My first introduction to professional development as a young teacher was underwhelming to say the least. When I first entered the profession, I was excited to meet other teachers and get down to the business of having lengthy, intellectual conversations about how to best teach our subjects. Surely, we would debate which concepts to teach,
Coursera, an organization currently facilitating free online access to courses taught by college professors, has announced it will be dipping its toes into the professional development arena. I have to admit that when I read this headline, I was thrilled. For teachers to have free, online access to courses offered by experts on education research
The short answer: no and maybe. Now to the long answer. As a new teacher, one of the first concepts you learn is “scaffolding.” Like the scaffolds beside a building, scaffolding in teaching is about building a supportive structure piece by piece so a student can get somewhere he or she couldn’t get by themselves.
Currently, teachers and administrators around the nation are grappling with the new demands of the Common Core. At its “core,” these new standards move away from rote memorization to ask teachers to focus on student thought. However, to not recognize that these standards require a drastic reformulating of instruction in most classrooms would be naïve.
A baseball player doesn’t make as much if his team doesn’t do well, right? Should we pay a band’s drummer the big bucks if the band isn’t popular? Absolutely not. Even our representatives in Congress have their job stability linked to one another; if the party doesn’t do well, neither do individual members. For many