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Things I did not learn in teacher college

The best leaders are the best learners


These are some things I wish I learned in my teacher training:

It's not just music

Listen to the two songs linked below, and ask yourself, is this the message we should be sending our children?

Disrupting education

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. Neil Postman
(Image credit: Steve Slater)

A thought experiment

Here's a thought experiment for you (h/t to Dan Meyer for the sports analogy).

Things good schools do

This is a bit of an experiment in collaborative writing. How it works is that you copy this entire post verbatim, and add one thing to the list below. If you put this on a blog, please tag this post with "goodschoolproject" if possible to make these posts easier to find later.


  1. Good schools focus on the learners, not the system.


You are free to share and modify this post, but whomever you share it with must enjoy the same freedom.

Why people often do not accept the research

Via the @BCAMT email list-serve:

"[T]here is an interesting (and disturbing) literature on situations in which information does not change prior biases or decisions. The word I have seen is 'motivated reasoning'.


How does your assessment fit into the big picture?

I would feel more motivated if I knew how my assignment fits into the big picture.
(Image credit: Dilbert comics)

I think this comic speaks for itself. How do your assessments fit into the big picture? Is this clear to your students? (I doubt many educators are giving students assessments that a monkey could be taught to do.)

Nobody remembers names

Almost everyone I meet tells me when I first introduce myself that they are horrible at remembering names. I am patient with them and am happy to repeat my name for this person several times.

Why should we expect someone to remember our name the first time? It's essentially a random piece of information which has no relationship to who we are as people. We learn names by immersion (other people around use the name), by repetition, in context, and by using the name ourselves.


Annie Fetter on the development of math teachers


Annie gives a very short talk that highlights some of the issues in math education, and which I can tie to work various people have done on learning.


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