My Room, 2008

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Most of us know the drill. Some of us strived for all As, some of us for As or Bs, and some of us were happy with anything C and above. Competence is what we were all working for, and passing meant…well, competence. You’re moving to the next grade. You’re approved. But in a postmodern realm of education, students and teachers are becoming increasingly aware of the effects of using numerical rhetoric to measure intellectual capabilities. The role of student data is impinging on old grade-tracking methods, and student-centered learning has changed the tone of classroom productivity. Conversations are being…

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As growing demands of documentation, data tracking and professional development occupy increasing amounts of teacher time, buzzwords like “self care” and “work-life balance” are in high circulation among teacher communities. Rightfully so, as teacher burnout has been a factor in decreasing teacher retention, and a growing number of teachers are deciding to leave the profession altogether due to unrealistic expectations. Blogs with teacher time-saving hacks, online coursework bundles and special teacher planner templates are just some of the resources teachers turn to when symptoms of burnout arise. …

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The manner in which schools approach teacher collaboration has evolved over the years, as curriculum alignment continues to drive increasing amounts of decision-making. Teachers know the drill. Professional development sessions aimed at dissecting learning standards, academic jargon like “content enhancement”, “data-driven instruction”, “formative assessment”, and a plethora of acronyms that guide teachers through better planning systems are just some of the yearly prescriptions they’re used to. Consequently, as teachers continue to norm on increasingly more specific criteria and practices, teacher independence and authenticity is becoming less considered.

Alignment is critical, and there for a reason. Without it, students’ daily routines…


My hands firmly grip the podium. Students gaze at the screen at the poem and question. Some in curiosity, some elsewhere. We stagnate in thought.

Perhaps I’m deficient. It happens.

I begin,

“Clap once for A, twice for B, three times for C, and four times for D. And…clap.”

The claps ring in dissonance.


Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Maya Angelou, William Wordsworth. YouTube for poetic scenery, higher-level poems for meter, watch some slam, dissect song lyrics, then, composition. A change of pace. A happy place.

“They aren’t being tested on poetry this year.”


Building confidence with thesis…

Amber Nunnery

school things & other things

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