeful learning. It is also the annual bootcamp period, testing every educator’s ability to present a veneer of perfect working order whilst running triage behind the scenes. We talk about avoiding information overload when it...

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