Tales from the First Year is a series chronicling the journey of seven first-year teachers as they learn, succeed, fail, and grow as educators. You will be able to read first-hand accounts of beginning teachers as they start their career during a global pandemic that will require them to teach in a virtual, hybrid, and in face-to-face environments. Our seven teachers include:

  • Amberleigh Starr: a middle school teacher in a STEM school
  • James Button: a high school teacher in a public school
  • Jessa Reed: an elementary school teacher in a public school
  • Kelley Zebrowski: a high school teacher in a public…

Tales from the First Year is a series chronicling the journey of seven first-year teachers as they learn, succeed, fail, and grow as educators. You will be able to read first-hand accounts of beginning teachers as they start their career during a global pandemic that will require them to teach in a virtual, hybrid, and in face-to-face environments. Our seven teachers include:

  • Amberleigh Starr: a middle school teacher in a STEM school
  • James Button: a high school teacher in a public school
  • Jessa Reed: an elementary school teacher in a public school
  • Kelley Zebrowski: a high school teacher in a public…

The Visions of Good Education series gets you inside the minds of visionary thinkers making a difference in the world of K-12 education every day. In this series we highlight the various aspects of what good education looks like for teachers, administrators, leaders, educational product makers and service providers, and more.Imagine the possibilities for schools with us.

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This edition of Visions of Good Education features Stephen Smith, CEO of Intellispark, chair of the national board at College Possible, and co-author of Who Do You Think You Are: Three Critical Conversations for Coaching Teens to College & Career Success. …


By Dr. Jason Trumble & Dr. Debbie Dailey

Recently a high school English teacher asked one of us if open-note assessments in a remote learning class would be considered authentic. This led us to reconsider what authenticity in classroom assessment looks like for remote learning.

What is Assessment?

Classroom assessments, either delivered virtually or in-person, are used to measure the progress of the students and inform instruction, and evaluate the effectiveness of the instruction and inform needed changes to the content or delivery. What does authentic mean in terms of classroom assessment? James McMillian defines authentic assessments as, “the direct examination of a student’s ability to use knowledge to perform a task that is like what is encountered in real life or in the real world” (Mcmillian, 2018, p.268). …


The Visions of Good Education series gets you inside the minds of visionary thinkers making a difference in the world of K-12 education every day. In this series we highlight the various aspects of what good education looks like for teachers, administrators, leaders, educational product makers and service providers, and more. Imagine the possibilities for schools with us!

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This edition of Visions of Good Education features Dr. David Stovall, Professor of African-American Studies and Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Author of Born out of Struggle and 21st Century Jim Crow Schools, Dr. …


By Rachel Jorgensen

This cross-posted blog story from educator Rachel Jorgensen also appears on Intellispark’s Our Thoutghts blog. This blog, hosted by Intellispark, features posts focused on various elements related to whole child education and holistic, multiple stakeholder approaches to student support.

Many educators embrace the importance of relationships in the classroom to ensure a healthy learning community. Teaching with empathy is the key that unlocks an authentic connection with each student to foster a sense of belonging.

The concept of empathy has been well explored in many educational circles. The colloquialism “walk a mile in my shoes” is a concept which many teachers embrace. …


By Jessa Reed

This is a flash post that is part of the Tales from the First Year series. Tales from the First Year chronicles the journeys of seven first-year teachers as they navigate the trials, tribulations, and celebrations that come with the first year of teaching.

I never expected to care so much about a Halloween costume. I didn’t quite understand my teammates’ insistence that we find a four-pronged theme: north, south, east, west. The three little pigs and the big bad wolf. Ninja Turtles. Suites in a deck of cards. …


The Tale Teller’s Spotlight gets you inside the minds of the most influential thinkers in education. Here we will talk about the work they are doing and share with you the newest trends, important changes, and essential information you need to know about K-12 education. The recorded interviews are formatted as short yet insightful interviews that highlight the work of the best authors and researchers in education.

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In this edition of Tale Teller’s Spotlight features Dr. Aaron Griffen, editor of the soon-to-be-released book Challenges to Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs in Organizations. Dr. Griffen is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at DSST Public Schools in Denver, Colorado. …


This cross-posted blog story from teachers Gabby Arca and Nina Sethi also appears on their blog Teach Pluralism. This blog features posts that explore the ideas related to social justice education, equity, inclusivity, literacy, and more.

After reading Weeding Out Racism’s Invisible Roots: Rethinking Children’s Classics | Opinion by Padma Venkatraman in the School Library Journal, I thought about book choices in classrooms and schools. I know most teachers right now are grappling with how and if they will be able to be with students in person this fall and of course, everyone’s safety and health is the most important thing. However, if you are like me, you are trying to plan and organize for what little we can control. …


By Rachel Fuhrman

Many students currently suffer from the banality of traditional schooling. Students sit in classrooms all day, are overloaded with information, and are expected to be able to regurgitate that same information, often in the form of a multiple-choice exam, at some future date. While this has been the approach for years, scrutiny is building as the number of students dropping out of schools is on the rise and many teachers are forced to be more concerned with test scores than students’ genuine understanding of content. …

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Tales from Classroom

Official Medium page for the Tales from the Classroom project, examining how educational policy really affects our schools, kids, teachers, and administrators.

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