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Education Politics

January 18, 2011

A friend of mine shared this article regarding the direction education politics is heading.  Basically, it states that the majority of people making decisions regarding the future of American children are not educators: it’s businessmen and politicians.  Hardly news for those of us within education.

For some reason, this article really riled me.  It continued to reiterate the understanding that most teachers have: people with no real knowledge of what it’s like within the classroom are the ones who have the most power in changing it.  It irks me that people like Oprah will host a show on the importance of education, but then ask people like Bill Gates how it should be changed.  Good journalism professes that one should go to the source!  Go to the teachers in Chicago and ask them what would help them become a better teacher (I’m sure a hefty donation from Bill Gates wouldn’t hurt!).

I love that this article also points out the huge benefit of allowing children the privilege of participating in arts, P.E., and foreign languages–often the first things cut in struggling schools.  I think a little more time needs to be spent on researching the BENEFICIAL attributes of a good education and good teacher, and less time playing with politics.  It’ll do us all some good.


Girls Write Now

January 3, 2011

I came across the Girls Write Now website while putting off a writing project I am currently working on.  (Funny how everything else is more interesting when there is work to be done.)

The purpose of Girls Write Now is to pair underprivileged young women with a professional writer.  This girl is mentored in creative writing, and empowered to use her voice assertively.

I found this concept intriguing.  There are so many young women out there who are lucky enough to have the role models and the means to educate themselves.  However, there are millions more who are not.  Although a program such as this is easier to start in a city like New York (due to the volume of professional writers located there), it seems like it could be implemented in many cities across the country.  All it takes is a good pool of mentors.

I only wish I had the means necessary to start such a program.

Banned Books

December 17, 2010

Is exposing children to A Brave New World too risky?  Or a great book to start a critical literacy conversation?

Usually a book is banned because the material is deemed unsuitable for children.  I guess I just find it ironic that we (as a society) ban books, but not TV programs, movies, or video games.  Sure, we rate them, but rarely do restrict them.  However, when it comes to literature that would be a great way critical piece, we often forgo them to “protect the kids.”

Look Around!

December 7, 2010

The website is now completely up and running…perfect timing for the season of giving.  😀

Please feel free to look around, comment on anything, ask questions, or just leave me a note about some cool ideas.

Come back for articles, ideas, and lessons.  I plan on continuing to update this site as new topics arise!

Classroom Wishlists

December 3, 2010

Got this great article from  Many educators know how hard it can be to provide for their classroom, especially with budgets being tight, and then getting further cut.

But for schools that have trouble providing even the basics for their students, there are websites out there that allow them to list the donations they are looking for, match up donors with classrooms, or ask for volunteers.

These sites are worth checking out if you are a teacher, love teachers and their students, or just plain want to pay it forward.


Updates are in Progress

December 1, 2010

Many new updates have been added to the site.  Nearly all of the pages are finished, except for the Sample Lessons page.  That page will be completed by December 6, 2010.  If you have any suggestions for lessons that would pertain to this unit, or would like to add to the discussion on the teacher voices page, please leave a comment!  (In essence, you would be Paying it Forward by doing so!)


November 16, 2010

Welcome to my website, all about the concept of integrating the “Common Good” into the Elementary classroom setting.

Please be patient while I get the website up and running.  This site should be fully functional no later than December 6, 2010.

In the mean time, please give back and pay it forward!