Replied to A Note to My Child’s Teacher by Bill Ferriter (Tempered Radical)
I guess what I am saying is that I want my kid — a kid who has never really felt appreciated by a teacher — to walk away from your room each day convinced that you care about her as a person.  If you can pull that off, you will change her life for the better — and in the end, that’s our primary responsibility as classroom teachers.
I love this post Bill. It has me thinking about my own daughter’s teachers. I was wondering though about a different response, celebrating the successes or strengths of the teachers?

When I think about the teachers my daughter has had, there are a number of things that have stood out? For me, it has been relationships and a focus on strengths.

Originally posted at Read Write Collect

Bookmarked We’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised | George Monbiot by George Monbiot (the Guardian)
It’s not that we’re eating more, that we exercise less, or that we lack willpower. The shaming of overweight people has to stop, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot
George Monbiot explains that the reasons given for our current increase in obesity are often wrong. Rather than issues over portions or exercise, the real issue are the increase of diary and sugary foods in our diet:

So what has happened? The light begins to dawn when you look at the nutrition figures in more detail. Yes, we ate more in 1976, but differently. Today, we buy half as much fresh milk per person, but five times more yoghurt, three times more ice cream and – wait for it – 39 times as many dairy desserts. We buy half as many eggs as in 1976, but a third more breakfast cereals and twice the cereal snacks; half the total potatoes, but three times the crisps. While our direct purchases of sugar have sharply declined, the sugar we consume in drinks and confectionery is likely to have rocketed

This reminds me of Bill Ferriter’s classroom blog #SugarKills, a careful look at the not-so sweet side of tastes we love.

One of the things I like about George Monbiot’s work is the focus on systems and society. Although we could stop eating fast food or get off Facebook, but these decisions are often decided for us. This is captured in his closing remarks.

Just as jobless people are blamed for structural unemployment, and indebted people are blamed for impossible housing costs, fat people are blamed for a societal problem. But yes, willpower needs to be exercised – by governments. Yes, we need personal responsibility – on the part of policymakers. And yes, control needs to be exerted – over those who have discovered our weaknesses and ruthlessly exploit them.

Replied to A Simple Plan to Make My Love of Reading Transparent to My Students by Bill Ferriter (The Tempered Radical)
To make my love of reading even more transparent this year, I’m stealing an idea from my friend Pete Caggia: I’ve created a space on my board where I’m sharing the covers of the books that I’ve already read this year AND the cover of the book that I’m currently reading.
Bill, I am assuming that you only teach in the one classroom?
Liked Lead Smarter, Not Harder Tip 2: Start Asking Better Interview Questions by Bill Ferriter (Tempered Radical)
The goal for interviews in a professional learning community ISN’T to spot candidates who already have “all the answers” to questions about technology use or differentiation or classroom management. The goal for interviews in a professional learning community is to spot candidates who are reflective, who have a growth mindset about their own practice, and who realize that personal growth is a function of collective study with capable peers.
Replied to Lead Smarter, Not Harder Tip One: Understand Teacher Approaches to Change by Bill Ferriter (Tempered Radical)
Leading smarter, not harder depends on having a clear understanding of who the Trailblazers, Pioneers, Settlers, Stay-at-Homes and Saboteurs are in your building because each group is going to need different kinds of support in order to move forward. 
This is interesting Bill. I think that the hard thing is that we do not always choose who we work with.
Liked How Much SHOULD a Public School Teacher Make? by Bill Ferriter (The Tempered Radical)

Long story short:  I’m a realist.  Teachers are never going to make a fortune.  It’s not fiscally responsible — and the fact of the matter is that we HAVE to be fiscally responsible.  

But let’s quit pretending that teachers who are using their voices to draw attention to the sad state of funding in our public schools and to the impact those funding choices are having on kids are bad people trying to fleece America.

Liked Want to Drive Change? Find Your California Roll by Bill Ferriter (The Tempered Radical)
Just because Japanese restaurants wanted to serve exotic recipes to American customers from day one doesn’t mean that American patrons were ready to eat them. Instead, attracting interest and long term commitment meant creating recipes that introduced change incrementally, one new and interesting ingredient at a time.
Bookmarked Simple Truth: Technology Changes. The Skills We Believe in Don’t by William Ferriter (Tempered Radical)
People passionately argue that there ARE no “wrong answers” when it comes to using technology in teaching and learning. Or they passionately argue that you CAN’T do any of the tasks in the right hand column without the tools listed in the left hand column. Or they passionately argue that by labeling the actions in the left hand column “wrong answers,” I’m hurting people’s feelings and alienating teachers who aren’t quite ready to take kids towards the behaviors listed in the right hand column. But like it or not, I’ve chosen those words deliberately.
Bill Ferriter revisits his image of right and wrong use of technology.

Image - Technology is a Tool - V3

“Image – Technology is a Tool – V3” by William M Ferriter is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

In support of this, he provides three reasons why he stands by his assertion of ‘wrong’:

  1. It provides a starting points for conversations about the use of technology
  2. If teachers aren’t looking beyond tools when making instructional choices their decision-making really is flawed
  3. Not buying the alienation argument

This comes back to his argument that technology makes learning more ‘doable‘.