Get inside schools like you never have before with the Tales from the Classroom team, a group of educators and researchers dedicated to giving you the insider’s scoop on everything you need to know about education for your children.
What is the Tales from the Classroom Blog?
Back in the late ‘90s when I was a young advertising and public relations professional I remember having many opinions about schooling in America. After all, like most everyone, I went to school so that made me an expert in my mind. It wasn’t until I left my office in Madison Avenue for a classroom near the Rocky Mountains to become a high school teacher that I realized how much I didn’t know about what was actually happening in schools.
What I have learned in the hundreds of schools I have visited and the thousands collectively visited by the Tales from the Classroom team is what this blog is all about. We are going to give you the inside scoop on what is happening in schools and how the budget cuts, testing laws, accountability measures, and so much more affects the kids, teachers, administrators, and others in actual schools across the US. We will have experts in the field, teachers, students, principals, superintendents, policymakers, and so many other people connected to schools post on this blog.
Who Should Read This Blog?
In short: anyone who cares about education in the United States. That answer is pretty broad so I’ll be more specific. If you are a parent, you need to read this blog. If you are a teacher, you need to read this blog. If you are a school administrator, you need to read this blog. If you are an educational researcher, you need to read this blog. If you are a policy maker or work with one, you need to read this blog. If you care about our schools and the future of this nation, you need to read this blog.
What Can I Expect from the Blog?
In the increasingly divisive and critical world of social media and our society at large, we’re coming at this in a different way. Here you will get honest stories about what is happening in urban, rural, and suburban schools across the US that are not intended to criticize but to enlighten. We are going to ask questions and we are raise them (we’re teachers; it’s what we do). We are going to question things we don’t understand, challenge our own strongly held beliefs, and give each other the benefit of the doubt.
Why Are You Doing This?
We care and we want every student to have the best education humanly possible. We spend our days and nights reading about and visiting schools, teaching future teachers, working with current teachers, principals, and superintendents, working in our local communities in educational environments, attending and presenting at conferences, researching schools, and writing about various topics in education. So many times that work doesn’t get outside our little circles of educators and researchers. This blog will change that. So many times in our circles of educators we complain to one another about what is wrong with education, education policy, media coverage of education/educators, and so much more, but we rarely if ever share what we have learned and what we know with people outside of those circles. This blog will change that. We are going to share what we are learning, what we are researching, the stories of the people in our schools, and what we are wondering about with you in an easily digestible manner free of education jargon and all the acronyms that permeate our world (for example, see RTI, IEP, UbD, FERPA, and PTO).
The Tales from the Classroom Ten Agreements
As this is our first post, I want to share with you the ground rules we are going to play by. I am going to call this the Tales from the Classroom Ten Agreements:
We agree to be honest and fair in everything we do and write.
We agree to listen.
We agree to challenge our beliefs and what we know.
We agree to value each and every person.
We agree to validate each other.
We agree to use positive language.
We agree to be humble.
We agree to be open-minded to all viewpoints.
We agree to question everything.
We agree to give you the most innovative, insightful, and thorough blog about education you have ever read.
Why We’re Different and Why You Should Care
To date, in all the research I have done (and it’s a lot), no one has done what we are doing. We are leaving the silos of classrooms and the ivory tower of higher education to inform you and make a difference in our world. We are applying quantitative and qualitative research methods and all we know about effective educational research in an easy to digest way that is meaningful to you. We will do everything in our power to break down complex legislation for you, to tell you what reforms really mean, to inform you of how educational decisions are going to actually affect real people, and so much more. Along the way we hope you are more informed on what really matters in a child’s education and what you should care about. It’s going to be a fun ride. Come along with us!