Let’s end boredom together

What does it mean to “never bore” our students? How can we train teachers in active-learning strategies that engage all students? Promoting active learning in high school classrooms has been my mission for just over a year, and now there are big changes underway at NeverBore. You may have noticed that this blog is now MarthaRush.org.…

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If you have an idea, don’t let it go

You’re back from summer break, energized for the new school year. You read a great book on writing workshops this summer, and you are excited to implement a new strategy this fall. You propose it to your Professional Learning Community (PLC), and the response is … silence. No one else wants to do it. Sounds…

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What will inspire cynics like us?

When I was a new teacher, the woman in charge of training read to us — repeatedly — from Chicken Soup for the Soul. Inspirational stories meant to uplift us and instill passion for our jobs. Even as a novice, I was much too cynical for that. My friends and I laughed about it, trying…

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Don’t scoff at the need to change

This Faculty Meeting Bingo card (from weareteachers.org) showed up on my Facebook feed last week, one of many ironic commentaries on back-to-school season. It’s funny, of course, and I could easily fill it in during our first all-staff meeting later this month. “The phrase ‘college-ready’” – check “An internet meme is used in the presentation”…

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If you train us, we will use it

Workshop participant: What is that pen tool you were using? Me: It’s a Wacom Intuit tablet — it lets me use my computer like my Smartboard. Workshop participant: So you’re using Smartboard software? Me: Yeah, I like it better than Powerpoint. It’s easier for drawing graphs. Workshop participant: Oh that’s interesting. I’ve only ever used…

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Is the teacher supposed to get it wrong?

Oops. Nothing feels worse than making a mistake that could confuse your students for days, if not weeks. Today, in a summer course for new econ teachers, I drew a graph wrong. That really shouldn’t happen at this point — I’ve done this for years, and I know how to show firms shifting production from…

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What will you do with what you have learned?

At the end of last week’s nearly 60 hours of intensive coursework, one of our University of Pennsylvania professors put these questions to us: What will you do now? Will your education change you? Or will you go back to doing what you’ve always done? The professor, Rahul Kapoor, had taught a challenging course on…

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NeverBore starts with teacher training

If you had one full day to spend with brand new pre-service teachers just starting their masters’ program, what would you do? How would you prepare them for the challenges ahead?  Some teachers I know — frustrated by the low status, low pay and increasing pressure for standardized test performance — would tell them “get…

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New teachers need help, not hurdles

When I started teaching at Mounds View High School in 1997, I was about as well prepared as a new teacher can be. I was already eight years out of undergrad, with five years experience in journalism, three years in other schools and a little life experience. I was idealistic, organized, self-confident and willing to…

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Invite us to the party

What are the best new ideas in education? Who has the solutions that will motivate and inspire today’s students? This week, several of my Penn classmates attended the ASU GSV education technology summit in San Diego. According to the summit’s promotional materials, the program included  “the top minds in talent and education from around the…

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