Beyond Terry's Old Windows:
 A Teacher's Thoughts 
Between Centuries

Phi Kappa Phi Forum Columns

Classroom shadows

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 7:49 PM Comments comments (2)

Appreciate: To evaluate the worth, quality, significance of; to admire greatly; to judge with heightened perception or understanding, to be fully aware of; to recognize with gratitude; to increase the value of


The classroom year is just beginning - all things seem possible. Resolutions are fresh and attainable, the chalktrays still clean. A dozen sharp pencils s...

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Morning Meeting, Part Two: The Time

Posted on March 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM Comments comments (2)


Sometimes it is discussed within the first minutes of the class period. Sometimes it occurs at the end of a busy elementary day. It might be on a high school syllabus that delivers a term's worth at a time. No doubt, it is at all levels, in all classrooms. Homework is the tradition that lives on despite all other changes in education. Enduring but hardly endearing, it appears inescapable. Neither rain, nor snow days, nor the dark of power-failure nights provides a repr...

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The Rank Book

Posted on March 7, 2010 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (2)

Among all the new materials with which teachers begin each school year, none may be so individualized, as ambiguous, and so potent as the "rank book." On its pages we record our students' progress, and within its records we measure our own classroom goals as met or unmet. Whether it is a commercially-bound spiral ledger with embossed covers, or a set of lined or graph-paper sheets hole-punched and stored in a binder, or a self-designed, formulated spreadsheet stored on a floppy disk or printe...

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Questions Worth Asking

Posted on March 6, 2010 at 8:28 PM Comments comments (0)

In the dim morning light of late winter, the sun barely over the horizon, the day begins with a line of cars competing with the foot traffic and buses in the middle school parking lot. Inside the cafeteria window, the principal sits at a table watching the arrivals, his pen lightly tapping a notepad, his brow furrowed. As he watches, some parents share quick hugs with their children; others seem to be giving words of advice or reminders of after-school plans.

The teacher watches from t...

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