Showing posts from April, 2020

Teaching in a time of crisis

Mark M. Diacopoulos – PhD. Curriculum and Instruction.  Assistant Professor, Dept. of Teaching and Leadership, Pittsburg State University Mark has been an educator for over 25 years. He has taught in middle and high schools both in the US and UK. An early adopter of educational technology, he has worked as a Technology Specialist and Curriculum Specialist in social studies for a large district in Southeast Virginia. He earned his PhD. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2018 and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Leadership at Pittsburg State University in rural Kansas. As well as researching and writing about how to best teach future teachers, he also examines issues of professional identity, technology teaching and learning, critical friendship and communities of practice. Mark is also a devoted parent, a lifetime fan of Arsenal F.C., and a self-described “retired broken aikidoka”. Teaching in a time of crisis: Deciding what really matters?

UPDATED: What If... Teachers Demanded to Be Treated Like Artists

Note: Back by popular demand, Edjacent author Jared Fritzinger from  shares a response with his views on teaching as an artist below this post. Jared, as a musician, has a unique perspective on the mutual exclusivity of the two.  “It ain’t what they call you; it’s what you answer to.” W.C. Fields Like many people, I've been thinking about the purpose of schooling and the current K-12 public education system. We have an opportunity to redefine what school is for and change how it is designed based on those principles. We can educate on purpose rather than by accident. I've been searching for examples of school systems who are already embracing this philosophy and I'm coming up short. We seem to be operating, as an industry, as if we simply have to wait out this crisis to return to "normal". I'm not sure this will even be possible or if it should be. I've been attracted to articles that champion leading "from t

What If …. School Was Filled With Wonder and Exploration Instead of Standards.

Laura Solomon Parent, military spouse, aspiring educational innovator BSIE - Georgia Institute of Technology MEd, Social Foundations - University of Virginia The internet is abuzz with theories and ideas.  Initially I was energized by reading and pondering everyone's ideas of what the world, specifically in education, will look like post-pandemic But after days and weeks I started feeling overwhelmed trying to keep a pulse on these trends and thoughts, frustrated trying to support and oversee my children’s education without a window into the greater picture, and oh, by the way, we are moving.  So we are living in a temporary furnished house, not “home.”  This week is our school division’s spring break.  So rather than exploring San Francisco as originally planned, I decided to take a mental break.  I’ve been passively watching my children explore.  So it caused me to think, what if …. School was filled with wonder and exploration instead of standards.   Put on your rose-co

Simple Truths From an Educator in the Wild

Jared Fritzinger  is a Civics and Economics teacher at Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, VA. He has been teaching for about 9 years. Before teaching he delivered sandwiches and worked in a mail room while he toured as a drummer in various punk rock bands.  He also got a Masters Degree in History with a minor in Political Science from Old Dominion University somewhere in there. He received the 2019 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators for his work with the EcoBus project and developing a school-wide capstone course for 8th graders. After partying all night the night before at an Iron Maiden concert, he got to meet the head of the EPA.  Maiden was cooler. He is married to Becky, who is a way better teacher than he is, and they have a 2.5 year old daughter named Shirley who acts just like Jared.  He is starting a blog/podcast called Education in the Wild where he explores and celebrates non-traditional educational pathways and the people who follow them. Fi

Calling all Educators: Peace, Love, Books and Clarity

  Kristen Hildum, a retired teacher and school librarian, owns a bookshop with her family and it is uniquely situated in a vintage Airstream in the ViBe District of Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Learn more about the shop and how you can order books delivered to your home, including audio and e-books as well as uniquely curated gift boxes for friends, family or yourself here ) She is also a founding member of Edjacent, both as a creative inspiration and supporter, and by providing physical space for Edjacent to exist and grow.  Have you found your calling? If you are in education then that may seem like a silly question. But it wasn’t until Covid 19, that I truly realized mine. I am a retired educator/librarian turned bookseller. My career “hats” included elementary teacher, literacy non-profit founder, school librarian (elementary and high school) and now independent bookstore owner.   Covid-19 forced me to stop (temporarily) doing what I love most.  This forced halt was very dif

What if... All Educators Were Assessment Literate?

What if All Educators Were Assessment Literate? - April 16, 2020 by Douglas G. Wren, Ed.D. Doug Wren is a consultant and author of the book Assessing Deeper Learning: Developing, Implementing, and Scoring Performance Tasks . He recently retired from his position as Educational Measurement & Assessment Specialist with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Before coming to Virginia Beach, Doug was Director of Research & Evaluation for the DeKalb County School District in Georgia. To learn more, go to  or check out his free course in the Edjacent Teachable School, Introduction to Assessment Literacy at . Like many educators, teaching was a calling for me. Like some, teaching was my second career. Returning to grad school after earning my certification was inevitable—I couldn’t get enough education about education. A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing The lines that follow this oft-misquoted phrase are “Drink de

What If... High Schools Were For Electives

This series will focus on imagining what could be possible for schools in the future- throwing out old notions of what schools are and what they are for, thinking about what learning actually looks like, imagining new possibilities without getting bogged down in practicalities. Our authors will focus on big ideas, things we wonder, things we hope. We'd love for you to engage in the comments- let's have a conversation about what is possible in education. What If High Schools Were For Electives? By Meghan Raftery Meghan Raftery is a freelance educator, wife, mother and citizen of the brave new world we will re-enter post quarantine. She specializes in authentic education, problem and project-based learning, and curriculum design for schools and non-profit organizations. She founded Edjacent, an Educator Design Collaborative, in an effort to connect educators and their biggest and boldest ideas. I have the pleasure of working with quite a few high school educator

The Upside of Disruption in Our Lives

Laura Solomon Parent, military spouse, aspiring educational innovator BSIE - Georgia Institute of Technology MEd, Social Foundations - University of Virginia I am writing this through the lens of a parent with a long history of loving systemic disruption.  Yes, disruption often comes with a negative side effect, but as an optimist I prefer to focus on the positive effects. I have long pondered the ill-effects of the 40 hour work-week and its trickle-down impacts on the early registration of our children in the “rat race.”  Only instead of getting a medal for accomplishing a marathon, they become dependent on others’ judgement as their success metric with a side order of stress and anxiety. When schools got cancelled my gut reaction was sadness.  We LOVE school, it is our daily anchor.  But as I started deleting the details of the next few weeks off of my calendar - the volleyball, tennis, art, basketball, gymnastics, musical practice, etc. - I started to wonder what we were d