Words Matter; Symbols Matter: Technology Adoption in Education

Larry Cuban, a well-respected education blogger, recently posted the following: Technology Evangelists, Skeptics, and Those in the¬†Middle In it, he points out that what is new is not always what is better and that the language being used to describe late adopters of technology include value judgments that are frankly dangerous. “Evangelists for technology seldom…

Help! I’m a Teacher– How Do I Get Into Education Technology?

When I first started teaching fifth grade science at KIPP Academy in Houston, Texas, I had no idea that I would end up parlaying that experience into my current role as a consultant to education technology companies. I was simply a teacher on a mission to do right by my students, and that drive just…

5 Surprising Books All Educators Should Read

The following is a list of books that have fundamentally changes the way I view education. They are not titles that will come up in a typical search of “books on education,” some of them don’t even mention education at all, and yet, they’ve undeniably shaped who I am and what I believe as an…

9 Reasons Great Teachers Make Great Leaders

In many companies, people are promoted into leadership positions because they were top-notch performers in their previous role. Being an individual performer, however, is very different from being a leader and requires a different skill set that all too often has not been deliberately cultivated. Similarly, in the startup world, many people become founders because…

Making Failure Survivable

I made a tough decision yesterday, one I hope was the right one. I’ve been planning an inquiry-based unit on Astronomy since November, one I envisioned would culminate in an Astronomy Exhibition Night where all the students’ family and friends could come to school and see the work my students put into building models of…

Ask the Experts

I have a new way of unit planning. It’s called, ask the experts. To plan my upcoming Astronomy unit, I emailed my mentor at the New Science Teacher Academy, I asked for help on the Nasa Educator Online Network, and I contacted KIPP Houston’s awesome STEM coordinator. In response, I was flooded with helpful activity…

I’m Rolling Gutterballs

I’m in the middle of grading my latest unit assessment right now and the trends of student achievement are demoralizing, to say the very least. Even objectives I have tutored extensively for have not “stuck” with my students. I think there are several lessons I can learn from this process. The first is that I…

My Commitment for the School Year

Commitment is as much a mindset as it is a set of actions. So, this year, I am committing. I am committing to 100%. I commit to 100% of my students being 100% engaged, 100% of the time. This means that if I or another student am talking, all eyes are on the speaker, all…

The Best Part about Teaching My Second Year…

…is the experience of building much stronger relationships with my students. Last year I was too stressed, and battling too much with my students for control, to build lasting relationships with the majority of my students. This year each of my students is an individual with quirks, interests, and dreams, and I’m getting to know…

My Biggest Challenges as a Beginning Second Year Teacher

Right now I’m struggling with two things. One is pacing. The second is data. On the first challenge, my lessons are taking twice as long as I plan them to take. I think the next step is to sit down with someone, go through a lesson plan together, and then have them observe to see…