Showing posts from November, 2014

Leaving Finland

Lake Jyvasjarvi I have never lived anywhere for 5 months other than Jyvaskyla, Finland. As my Fulbright journey concludes, there is so much to still digest. It will take months, if not years, to truly assimilate all the learning. Before I left Southern California, I wrote about the what I would miss the most from home and what I  looked forward to experiencing in Finland. It is safe to say I met my goals. Top 7 Goals 1. Discussing Education Helsinki Workshop Through professional development programs, Fulbright Finland connected teachers with scholars and researchers, for the purpose of putting inquisitive minds together. The Making Democracies Resilient to Modern Threats seminar provided participants with fascinating research and presentations. 2. Nordic Model Bus station in Espoo What does an efficient and earnest country look like?  It looks like Finland. Yes, people pay higher taxes, but get so much in return. I for one appreciated the well-maintained ro

Top 10 Takeaways from NCSS Conference

The National Council for the Social Studies conference was everything I thought it would be and more. While the experience is fresh in my mind, I'll share my top 10 takeaways from the conference. 1. Twitter is great, but nothing beats person to person learning, networking, and inspiration! 2. The C3 Framework is coming. It's here. Lots of districts are moving on this. Is yours? 3. Michelle Herzog is the BUSINESS. 4. Just when you had your mind made up about the immigration policy you hear this guy speak: Jose Antonio Vargas. 5. Boston was a phenomenal place to hold a social studies conference. 6. LAUSD (cc: Ramon Cortines) , teachers need to leave the classroom, the school, and sometimes the state to get top notch professional development. ITS FOR THE STUDENTS! 7. Charter school teachers want to get connected. Their people won't do it. Our people won'

The Feds Take on Teacher Assignments

US to Focus on Equity in Assigning of Teachers When I was a newer teacher, I used to think teachers should not get to pick their work location. I used to think that if there were superstar teachers, they should be assigned to teach the students who needed them the most, like the ones at the schools where I've taught. Then I realized superstar teachers are few and far between. The process to determine who is a great teacher is flawed , none exists yet. Socioeconomics more greatly determine who is a great teacher than other measures in place today. You could be a failing teacher at a failing school one year, and a superstar the next in another more affluent school or district . How do you define a failing school  anyway? So the problem remains: who will best teach the students from poverty at schools such as mine? First, I would abandon my naive idea of forcibly assigning teachers to work in places they don't choose. It would never work. The resentment and the