Posts from Mark Anderson
September 4, 2012
I can’t say that I am an “irreplaceable” teacher. But I do know that some of the teachers that I have worked with are, and that we have chosen to forsake our school.
The education policy group TNTP coined that term this summer in a report that calls for changes to teacher retention policies. The top (more…)
May 4, 2012
Schools are complex environments, strewn with relationships amongst adults with a multiplicity of roles and allegiances, complicated by the volatile and competitive relationships of children striving to understand their place in the world. To work in a public school is to daily navigate treacherous political and interpersonal waters, work on various teams, alternately pressure and (more…)
February 6, 2012
What makes a great teacher? To a lot of people, the answer seems simple enough: a great teacher is one whose students achieve. For the most part these days, student success is measured with test scores. Logically then, a great teacher is one whose students perform well on tests.
Let’s take it a step further: what (more…)
December 20, 2011
In my last post, I made the case for why educators should collaboratively develop and share curriculum materials. Now I’ll offer some ideas about just how that can be done in a world that seems set up to keep teachers working in isolation.
The opportunity presented by the widespread adoption of the Common Core Standards can (more…)
December 19, 2011
In my last post on the necessity for a coherent, ground-level consensus on the content that we deliver to our nation’s children, I concluded with a reference to the disturbing reality of teachers planning lessons alone. Picture a teacher sitting alone at his desk, planning lessons for his students. It’s after a long day of (more…)
November 4, 2011
It’s the most challenging students I carry with me long after they’ve moved onto the next grade. The student who threw a desk at me, the one who cursed me out every day, the one who experienced schizophrenic hallucinations in the afternoon, the one who punched a hole in my wall, the one who cried (more…)
September 7, 2011
This is the third post in a series exploring the concept and role of curriculum. Read Part I and Part II.
In my last post, I discussed how leaving the critical components of emotional/social literacy and character development out of our curriculum (the so called “hidden curriculum”) furthers inequity. I believe that inequity is also perpetuated by leaving (more…)
July 14, 2011
This is the second post in a series exploring the concept and role of curriculum. Read Part I here.
In my first year of teaching, I was presented with a group of students with challenging behaviors. I had been notified of the students’ patterns of behavior during my interview for the position, and warned of their (more…)
June 8, 2011
It’s no news to teachers that the national discourse on public education is all too often far removed from the reality of the classroom. Discussions of curriculum are a case in point. These discussions tend to be polemical and based on politically skewed notions of what is fundamental to learning, which does little for the (more…)
May 23, 2011
I finished my last graduate courses on Tuesday. As I walked to the train talking with a colleague who had begun the NYC Teaching Fellows program at the same time as me, he remarked on how different we had become since that first summer during our initial training before entering the classroom. How innocent we (more…)