Common Sense Standard (CSS) #3

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Group of PLCers having fun together in the music room

Education should be shaped around the students, not the other way around. I deeply, firmly, believe that “everybody [has] their something,” at least one special something to offer.

Common Sense Standard (CSS) # 1

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Jedi Training Academy by Loren Javier

(See the first post in this series – Common Sense Learning.) Education is training; not a performance, game or race to the top.  It shouldn’t make or break anyone, but it should shape and build everyone. The way I see it, no one passes or fails in training. They simply get more or less out of it. Training equips, but … Read More

The Importance of Play

Scott GallagherUncategorized

two teens playing a game they made up, called ground stomp

As a writing teacher, I love helping writers free themselves of certain not-so-great writing habits. It’s easy to trap yourself as a writer, going down well-worn paths, following forms and ideas already been done. Once you believe a poem or story should look a certain way, if you’re not careful, all your poems look that way. And where did you … Read More

Dream BIG and Find Home

Katy BurkeUncategorized

I recently came across a social media meme that stated “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” Have you ever had an idea that made your heart pound? Or a vision for the future that you were embarrassed to share because it’s just “too ridiculous”? Little children dream freely like this all the time. This one wants to … Read More

Opting In

Katy BurkeUncategorized

About this time last year I was free falling. I had refused to proctor the state mandated PARCC assessment and stood to lose my job as a NJ public school teacher of 13 years. In the words of my union lawyer whose counsel I desperately sought, I was “putting myself in front of a buzzsaw.” I remember how rattled I … Read More

Nurturing Creativity

Paul ScuttUncategorized

In 2006 the on-line TED.com talk by Sir Ken Robinson “Do Schools Kill Creativity” initiated in me a profound desire to change the high school experience for the young people in my care at the time. One of my favourite snippets from the talk is this: I heard a great story recently — I love telling it — of a … Read More