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Slice of Life 11: Teacher Voice and Risk Taking

By Janice Ewing

Once again, the comments I received on my previous Slice of Life post have deepened my thinking. (I appreciate more and more how crucial the commenting component is to the SoL process.) Yesterday, I continued writing about the theme of teacher voice. One commenter noted that this is particularly challenging for teachers who are not in official leadership roles. Of course, that brings up a whole other set of issues about teacher leadership (the role versus the title), but her point is well taken. Many teachers might ask themselves, “Will others wonder why I’m speaking up?” “I’m not really an expert,” “There are so many others with more experience,” and similar thoughts. My thinking is that everyone should be speaking up when they have something to say, regardless of title or years under our belts. We’re all experts on our own experience. Read more

Tools of the Trade: Notetaking

By Rita Sorrentino

Note taking is an important skill for teachers, students and all lifelong learners. From making lists and doodling to organizing and processing information, note taking helps to focus our attention and to increase our capacity for understanding and remembering. It’s a good idea to try out different styles and strategies of note taking to build up a repertoire and figure out what works best. Of course, taking or making notes is only part of the process; it’s what follows next that makes a difference. If we have difficulty finding where we stored our notes, if we never go back and reread them, then our notes are not producing valuable results. Read more