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Reimagining the 21st-century teacher by connecting with other teachers

Submitted by thenotebook on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 10:01 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

Try to find the constant in most schools, and you'll most likely end up in the classroom of a veteran teacher. Students come and go – as do principals, superintendents and, with them, technology fads and ever-shifting educational philosophies.

But through massive budget cuts, a record number of school closings, and widespread staff layoffs, many Philadelphia teachers believe their voices have been lost in the shuffle.

Teacher as entrepreneur

Submitted by thenotebook on Tue, 10/15/2013 - 12:43 Posted in Commentary | Permalink

by Samuel Reed and Peggy M. Savage

Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead but Don't Leave does a great job of examining the skills and traits of thoughtful, innovative, and maverick-like educators. This new book, written by Barnett Berry, Ann Byrd, and Alan Wieder of the Center for Teaching Quality, documents the leadership journeys of eight teachers who are exceptional at what they do but not the exception.

When we first looked at the title of the book, we had mixed reactions. Like many teacher-leaders, we bring an entrepreneurial and activist spirit to our practice. We were excited about the concept of innovative teachers leading, but not leaving, the classroom, yet concerned that the language of market-driven entrepreneurship may lure talented and dedicated teachers away from our craft, our passion, our willingness to give back and connect with our communities.

When it comes to seniority, I’m sticking with the union

Submitted by Ron Whitehorne on Thu, 09/26/2013 - 17:02 Posted in Commentary | Permalink

If the events of the last few years make anything clear, it's that teachers need a strong union. 

The School Reform Commission -- backed by the governor, the mayor, and self-appointed civic elites -- has launched a full-scale attack on the living standards and professional status of teachers. The union, supported by significant community allies as well as other unions, is waging a campaign of resistance.   

A big target of the corporate reform agenda is the principle of seniority. I think that eliminating seniority would be the first step toward the reduction of teaching from a lifelong profession to a Peace Corps model favored by the likes of Michelle Rhee, founder of StudentsFirst, and Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America.

As deadline passes, Jordan says progress made, but still no settlement

Submitted by Dale Mezzacappa on Sun, 09/01/2013 - 00:34 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

Negotiators for the School District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers reached the midnight deadline without reaching agreement on a new contract.

PFT president Jerry Jordan said in an interview that the two sides "made some progress," although there were still many unresolved issues.

Asked whether the two sides were still far apart, he said, "There are a number of outstanding issues. We were not close enough to close the deal."

Move to unionize at Philly charter school blocked, teachers say

Submitted by thenotebook on Thu, 08/08/2013 - 14:33 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks

Claims that the company running the Olney Charter High School tried to intimidate teachers who sought to unionize may be heading for a hearing.

Hanako Franz teaches 9th-grade history at Olney Charter High School, which became an non-unionized charter run by Aspira in 2011 -- Franz's first year of teaching.

Over the next two years, Franz says, the administration made many decisions -- some she says to the detriment of children's education -- without consulting with the teaching staff.

Teachers, let the public know you're #HerePastJune

Submitted by Samuel Reed III on Tue, 07/09/2013 - 10:55 Posted in Commentary | Permalink

School vacation, for many teachers, is not time off, but time on.

Contrary to popular perception, many educators don't spend the summers just relaxing at the beach or rejuvenating for the coming school year. Plenty of teachers take advantage of the summers by organizing, participating in professional learning communities, and lesson planning, among many other things.

On June 25, the first day of this “school vacation,” many Philadelphia public school teachers rallied in Harrisburg with more than 1,000 other teachers, counselors, nurses, safety workers, librarians, and others from across Pennsylvania to demand equitable funding for public schools.

State, teachers' union reluctant to provide dollars for city schools

Submitted by thenotebook on Thu, 05/16/2013 - 20:49 Posted in Latest news | Permalink

by Benjamin Herold and Holly Otterbein for NewsWorks, a Notebook news partner

On Wednesday, Mayor Nutter announced his plan to raise $95 million for Philadelphia's struggling School District, mostly through tax hikes on cigarettes and alcohol.

But even if that money comes through, city schools will still be looking for an additional $120 million from Harrisburg and $133 million in givebacks from the local teachers' union.

Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon), who chairs the Senate's education committee, said the unions have to go first.

59 teachers named Lindback award winners

Submitted by Wendy Harris on Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:40 Posted in Events | Permalink

Today is National Teacher Day, and this afternoon 59 Philadelphia teachers, one from each District high school, will receive the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

The honorees will join Superintendent William Hite, School Reform Commissioner Wendell Pritchett, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, three trustees from the Lindback Foundation, and others for the celebration, which will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater.

Curriculum Fair and Education Summit taking place this Saturday

Submitted by Samuel Reed III on Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:23 Posted in Events | Permalink

Teacher Action Group Philadelphia and the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools will hold the 4th annual Education for Liberation Curriculum Fair and Citywide Summit on Saturday, May 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Folks Arts and Cultural Treasures charter school.

The theme for this year’s curriculum fair and summit is “Flipping the Script in Philadelphia.”

Join the conversation: Books that boys can't resist

Submitted by Samuel Reed III on Sun, 02/17/2013 - 15:40 Posted in Events | Permalink

Girls will read books about boys. Boys will not read books about girls. Yes, that is a generalization, but any astute educator will agree with me. We need to understand that boys can be fickle readers, and one of the best ways to attract a boy to a book is to put a corpse on the cover or 'diarrhea' in the title.

- Danny Brassell, “Ten Ways to Get Boys Reading" 

Join me for an #engchat conversation at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, on the theme of getting reluctant adolescents to read.



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