Author Archives: Paul Bursiek

Standardized Mission Statement

Here is a school district’s interim mission statement, with my suggested edits in italics: “We develop our children’s greatest abilities and make possible the discovery and pursuit of their dreams through standardized testing, which when fulfilled can benefit us all. … Continue reading

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What can I do next?

From time to time, I still hear students ask, “What did I do wrong?” I’m now trying to move them towards the question: “What can I do next?” We’ve created the illusion that there exists a flawless paper that I … Continue reading

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Please imagine John Stewart reading the following information, which arrived today in an e-mail from my school district: “The purpose of this process is to explore with self-identified elementary and secondary schools, on a pilot basis, opportunities to expand learning, enrichment … Continue reading

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NBI (Nothing but Initials)

While I’m honored to be a part of TPG, even if I rarely post, I struggle with the wisdom of  expressing my honest opinions on the WWW, but here it goes. I haven’t read the CCSS, and I don’t plan … Continue reading

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Shame on you, Mr. Ratburn

So, I’m watching “Arthur” yesterday afternoon, or rather my daughter is watching, and I’m taking a nap on the couch, when a conversation in the show snaps me out of my slumber. The teacher, Mr. Ratburn, (who is also an … Continue reading

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Say Thanks

I just had a wonderful discussion with my ninth graders. We explored a short passage about a singing thrush from the novel 1984. I asked them to share observations and questions as we walked our way through each sentence. Usually, … Continue reading

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Dorky literary allusion to Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations as a vehicle for discussing my role as an educator

The educational bureaucracy wants simple, easy-to-read data, but students are human beings with complex intellectual and emotional needs. Can I serve both the system and my students? Try cramming a square peg into a round hole. Now imagine that the … Continue reading

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