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Why would you want to read this blog?

  • We have some really incredible teachers who happen to also be awesome writers. They have interesting stories to tell.
  • If we can make information technology, collaborative curriculum, and constructivist instruction work in the classroom, it can be done. All these approaches have to work with our children, not just the children of the rich and middle-class, if we are going to have a truly public education.
  • We’ll write about the hard truths, but also we’ll find humor in the impossibilities and improbabilities of our jobs, and ourselves.

What will we write about?

  • Examples of what works, doesn’t work, and what people would like to try.
  • Examples of what we now know shouldn’t have been tried in the first place.
  • Examples of what gets in the way, and better approaches.

Oh, and our own personal observations and anecdotes about teaching in this unique environment. This will be a place to explore ideas.

How will this be done? We will be posting twice a week to start. If we can convince others to join us, we can increase this to three or five times a week (drop me a line if you are interested). Sometimes, we’ll let a picture say more than could be said with a thousand words.

Who are we?

  • Alice Mercer, an elementary educator from Sacramento , CA . I have only worked in Title One schools, most of them on whole school free lunch (that means a super majority+ of students are living in poverty).
  • Doug Noon an elementary school teacher from Fairbanks, Alaska. I’ve worked in all the grades, K-6, for the past 25 years in Fairbanks, with major concentrations at the second grade, fourth, and sixth-grade levels. I’m presently teaching in a Title One school with a large Alaska Native minority population. I have a MEd in Language and Literacy.
  • Michaele Sommerville, a kindergarten teacher and military spouse currently touring some of the “lower 48″ thanks to Uncle Sam. I’ve taught in Alaska (ten years), New Mexico (one year), Kansas (one year) and am currently seeking employment in Texas (too bad I’m not bi-lingual!). I’m an early childhood education advocate and a mother of four lifelong learners!
  • Brian Crosby Elementary teacher integrating Web 2.0, 1:1 laptops and project/problem based learning in an “At Risk” school
  • Jose Rodriguez 3rd grade teacher from Los Angeles, CA. Educator for the last 13 years. I was out of the classroom for four of those years coordinating NCLB Compliance and Bilingual-Programs in my school. My family immigrated to the States when I was 5. This gives me a personal connection to my students.
  • Jennifer Orr: an elementary educator in Fairfax County, VA. Currently teaching in a school with a significant majority of English Speakers of Other Languages students and recent immigrants.
  • Mathew Needleman has taught grades K-2 in Title I schools for the past seven years. He has specialized in working with English Language Learners and mainstreamed special education students. He is an advocate of using video production in the classroom to motivate reluctant learners, promote higher level thinking, and close the digital divide. He currently serves as a literacy coach at Brentwood Science Magnet, his former elementary school, which receives a diverse population of low-income students from across the Los Angeles area. He blogs at: http://www.creatinglifelonglearners.com
  • Angela Powell has taught in urban schools for the past ten years, and is best known for Ms. Powell’s Management Ideas for Teachers, a website she created in 2003 to share behavior management strategies, teaching techniques, organizational tips, and Christian devotions. She recently published her first book The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes  Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable, and expanded and updated her website under the domain TheCornerstoneForTeachers.com. She created The Cornerstone Blog in August 2008 as a forum for educators to share ideas in an informal and light-hearted format. Having earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist, she currently works as a teacher and freelance writer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

4 Responses to “About”

  1. Kyle Hutzler says:

    Hello –

    I am a fifteen year old student highly interested in economics and education policy. Over the past two years, I have spent upwards of 200 hours researching and writing an 80-page, 30k word portfolio and policy paper on American education + reform for the Davidson Fellowship, a scholarship for high school students.

    Now that the writing is all but finished, I have set about to initiate a conversation about the paper’s ideas. I’ve been grateful to have the support of my own superintendent to Dr. Thomas Hoerr and soon, Morgaen Donaldson, a Harvard doctoral candidate who has been featured in Educational Leadership.

    I have greatly enjoyed reading your blog during my research. I would greatly appreciate it if you could help take part in this conversation by offering your comments on the paper (thesis and paper available at americaneducationpaper.blogspot.com), and perhaps featuring the paper on the blog for your readers as well. I need the most intense criticism in the matters your blog discusses.

    I look forward to talking with you about the paper.

    A tremendous thanks,
    Kyle Hutzler.

  2. Doug Noon says:

    I took a look at your site, and I’m going to need a while longer to work through even a small portion of what you have there. I’m interested on a number of levels – what you have to say, what prompted you to tackle this project, how it got so large, and how your point of view as a student contributes to your research – off the top of my head. To begin with I wonder how an interest in “business, economics, and finance” prompted you to look so closely at Education.

    I’ve been called an overachiever by some. I wrote a 200 page masters project paper on communication in the mathematics classroom, proving all those people were right, much to my own embarrassment. I know how it feels to dump so much energy into something that few people will ever notice.

    Thanks for your interest here. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.

  3. Kyle Hutzler says:

    Mr. Noon,

    Thank you so very much for your response. With any luck, the few this paper does attract will be enlightening for both them and myself. Feel free to contact me anytime at kyleahutzler [at] gmail.com.


  4. Your work has contributed to a fiery furnace of education blogging at our school. Check out what my colleagues and I are doing to break down the walls between learning environments using electronic journaling ( link through http://thedeputyhead.com and http://edulicious.com to our burgeoning collaborative blog at http://edulicious.com/ideas )
    Enjoy (and think)!

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