Education Reform: The Right Way Forward

The opinions expressed below belong to Doug Green of and do not necessarily reflect the views of nor our affiliates.

Reading and summarizing education-related books and points of interest on the Internet for my blog has shown me that our current education reform efforts are misguided and not in the best interest of our children or ourselves. My reading, "Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?" by Pasi Sahlber, tells the story of how Finnish education reforms have led their schools to outperform the rest of the world. The book has added to my resolve to speak out against the madness that started in the mid 1990s when federally mandated standardized testing began. It took Finland a while to go from mediocre to the top, so we need to be patient. In the meantime, here is what I think we can …

How to Break the Ice: 5 Creative Ways to Get Your Class Talking

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Icebreakers are important when getting to know your students. They are even more important when your students do not know one another well. Depending on how your school organizes its classes, you may use some of the following activities at the beginning of the school year to help you and your students become familiar with the entire class. You can also adapt these icebreakers to introduce new students who happen to enter the class mid-semester.

1. Learn the Names In order to learn s…

The First Annual BusyTeacher Awards

BusyTeacher, the online network for English teachers around the world, earlier today unveiled its first annual BusyTeacher Awards, a community-focused competition rewarding the best teachers, education-related resources and educational technologies of 2011. The competition includes 18 categories, like Teacher of the Year, Teaching Website of the Year and Classroom Tool of the Year. Participants can nominate three of their favorite educators, websites, companies and products once a day until January 10, 2012, when BusyTeacher’s editors will select the five finalists in each category. Final voting will then continue until March 1, 2012, when the winners will be announced on BusyTeacher. For a full list…

The Top Ten Fictional Teachers

Teachers have long-lasting effects on us -- even teachers from movies, television shows and books! That’s because these fictional teachers embody the traits that make real-life teachers great: They use their creative and innovative skills to motivate us while grabbing our attention. These 10 teachers, in no particular order, all exert positive energy, passion and creativity. Thus, they have a profound impact on their fictional students, but also on us as an audience. Who is your favorite?

Mr. Hand, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

“Food will be eaten on YOUR tim…


Happy Holidays from

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from everyone here at!

Take this holiday season to spend time with your family, friends and loved ones and reflect on the past year. What's been especially good? What have you enjoyed? Who are the people that you've enjoyed sharing it with?

This time of year is a great opportunity to think about the teachers who have made a difference in your life. As you recall the positive impact great teachers have had on you, think about how you can have that same impact on a student.

Or many students.

In this season of generosity and giving think about all the great, lasting gifts that a teacher can give. Give the gift of great teaching all year round!

Happy H…

10 Great Non-Profits Dedicated to Teachers, Students & Parents

Although most Americans agree that education is one of the most integral aspects of both a child’s life and our country’s future, schooling in the United States still faces a number of challenges. From the shortage of dedicated teachers to the need for more resources, American education as it stands could use a helping hand. In an effort to address some of these concerns, committed citizens have come together to create a number of organizations that make a difference every day in classrooms across the country. Here’s a list of some of the most important non-profit organizations dedicated to helping teachers, students and parents: …