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We Have to Prepare Students for the Next Level, Don't We?

Some universities blame the poor academic performance of their young adult students on the poor quality instruction they think students received in high schools. High schools blame the middle schools, middle schools...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (40453)/Comments (0)/
Grit and Growth Mindset: Deficit Thinking?

Grit and Growth Mindset: Deficit Thinking?

Examining the cultural narrative around these ideologies

As with most things in education, context can be everything. A skill taught in isolation from meaningful context, for example, is rarely learned, and often becomes grist for blaming the student for his lack of...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (38461)/Comments (1)/
Cheating and Plagiarizing

Cheating and Plagiarizing

Ben reads below grade level, and knows that if he whines about how unfair school is, his dad will cave in and do most of the work for him. Jacqueline knows how to do the math, but she doesn't think she should...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (38445)/Comments (1)/

Do Teachers Remain Neutral or Share their Beliefs with Students?

Politics, Racism, Religious, Classism, Sexual Orientation: Do Teachers Remain Neutral or Share their Beliefs with Students? I struggle to respect the opinions of those who believe the earth is only 6,000 years...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (38162)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

The Intellectual Life of Teachers

If we’re not careful, we may lose our intellectual selves. We can grow numb with repeated exposure to ideology and structures built to maintain the school’s status quo. With each passing year, our...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (31609)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

Teaching Students Responsibility

For as long as humans have lived on Earth, generations of adults have bemoaned the lack of due diligence in the upcoming generation: "They're indifferent and don't work hard," they declare. "We have to teach them...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (31496)/Comments (0)/

Middle School, not Junior High

We are a middle school, not a junior version of high school. To be effective in our teaching, we are developmentally appropriate for young adolescents, not for 16- to 18-year-olds nor for 8- and 9-year-olds. There is...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (30331)/Comments (0)/
Making Sense: More Than Making Meaning

Making Sense: More Than Making Meaning

You are required to attend an inservice training about teaching in the block-length class even though your school is not moving to a block schedule this year or in the near future. How attentive will you be to all...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (26269)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

Moving Students from Passive Consumers to Active Creators

In the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, an arrogant graduate student in economics embarrasses Will Hunting's non-academic friend (Ben Affleck) by pointing out his lack of education and tries to prove his own intellectual...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (23678)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Connecting with the Larger World

Connecting with the Larger World

You belong. We do this with you, not in spite of you. You can trust me not to humiliate you and to keep you from humiliating yourself.

These are the messages in action or in word that students want to hear daily from teachers. To promote these themes, we give students positions of responsibility and the know-how to do them: running the daily...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (23104)/Comments (0)/
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