The Child Behind the Grade

Teachers don’t generally like to come down to the office. In fact, most people (even as adults!) still have negative feelings about seeing the principal. They believe when they are in that space that they are ‘in trouble.’ This is a large reason why I like to engage with students and staff in their spaces … Continue reading The Child Behind the Grade

Creating a Culture of Feedback

In order to be effective, feedback must be relevant, meaningful, specific, frequent, and time-bound. Feedback helps students move forward, question, and grow as learners. If teachers are providing feedback on every piece of student writing, students are not writing enough. Besides, both Jennifer Gonzalez and Starr Stackstein claim when feedback is only offered at the end of … Continue reading Creating a Culture of Feedback

What About Cheating?

A teacher catches a student plagiarizing a major essay. An initial reaction is often, "How could he do this to me?" The teacher may feel violated and even want retribution. In an attempt to seek justice, she gives her student a zero and a referral. All too often, this is the default response to cheating. … Continue reading What About Cheating?

The Problem With “Measure”

One of the biggest blessings in my life is my marriage. I love my wife. When I dislocated my knee (twice!), I experienced pain. I react with anger when confronted with injustice. Joy warms my entire being when my daughter slips her hand into mine as we walk. With some thought and effort, I could … Continue reading The Problem With “Measure”

Why We’re Gradeless

When Arthur and I first started Teachers Going Gradeless, I don't believe either of us expected to meet such an impressive array of educators. The many voices from math, science, history, English, and other content areas have inspired and influenced my teaching. We have invited a few of these teachers to share their gradeless journey. These teachers … Continue reading Why We’re Gradeless

Teachers Going Gradeless

This post is crossposted on Medium and was also published in the New York Observer. After years of teaching using the principles of standards-based learning and grading, I encountered two findings that radically changed my perspective on assessment, grading, and reporting. The first finding comes from Ruth Butler (1988, as cited in Wiliam 2011) regarding feedback. … Continue reading Teachers Going Gradeless