Social Justice

Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities. Social justice promotes fairness and equity across many aspects of society. For example, it promotes equal economic, educational and workplace opportunities. It’s also important to the safety and security of individuals and communities.

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Grace and Courtesy

Grace and Courtesy: Teachers are picking up their virtual classroom pieces, gluing them back together and are now attempting to rebuild their classroom communities.

I’m not going to lie to you, this is truly a tall order. Virtual school was not ideal for many reasons. But it did offer one very important component which is missing from a school year littered with COVID obstacles and learning loss hurdles: Consistency.

Montessori classrooms that began the year relying on grace and courtesy lessons seem to be bouncing back most quickly. Here’s why.

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Non-negotiables: Last week I started discussing the challenges Montessori programs might face when being implemented into a public-school system. These struggles can vary from small to large. And when looked at in their totality, they can have a devastating effect on a Montessori program.

Within public schools, we are asked to compromise a number of Montessori principles. Some of these compromises we can live with while some we simply cannot. To those we can’t, I refer to them as the ‘non-negotiables.’ And, believe me, the public school system has its own set of ‘non-negotiable’ too. 

Public Montessori Blog Grumble Services Blog elementary Montessori materials and learning resources

Public Montessori

Public Montessori Schools: If I am being honest, I’m not even sure where to begin on this topic. Over my years as a Montessori educator, I feel ‘whether you can practice the Montessori Method with fidelity in the public sector’ continues to be a hotly debated topic.

During my first-year teaching at a new school, I remember an early conversation I had with one of the upper elementary guides I worked with. She hastily pointed out to me her opinion about public Montessori: “It’s impossible to teach Montessori in public schools.” I thought, my gosh, is this true?

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Yes We Can

Yes we can: All summer long I’ve been patiently waiting for President Barack Obama’s audiobook version of his new book, A Promised Land.

After about 4 months of moving up a ridiculously long waiting list, it finally happened last week. I am finishing out my last few days of summer vacation soaking up the words of Barack Obama.

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Bad News

Bad News: Last week I rewatched The Bad News Bears. The movie came up randomly in a conversation with a loved one, as most things do. She mentioned she had never seen the movie. This caught me by surprise. I suggested we watch it that night if I could find it available in a streaming app.

I’m not referring to the new, sterilized 2005 version, mind you. Rather, the raw, gritty 1976 original. I warned her it would be a little rough to watch. Boy, how I understated that!

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Generation X

A song by the band Bush is playing. Not my personal favorite but it leads me back to the bands that paved the way before them: Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, Breeders, Pearl Jam.

The cooks start discussing grunge and Generation Xers. “I’m not a Gen Xer, I think I am a millennial.” He is briefly interrupted, “I thought they were called generation Y?” The first speaker continues, “I read somewhere that you are considered a Generation Xer if you can remember where you were during the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. I can’t.”

I can. And that day was a wakeup call.

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Summer Slide

Summer Learning Loss – Fact or Fiction? Most of us have heard of the so-called summer learning loss, sometimes referred to as the ‘summer slide.’ Back in the early 1980s, researchers came to the conclusion that students’ achievement scores declined over the summer months. To this day, it remains the go-to industry standard.

Fast forward to now. We definitely continue to hear proponents endorsing the idea of an increasing learning gap and harping on its message. However, researchers are now questioning the validity of a research project occurring so many years ago.

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Fake News

Fake News: As a public school teacher, I feel frustrated. Disheartened. Defeated. Let me back up a bit.

Being a relatively new blogger, I’m afraid to get too opinionated in what I write. Nevertheless, this is going to be an opinion piece. It is an opinion that has bubbling inside me for over a year.

Being Teacher Appreciation Week, why not share my opinion about my fellow teachers now?

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Earth Day

This past Saturday, I invited my students to join me in the Annual Milwaukee Riverkeeper Spring Cleanup. I get some sort of weird satisfaction from picking litter up with my grabber tool. Looking for a central site safely away from busy traffic, I stumbled upon the Kinnickinnic Trail.

Like many educators, I have deep concerns for my students when they get older. What legacy are the generations before them leaving behind?

Our world is on fire and our planet is melting. Is it too late to affect real change?

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Standardized Testing

Standardized testing plays a momentous role in our Nation’s education. The goal is to provide a measure to evaluate student performance across state, national and even global standards.

However, does our far-reaching focus on standardized test scores actually meet this lofty educational goal? This modern educational practice has ignited a national debate about the effectiveness of testing and how well they truly measure student achievement.