Teaching & Learning Blog

Road Diaries: 2009 Teacher of the Year

In spring of 2009, special education teacher Anthony Mullen -- former New York City police officer -- was named the 59th National Teacher of the Year. Mullen taught at an alternative high school in Connecticut, where he worked with students who are often on their last academic stop. As NTOY, Mullen was on leave from his classroom for the academic year. He traveled the country, speaking to educators and reformers about what he sees as the greatest threat to American education: this country’s high dropout rate. Mullen’s opinion blog discussed his experiences in this space. This blog is no longer being updated, but you can continue to explore these issues on edweek.org by visiting our related topic pages: dropouts.

Education Opinion To Close a Door Gently
In his final post for Teacher and with a heavy heart, Anthony Mullen admits that in spite of a marvelous experience as National Teacher of the Year, the classroom beckons.
Anthony J. Mullen, August 29, 2010
3 min read
Education Opinion Jumping Through Hoops
Anthony Mullen believes what states must endure for a chance at Race to the Top funding is doing more to widen the gap between the haves and have-nots than any previous piece of educational legislation.
Anthony J. Mullen, August 3, 2010
1 min read
Education Opinion Through a Lens Darkly
Anthony Mullen is left wondering what teachers can do for students dealing with complex emotional problems.
Anthony J. Mullen, July 23, 2010
2 min read
Education Opinion The Age of Opposable Thumbs
Following the ISTE conference, Anthony Mullen comes to the realization that new technologies will pave the way for student-centered classrooms.
Anthony J. Mullen, July 5, 2010
4 min read
Education Opinion Reflections of an Itinerant Learner
Anthony Mullen finishes up his journey as the 2009 National Teacher of the Year and reflects upon what he's learned in the past 12 months.
Anthony J. Mullen, June 9, 2010
2 min read
Education Opinion A Soldier's Pride
A visit to a military fort in Georgia brings Anthony Mullen face-to-face with the unique challenges educators encounter with students who have parents deployed abroad.
Anthony J. Mullen, May 29, 2010
4 min read
Education Opinion A Time to Charter Congress?
Anthony Mullen wonders if politicians, rife with inflammatory rhetoric about underperforming teachers, are actually the ones who need to change their ways.
Anthony J. Mullen, May 24, 2010
2 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion A Child's First Teacher
Anthony Mullen pays a visit to his mother's grave on Mother's Day and thanks her for being his first teacher, long before he ever started school.
Anthony J. Mullen, May 13, 2010
2 min read
Education Opinion Fixing Schools in Mississippi
On a trip to Mississippi, Anthony Mullen discovers that the teachers in the state are intimately involved in the school turnaround process.
Anthony J. Mullen, May 10, 2010
4 min read
Education Opinion Epitaph for a Young Teacher
Since no one has consulted him on a draft of the national standards yet, Anthony Mullen takes matters into his own hands and boils down what all students should learn.
Anthony J. Mullen, April 29, 2010
3 min read
Education Opinion Shine on Florida, Shine on!
Florida Governor Charlie Crist's veto of a bill that would have linked teacher pay to student test scores elicits more than a ray of hope from Anthony Mullen.
Anthony J. Mullen, April 20, 2010
3 min read
Education Opinion Singapore's City Upon a Hill
Anthony J. Mullen, April 16, 2010
4 min read
Education Opinion Madness Interrupted
A brief encounter with a frustrated airport passenger makes Anthony Mullen wonder why teachers dealing with "a steady diet of lies by mindless bureaucrats" haven't snapped.
Anthony J. Mullen, April 6, 2010
4 min read
Education Opinion The Scarlet T
Anthony Mullen tells a Wall Street money manager that he could have had the "job security" that he imagines teachers have...but he decided to make a lot of money instead.
Anthony J. Mullen, March 29, 2010
1 min read