Catching Up

Lots to share. Big backlog o' stuff to blog about. Back in February, I blogged about real-time coaching. That's where the rookie teacher puts an earbud in her ear; a coach sits in the back of the room holding a walkie-talkie; and the coach whispers simple one-word directions to the teacher while she is actually teaching the kids.

Lee Canter, recommended by Norm Atkins of TeacherU and Don Shalvey of Gates Foundation, visited us for 2 days last week. He walked us through his approach.

He's remarkable; I'll write a few different posts on his visit.

For now, the early feedback from our rookie teachers? They love it.

Early feedback from Orin, Laura, and Erica, who run our program? They love it.

But today's big news in Massachusetts is the school board voted to adopt the voluntary national standards, called the Common Core.

I blogged about this in March. I wrote a short thing for the NY Times online today, too.

National standards go nicely with the rise of blogs, self-publishing and platforms like BetterLesson.com. Some amazing teachers will sell their yearlong courses, often displacing textbook companies (or making licensing relationships with them).

If you're teaching 9th grade algebra, do you want a book from Scholastic, or a whole curriculum (lesson plans, homework, classwork, a yearlong calendar, remediation plans, "Do-Nows," "Tickets-to-leave", quizzes, unit tests and a final exam) from the Teacher of the Year in, say, Philadelphia?

Do I worry about who controls national standards? Sure....