Say There, Might You Have Any More Data?

Here's why I ask. I don't seem to have enough. Even though I haven't even begun to analyze all the data I have, or even think about whether or not it is useful, I feel compelled to keep collecting more. Have you ever seen that show Hoarders? It's a little like that. But we do it for the children. It's not for us or making the school look good. This is for the kids. And making them look good. So that we look good. You feel me? That was me, in italics, trying to get into the heads of my admin in Read more [...]

The Second Wall (D-Day)

The dedication of students to delay, decry, disrupt, demand, disengage, dick-around and deliberately dissemble draws on a deep deposit of determination. My drive and desire to debate, describe, direct, dissuade, distract, differentiate and dangle inducements is definitely dangerously diminished. Deriously. Is that enough with the Ds? Mos def. (Just stop.) The Second Wall: I've hit it. You might be wondering what The First Wall was. That's a fair question. I wrote about The First Wall here Read more [...]

Enraptured Teacher Forgets Own Birthday

FAKE EDUCATION NEWS --Montpelier, VT People are talking about Monica Starling. Especially the five people who had planned to take her out Friday night for her 27th birthday. Starling teaches algebra at Montpelier High School in Montpelier, VT. Sources tell Teachbad Education News (TEN) that Starling was so caught up in her work that she forgot her own birthday. TEN caught up with Ms. Starling for an exclusive interview. Teachbad Education News: We have heard reports at Teachbad Education News Read more [...]


I walked out of my school this afternoon, breathed in the sharp, cool air and thought about where to stop for a snack before going home. It's a busy street that joins other busy streets, with lots of people and traffic and stores. It's perfect if you like those things. If you don't, it could be rather off-putting. I saw a student of mine who graduated last year. I crossed the street and ran a bit to catch up with him....I thought he saw me. Maybe he ignores me because it's not cool to acknowledge Read more [...]

Teaching vs. Spreadsheets and Programs…

OR...The Essense of a Teacher and How to Kill It If you are a reader of this blog, you know that my school is a little heavy-handed with the data and the telling of teachers what to put on their walls and the specificity with which all manner of things must be performed, recorded, and reported. This tends to drive teachers crazy and they droves. And we don't have much to show for it aside from tanking test scores and a giant neon HELP WANTED sign we roll out of the basement and light Read more [...]

Phil Collins Teaches At My School

To be honest, Phil Collins doesn't actually teach at my school. I'm sure his day-to-day life is much more dignified and leisurely. He probably gets up at...nevermind. I'm just going to get angry. I bring up Phil Collins because the CD player in my car is broken. Just as it has been for maybe 5 years. I don't drive much, so it's not a big deal. (Sidebar: Some of you youngsters probably don't know what a CD player is, or haven't actually owned one. Well, the one in my car is broken. CDs are about Read more [...]

Dawn of the Dumbest Data…or

Data-Driven Dimentia...or Data: It Keeps Teachers Busy Take your pick. But these cats at my school really have to be stopped. As you may suspect, we here at my school are "data-driven". That's right. There is no substitute for data. And the best thing about it, from an administrator's point of view, must be that you don't have to worry about how long it takes teachers to collect the data or if it is really of any value in the first place. Just collect that data, tell everybody you are collecting Read more [...]

Some Things To Share

A while ago I set up a sister blog called American Teaching Stories. This is where people can write something about teaching and get it up somewhere. At first, not many people were writing. Then I just started to ignore it. Now, more stuff is coming in. Much of it is thoughtful, provocative and should be shared. So, this is sort of an official re-launch of American Teaching Stories. On this blog you will find stories that move you to laughter, tears and anger. Maybe other things as well (jealousy, Read more [...]

Principal Training Summit Video

Rare, undercover footage from a principals’ retreat in Omaha last month…

Mr. Teachbad

Two Silly Things at Two Different Schools

First, my school. Last week we had an all-day PD on Friday. I could probably just stop here and let you make up your own jokes, but I believe in working harder than that. Questions I know you have: 1) Were there new acronyms? 2) Was there a PowerPoint? 3) Was the PowerPoint difficult to read both on screen and in the handouts? 4) Were teachers periodically asked to reflect on certain points and then share them with a partner at the table? 5) Did the presenter assure us that she had been to an "all-day" Read more [...]