Posts by James Shanahan

A Week for Tears

Being a teacher puts you in weird situations pretty frequently. Just the other day I found myself having to explain why I was not going to explain what circumcision was. Then I had to explain why they weren’t allowed to look it up over the school’s WiFi without explaining what it was that they were going to […]

Margarita soda and candy-grams.

“Mister, can I go to the bathroom?” “Yeah, did you finish your warmup though?” “Please, I have to pee.” “Ok, go. Write a pass.” He didn’t write a pass. He also didn’t think I saw it but I did. As Christian turned to go out the door, he tried to shift the open Coke can […]

Testing, accountability, and a libertarian calling for more state control

Tyler Cowen (an amazing Econ. and general interest blogger at Marginal Revolution) wrote an op-ed for the New York Times yesterday which touched briefly on education. Here’s the relevant excerpt: Politics based on lobbying stacks the deck against lower-income groups, who are often outmaneuvered. For instance, one of the biggest problems faced by the poor […]

I Don’t Know Sh*t About Education

Ryan’s repost of my old blog entry gave me cause to reread it for the first time since April 2011. I closed the post by pledging to be a good teacher. I’m now into my second year as a special education teacher and it’s as good a time as any to look back and reflect […]

How School Reform Changed the Good Teachers

I want you to think back on your high school experiences. Try to remember the good teachers. The teachers who didn’t just teach you but inspired you or gave you perspective or honed your skills. Recall which lessons you remember well and which ones you don’t (I, for example, completely forgot that I had read […]