Courageous Learning with Comics

Problem I don’t draw. Seriously, this is what I’ve told myself for most of my life. Yes, this was the humbling realization I had when reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset years ago, as in other parts of my life I feel like a walking example of someone with a growth mindset. I thrive on challenges, on learning from failure, and all that. I take risks daily to push myself beyond what…

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Albuquerque Teacher Leaders Open Doors to Observation Inquiry

“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.

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Taste Poetry on Your Tongue

April is National Poetry Month, and I’m celebrating by inviting you to join my students and I in a personal challenge to memorize a new poem each week and recite it for others. To be honest, I never got excited about poetry recitation. It seemed boring. I’d rather create poetry than memorize it. Reciting poetry seemed like an “old-school” activity for antique pedagogy and desks in rows. But in the simple…

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7 Ways to Build Trust for Peer Observation

“There is no more powerful way of improving on the job than by observing others and having others observe us.” —Roland Barth (2006) The challenge is opening doors. Use these seven strategies for building trust and buy-in to begin deep professional learning.

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Schools Must Foster Risk-Taking

It’s easy to forget the dynamic of risk-taking in the world of K-12 education, where success is mapped in a staircase of standards and academic achievement is key to opening doors. This video poem and reflective blog dare educators to stretch the boundaries of what is possible, and inspire students to do the same.

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A Bilingual Poem for #WriteMyCommunity

When I was eight, I remember staring out the car window and thinking about disconnect between my world and the world of my Spanish-speaking neighbors who lived only a freeway exit away. No one in my family spoke Spanish, but I wanted to. In California, Spanish is the song of street signs and city names. It’s the voice of a history I wanted to hear, and neighbors I wanted to understand.

As an adult, I wrote this poem in my second language, Spanish, to reach out in a new way. An English translation follows.

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More important than any solution is our ability to understand the problem we are trying to solve, and our flexibility to adapt and change to solve it.

Tonya Ward Singer