NAIS Connect Blogs

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Dear Colleagues,  I'm honored to share my recent article for PBS NewsHour, which you can access by clicking here .  https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/opinion-what-i-want-my-students-to-know-about-metoo Here is the opening paragraph:  As an educator and a new parent of a son, I intend to do my best to raise him into a caring, responsible individual. In this endeavor, my wife and I are aware of the current political climate, especially the growth of the #MeToo movement, and what that means for treating women, and everyone else, for that matter, with respect, equality, and thoughtfulness. As I see it, my role can help to make a difference on that score.
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Dear Colleagues,  I thought to share this recent piece about my views on a sensitive and important topic. I would love to hear your thoughts. How do you approach media literacy? https://www.educationdive.com/news/how-one-high-school-journalism-teacher-guides-students-through-the-fake-ne/532886/
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Colleagues,  I'm honored to share my recent story for the HuffPost, which you can access by clicking here .  I've included the first few paragraphs below: As a high school history and government teacher, I do my best to avoid feeding into partisan humor or offering unsolicited remarks about what politicians say and do. I want students to focus on the lear ning process, not on what I believe ― though, with this administration, I have grown more open to the idea of sharing my views when asked. When it comes to teaching journalism and advising the student news site The Gator , however, I have no qualms about expressing my disappointment in ...
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Colleagues,  I'm honored to share my recent story for Medium, which you can access by clicking here .  https://medium.com/@spincutler/teachers-dont-keep-quiet-on-trump-s-sexist-xenophobic-racist-abhorrent-language-600221bf9317
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I used to begin each school year by assigning my high school juniors a hefty take-home essay, asking them to consult challenging sources to assess whether the American colonists were justified in seeking independence. At the time, I believed this “trial by fire” would let my students know that I meant business. For several reasons, that approach was flawed: Read full story her
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Colleagues,  As things heat up politically in Washington, I'm honored to share my HuffPost story: Should Teachers Share Their Political Views With Students? https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-teachers-political-views_us_5b71914ae4b0bdd0620b306f This year, I will continue refraining from making or repeating partisan humor or making off-the-cuff remarks that politically savvy students could pick up on. But I’ll also adopt a new approach as to how I handle politics in the classroom ― and I encourage other educators to consider doing the same. Instead of “appearing neutral” (a species of mild dishonesty, after all), let’s admit our ...
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Dear Colleagues,  I'm honored to share my recent story for KQED Education:  The longer I teach online journalism, the more I understand about how students learn best. They crave ownership of the learning process, and that ownership can help promote mastery of essential skills and content knowledge. Owning their learning is also significantly more meaningful than having me—or any other teacher for that matter—tell students exactly what’s expected of them. I prefer that students experiment with the learning, setting and holding themselves to their own high standards, while always striving to improve. For the rest of the story, please visit: https:// ...
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Dear Colleagues,  I'm honored to share my recent story for PBS NewsHour: I love celebrating America’s birthday, but as a history teacher I’m also committed to illuminating the holiday for those who might want to think about it in a different but equally celebratory light. So why do we skip two days? For the rest of my article, please visit: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/opinion-independence-day-on-july-2-john-adams-got-it-
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The first time I ran into Jesse Jackson in an Alabama hotel lobby, I was surprised. When it happened again a few weeks ago, though, I wasn’t all that shocked. After all, Reverend Jackson was just one of the many civil rights all-stars who had gathered for the Equal Justice Summit in Montgomery, Alabama to honor the unveiling of two gut-wrenchingly powerful tributes to the African American experience. As Bryan Stevenson reminded us attendees at the opening ceremony on Thursday evening, we were all in the presence of civil rights royalty— Congressman John Lewis, Elizabeth Eckford (one of the Little Rock Nine), Claudette Calvin (whose defiance of Montgomery bus ...
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Dear Colleagues, I'm honored to share this recent story I wrote for Edutopia about National Teacher Appreciation Week.  TEACHER APPRECIATION What My Teachers Taught Me About Teaching For Teacher Appreciation Week, a 10-year veteran reflects on what he learned about his future job from teachers he admired. By  David Cutler May 7, 2018 ©iStock/asiseeit My fourth-grade teacher, Sharin Russell, was consoling me after I scored below perfect on a weekly vocabulary quiz. “David, nobody gets everything right all of the time,” she said. “It’s important to be OK with making mistakes, so long as we learn from them and move on. I ...
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Colleagues,  I'm pleased to share my most recent article for Edutopia. I've included the first few paragraphs below, followed by a link: When I was a new (and sometimes naive) high school history teacher, in a mistaken attempt to prove my worth I would correct every misspelling, grammatical flaw, and analytical misstep—drenching assignments in red ink. Before long, students accused me of caring more about pointing out flaws than helping them improve. They were right.  In my third year on the job, I really began to consider how to offer feedback—the kind that students find helpful for improving their learning. Here are some key tactics I developed. ...
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Dear Colleagues, I'm proud to share my recent article for PBS. I would love to hear your thoughts, and how you use comics for the classroom. Why ‘Black Panther’ and other comic books belong in the classroom https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/opinion-why-black-panther-and-other-comic-books-belong-in-the-classroom
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Dear Colleagues,  I'm honored to share my most recent Edutopia story:  Why I Teach Journalism in My History Classes In high school, I struggled to write clear, concise prose. My command of structure was minimal, and I didn’t make effective use of sources to inform my analysis. I also had difficulty differentiating between summary and analysis, much to the chagrin of my teachers, who worked diligently to help me hone my writing. However much I struggled, it was only when I found my passion for news reporting that I began to succeed as a writer—so much so, in fact, that I now teach journalism to my history students, hopeful that they too will benefit ...
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Colleagues,  I'm honored to share my most recent story for PBS NewsHour.  https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/teaching-kids-about-thanksgiving-or-columbus-they-deserve-the-real-story
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When thinking about success for children, some of us may believe that high scores on classroom tests or standardized tests are indicators or predictors of success. In a college preparatory school such as ours, tests do matter—primarily in the sense of offering important feedback to incorporate in an effort to make corrections—and to learn from one’s errors and re-adjust. A singular focus on scores undervalues the process of learning, which is how children develop essential traits of habit and mind. Such traits of habit and mind are potentially life-long; test scores are temporary. Do we adults remember our grades from eighth or ninth grade? Students (and ...
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Veterans Day

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Standing at attention as strains of Taps drifted across the cemetery, I sifted back through the events of the past month … the early-morning phone call from the young man’s father, tearfully telling me the news that his son, a Green Beret and AOS graduate, had been killed in action in Jordan the previous night … the request to hold a memorial service on campus in his honor … meetings with his family, who, dazed, tired, and broken, were trying desperately to hold it together … the service itself, attended by over a thousand people and covered by several news stations … the speeches, articulate and heartfelt, that so accurately portrayed the young man ... his ...
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Dear Colleagues,  I thought to share this link to my most recent Edutopia story:  Rekindling Excitement for Familiar Classes https://www.edutopia.org/article/rekindling-excitement-familiar-classes
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Dear Colleagues, I thought to share my recent Edutopia story, which you can access by following the link below: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/you-cannot-cover-everything-david-cutler Thank you to everyone who responded to my email about contributing. I apologize in advance that I couldn't include everyone's remarks
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“Much like the best in any field, the best learners and teachers stress-test assumptions. The profound often hides with absurd, even heretical, experiments.” — Tim Ferriss AUSTIN, TEXAS — Ever since childhood, my need to learn has been unquenchable. Then, a few years ago, I discovered that “learner” is one of my top five strengths, per the Gallup StrengthsFinder talent assessment tool . This means I exhibit “a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites” me. In my third visit to the SXSWedu Conference & Festival ...
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Dear Colleagues, I thought to share my recent Edutopia story, which you can access by following the link below: https://www.edutopia.org/article/teaching-why-facts-still-matter-david-cutler I would love to hear your thoughts.
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