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CERTainly room for improvement

As mentioned before, I’ve become a member of my local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), as in the case of disaster, the official first-responders (police, fire, and paramedics) will be overwhelmed.  And it’s a good group, with a lot of excellent efforts in processes and tools as well as drills.  Still, of course, there’s  room for […]

Simplicity Itself

I was at a DA meeting when Punchy Mike Mulgrew said something like if you aren't fighting with your principal, you aren't doing your job. Punchy Mike immediately followed up by boasting about his cozy relationship with Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Show More Summary

When (and not) to crowdsource?

Will Thalheimer commented on my ‘reconciliation‘ post, and pointed out that there are times when you would be better off going to an expert. His apt observation is that there are times when it makes sense to crowdsource and when not to, but it wasn’t clear to him or me when each was. Naturally that […]

Off With Her Rubric!

When you teach English language learners, particularly when they're rank beginners, you can never be sure how much of what you say the students understand. A typical coping technique when learning a new language is nodding your head and pretending to understand, whether or not you actually do. Show More Summary

Revive NYSUT, Facing Friedrichs, Attacks Working Teacher

We pay a lot of money to NYSUT. It's a great honor, particularly because we have no representation whatsoever. As readers of this blog well know, every single UFT representative in NYSUT is bound by loyalty oath to vote any damn way they are told. Show More Summary

Lewis Black on Teachers

Black is not so kind to guidance counselors, based only on his own. I disagree with stereotypes of all kinds, and that certainly qualifies. But listen to what he says about teachers.

The internet is poisoning us: an old angle on media fear

A new article compares the internet to ancient Rome's system of water supply based on lead pipes: technologically advanced, useful, and poisonous. [Roman lead plumbing] was this amazing technological infrastructure. It was beautifully made, it provided them with an incredibly...

A Short Story

Last night I met two Chinese-speaking parents of a shy but happy girl. I told them, after all these weeks, that I've started to see their daughter smile much more frequently. I told them, as I often tell parents, that if their daughter would speak a little more I'd give her a higher grade. Show More Summary


I have to say this is, and has always been a high-pressure profession. I don't know how anyone manages to stand in front of 34 teenagers without noticing it. Don't mistake that for a complaint, because it's not. There's really just about...Show More Summary

Facilitating Knowledge Work #wolweek

In the course of some work with a social business agency, was wondering how to represent the notion of facilitating continual innovation.  This representation emerged from my cogitations, and while it’s not quite right, I thought I’d share it as part of Work Out Loud week. The core is the 5 R’s: Researching the opportunities, […]

The Specter of Friedrichs Haunts Mike Mulgrew

Michael Mulgrew sent us an email the other day, telling us we needed to inform our members of the seriousness of Friedrichs. This was not really news to me, and I've been trying to do that for some time now. Of course I follow the news and I don't take this threat lightly. Show More Summary

Reconciling two worlds

A recent post by my colleague in the Internet Time Alliance, Jane Hart, has created quite the stir. In it, she talks about two worlds: an old world and a new world of workplace learning.  And another colleague from the Serious eLearning Manifesto, Will Thalheimer, wrote a rather ‘spirited’ response.  I know, respect, and like […]

DA Takeaway November 2015

The most striking thing about this month's DA, in retrospect, is the absolute nonsense voiced by UFT President Michael Mulgrew at its opening. I had no idea why Mulgrew was talking about whether or not people could leaflet inside or out of UFT offices. Show More Summary

My "Real Discussion" on Test-Based Teacher Evaluations

At the November Delegate meeting, President Mulgrew noted that there needs to be a "real discussion" on teacher evaluations. He asked if teachers really want to return to evaluations based solely upon the observation of principals. Under...Show More Summary

NY State's Unity Caucus Launches a Despicable Attack Against Beth Dimino

NYS Unity Caucus, of course, is the one that's behind Revive NYSUT. This is the Caucus that promised to oppose Common Core and Cuomo. Yet Karen Magee, pictured at left, offered the logical fallacy that it was CCSS or chaos at an AFT convention. Show More Summary

I Ain't Gonna Work on Mulgrew's Farm No More

With apologies to Bob DylanI ain't gonna work on Mulgrew's farm no more,No, I ain't gonna work on Mulgrew's farm no more.He don't like the slogan,You got on your shirt,So he punches your face and pushes it in the dirt,He gets all worked...Show More Summary

Learning and frameworks

There’s recently been a spate of attacks on 70:20:10 and moving beyond courses, and I have to admit I just don’t get it.  So I thought it’s time to set out why I think these approaches make sense. Let’s start with what we know about how we learn. Learning is action and reflection.  Instruction (education, […]

DA Report November 2015

AnnouncementsMulgrew thanks us for coming. Asks everyone to look at people on floor 19. Makes jokes I don’t understand. Moment of silence for members who’ve passed.Says he wants to keep his report brief and get to resolutions. Speaks to issue of leafleting. Show More Summary

The hidden face lurking in our minds

When we look at objects we sometimes see shapes that aren't really there, including human faces. One project just tried to suss out a kind of average face recognized by folks. Using an algorithm usually used to average out the...

My Day Off

Yesterday ESL teacher Aixa Rodriguez and I met at Francis Lewis High School in Queens to talk to Telemundo Noticias 47 about the changes in ESL instruction due to CR Part 154. Through the miracle of YouTube, you can watch us right h...

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