Author Archives: Deb Porcarelli

Educator Advocates Have Been Heard

Last week I got an exciting email from Learning Forward’s President, Stephanie Hirsch. The subject of the email read, “The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies voting to reinstate Title II funding.” Lawmakers in Washington put $2.1 billion back into the federal budget and it will go to support Title II. Learning Forward is the nation’s largest nonprofit membership association focused solely on ensuring success for all students through effective professional learning and school improvement. They advocate for educators to have access to professional learning that is results-driven, standard-based, and job-embedded. I applaud them for their diligent efforts in what they do for educators and students all over the United States.

No doubt I was elated with this news. A portion of Title II monies from the federal budget is used to increase the number of high-quality effective teachers and principals, which includes ongoing professional learning for them. The above news was heralded as a huge step in keeping momentum going to improve public education across the United States. Speaking up and making a case for what is crucial to the success of the next generations, and ensuring that the education of children, and teachers, has been (and continues to be) a battle worth fighting.

Continuing to advocate for Title II is still necessary. Check in with your senators and representatives to let them know how this money supports professional learning in your school or district and why it is so important. Your outreach does have an impact. If Title II funding is excluded from the federal budget, class sizes will increase, fewer teachers will be hired, and staff development days will be cut by more than half, just in my town alone. What will the absence of these funds look like in your community? Please, keep the pressure on, engage your colleagues and your community, or become part of an existing network to maximize impact for this worthy cause. Let me know what your advocacy goals for Title II are. Educators do have a voice and we can be heard.


You Never Know When

A teachable moment can be thought of as a quick moment in time when a student’s interest in a specific subject is at its highest, usually because of a conversation or immersion in a situation that brings on curiosity. Who knows when one might occur in your classroom? I was first introduced to the idea… Continue Reading

Real Life Math Really Does Happen

John Urschel is is an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens. He is also currently pursuing his doctorate in applied mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In a recent commentary in Education Week he said, “In some sense, everybody has to become a mathematician. We all face problems that require mathematical concepts. The better… Continue Reading

Thinking About a Professional Community of Practice

Different teaching assignments, new class rosters, new schedules, perhaps a different building administrator, and returning colleagues, all of these are annual traditions that teachers embrace at the start of every new school year. I would like to suggest teachers add professional relationships and professional learning to their lists at the opening of the 2017-18 school… Continue Reading

You Can and Do Make a Difference

If you were asked to describe the best professional learning experience you have ever had, what would you say? Would you say it fit your needs perfectly? Would you say you were provided with individualized considerations? Would you say you were able to take the experience and share it with your colleagues? Would you say… Continue Reading

AIMS Facilitators Institute

Some of the most common requests the AIMS Professional Learning division is called upon to help a schools or districts with are: To help teachers close student learning gaps. To help teachers change instructional practices helping their students to learn and achieve at higher levels. To help teachers have a deeper level of understanding about… Continue Reading

Yosemite Learning

My first visit to Yosemite National Park happened last weekend. I was absolutely wowed by the park as I marveled at the landscapes. Somewhat surprisingly, I also came away professionally inspired and energized. As I thought about the history of Yosemite, and the awesome natural environment I was in, I found myself making comparisons. I… Continue Reading