For years before he retired, the teacher next door kept track of how many days were left until the end of the school year. He started at the first faculty meeting, joking “185 days to go!” to a roomful of smiling teachers, energized for a new year. By the time we got to February, March, April, teachers still smiled as he announced the number of days left, but their smiles were different, worn down. I’m just trying to make it, their smiles said. Only a few more weeks . . .
Although I understand the urge to count down the days, the end of the school year evokes different feelings for me—namely, panic with a healthy dose of guilt. When fourth marking period hits, I realize how much more there is still to do, how much content that may go uncovered. And then there is testing season in the way. Where did the time go? I wonder.
Last month at the International Literacy Association's 2016 Conference in Boston, Heinemann held a reception for its authors. Heinemann Fellows from the inaugural cohort were in attendance. Jessica Lifshitz, a teacher of that outgoing cohort, welcomed the newest group of Fellows and gave a short, powerful speech about empowerment and autonomy that we are reproducing here with her permission. Please enjoy!
Last month we announced the incoming class of Heinemann Fellows and said good-bye to the inaugural group. The second cohort is preparing to meet in late June and it will be some time before they are ready to share their action research projects on this blog. So let's look back on the great work the first cohort did and continues to do as part of their projects!
The Heinemann Fellows is a group of educators who wish to pursue the shared goal of advancing the teaching profession. Today, Heinemann announces a new cohort of Fellows, the 2016–2018 class, selected from over 130 applicants.
The 2015–2016 class of Heinemann Fellows is a group of educators who wish to pursue the shared goal of advancing the teaching profession. Next week, Heinemann will announce a new cohort of Fellows, the 2016–2017 class, but now we'd like to look back on the work of "Cohort One," ten impassioned teachers and administrators from all over the country who came together for the program's inaugural year.
When I was a student, almost all the written feedback I got in math class came on tests. The main purpose of these notes was to justify a grade. This was frustrating to me and ever since I became a math teacher, I’ve wanted to give feedback of a different sort. Rather than reporting to my students what they did or didn’t understand, I wanted my feedback help them come to understand it on their own. Two years ago, I realized that, despite my best efforts, I was falling short of this standard. Since then, I’ve been searching for better ways to use comments to help learning along.