Teaching & Learning Blog

Teaching for Triumph: Reflections of a 21st-Century ELL Teacher

Justin Minkel teaches 2nd and 3rd grade at Jones Elementary in Springdale, Ark., a high-performing, high-poverty school where 85 percent of the students are English-language learners. A former Teach For America corps member, Minkel was the 2007 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. In his instruction, he is focused on bringing advanced learning opportunities to immigrant and at-risk students. Follow him at @JustinMinkel. (Teaching for Triumph ceased publishing in July 2014.)

Education Opinion What We Shared With Obama
President Obama is often described as an eloquent speaker. When the President invited four teachers to the White House for lunch this week, I discovered that he is an eloquent listener, too.
Justin Minkel , July 10, 2014
5 min read
Education Opinion Waking the Sleeping Giant: Practitioners' Power to Fix Education Policy
Parents, principals, and teachers share most convictions about what our kids need. We're the sleeping giant. What power might we wield if we woke up?
Justin Minkel , May 28, 2014
3 min read
Education Opinion What Teachers Want
When think tanks ponder recruitment and retention, their solutions often neglect the factors that matter most to my generation and the next.
Justin Minkel , May 22, 2014
4 min read
Education Opinion Rip Van Winkle's One Familiar Thing: The Absurdity of Assessing 21st Century Learning With 20th Century Tests
Nobody pines for kerosene lanterns, mimeograph machines, or 8-track tapes. What will it take to break our dependence on the 1914 bubble test?
Justin Minkel , May 6, 2014
5 min read
Education Opinion Far Together: What Parent-Teacher Innovation Can Be
Students dream big. I realized last week that parents can dream big, too. We just need the invitation.
Justin Minkel , April 29, 2014
4 min read
Education Opinion Hogwarts Sorcerers vs. Ministry of Magic Minions: Teachers as Creators of Curriculum and PD
Textbook companies have a lot to lose if districts turn to the collective knowledge of teachers rather than commercial programs, packages, and consultants. Our students have a lot to gain.
Justin Minkel , April 24, 2014
6 min read
Education Opinion When Education Policy Goes 'Clunk': Why Teacher-Policymaker Partnerships Help Students
Policymakers and teachers need each other. Here's why.
Justin Minkel , April 14, 2014
6 min read
Education Opinion Teacher Prep Led by (Drum Roll, Please)...Teachers
What if practicing teachers served as faculty alongside education professors, with similar pay, status, and influence in shaping teacher prep?
Justin Minkel , March 31, 2014
5 min read
Education Opinion Does Duncan Believe in 'Teach to Lead?'
Arne Duncan has said the right things, partnered with the right people, and admitted there's a problem. Will he do what it takes to solve it?
Justin Minkel , March 24, 2014
6 min read
Education Opinion The Case for Chess
Next to coffee, time is teachers' most precious resource. Why, then, spend precious class hours teaching kids to play a board game?
Justin Minkel , March 12, 2014
4 min read
Education Opinion Visualize This...Olympic Medalists Teach Us the Power of the Mind
Visualization can be a powerful technique for learning anything. Just ask the Olympians.
Justin Minkel , February 28, 2014
5 min read
Education Opinion Three Reasons for Hope
Last week, three teachers reminded me what binds us together. We keep promises. We see students for who they can become. We work, in the end, for them.
Justin Minkel , February 23, 2014
4 min read
Education Opinion Super Bowl Fury: "Speak English!"
Becoming bilingual is an opportunity our schools can provide to native English speakers and English learners alike. First we have to see diversity as a strength, not a liability.
Justin Minkel , February 4, 2014
4 min read
Education Opinion Administrators Gone Mad
Administrative madness is a pervasive disease. Common Core didn't cause it. But if it's going to succeed, we need to cure it.
Justin Minkel , January 22, 2014
4 min read