Teaching Blog

Charting My Own Course

A former writing teacher, Marilyn Anderson Rhames is the Manager of Alumni Relations at a charter school in Chicago. She holds master’s degrees in education and journalism, is a former Teach Plus policy fellow, and a founder of the nonprofit Teachers Who Pray. In 2013, Rhames received the Educator’s Voice Award for her blog and was also named “Commentator/Blogger of the Year” by the Bammy Awards. Follow her on Twitter @MarilynRhames. (Charting My Own Course ceased publishing in July 2015.)

Teaching Opinion Farewell to the 'Charting My Own Course' Teacher Blog
After four years of highs and lows, Marilyn Rhames is ending her award-winning Education Week Teacher blog.
Marilyn Rhames, July 28, 2015
3 min read
Teaching Opinion Am I a Racist Teacher for Not Being 'Color-Blind'?
After a small but loud group of white teachers pushback against my Ed Week op-ed about race in education, I felt compelled to follow-up with another post that doubles down while also apologizes (but only just a little).
Marilyn Rhames, July 16, 2015
3 min read
Education Opinion Hiring, Firing, and Striking: How the Chicago Teachers Pension Is Killing Schools Softly
Though Chicago Public Schools took out a $1.1 billion loan to pay its bills through the 2015-16 school year, none of the money would pay the $700 million pension payment that's due again next year.
Marilyn Rhames, July 5, 2015
5 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Invitation to Read: 'Racial Injustice is Rooted In a Lie'
Last week I particpated in a roundtable blogging discussion called "Confronting Racial Injustice in Schools" Education Week's Op-EDucation page, and it was sad and shocking to read the racist and culturally insensitive comments of some readers—especially because these people may very well be "educators."
Marilyn Rhames, July 5, 2015
1 min read
Student Well-Being Opinion Teaching With High Ropes and Wedgies: Lessons From a 7th Grade Camping Trip
A painful episode on a campground's high ropes course turns out be a surprising teachable moment for blogger Marilyn Anderson Rhames and her students.
Marilyn Rhames, June 11, 2015
5 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion More Problems, More Prayer: A Year in the Life of Chicago Public Schools
The National Day of Prayer is May 7, and Chicago's educational crisis tops my list of societal issues to take to God.
Marilyn Rhames, April 30, 2015
4 min read
School & District Management Opinion Why Every Teacher Can (and Needs to) Bust Out of the Cage
Classroom teachers have more power to change a school than they think.
Marilyn Rhames, April 13, 2015
5 min read
Teaching Opinion The Good, the Bad, and the Urgent: An Honest Confession From a Teacher-Mom
I never fully internalized the power of the phrase a "sense of urgency" in education until I needed other people to have it for my 8-year-old daughter and it seemed really hard to find.
Marilyn Rhames, March 26, 2015
5 min read
School Choice & Charters Opinion Open Letter to Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis
The bid for mayor in Chicago is just heating up. Ailing teachers union president Karen Lewis is backing Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, but can he manage the city's fiscal crisis while also improving the Chicago Public Schools?
Marilyn Rhames, March 2, 2015
4 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion The Dark Side of Integration: What Black Kids Learn in a White School System
Veteran education writer Peter Meyer is elected to a school board in upstate New York and, just as Dr. King did in 1959, begins to question the wisdom of putting young black minds into the hands of a white school system.
Marilyn Rhames, February 12, 2015
7 min read
Teaching Opinion Beyond Profiling: Deepening Classroom Discussions About Race
Guest blogger and Bronx teacher Mark Anderson taught an in-depth unit on racial segregation and had to grapple with surprising feedback from his students of color.
Marilyn Rhames, February 4, 2015
5 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Ill. Pulls the Rug Out With New ESL-Endorsement Requirement for Teachers
A new state law could deem effective, experienced teachers unfit to instruct immigrant children.
Marilyn Rhames, January 13, 2015
5 min read
Equity & Diversity Opinion Bridging the Naughty-Nice Divide in Education Debates
Teachers unions and school reformers often force teachers to pick a side—district or charter—and stick to it; however, more teachers need to cross that invisible line.
Marilyn Rhames, December 16, 2014
4 min read
Teaching Opinion Michael Brown Verdict and Two Meatless Slices of Bread
It's often said that "a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich," so why wasn't the police officer who was seen murdering an unarmed teenager brought to trial?
Marilyn Rhames, November 25, 2014
3 min read