Education Reform From the Teacher's Perspective

Thursday, August 1, 2013


To honor our 100th post (note: almost all of my blog posts were lost when my previous domain provider stopped hosting me suddenly and without warning), we have written the following 10 question Q&A that explains this site and its philosophy.

Question 1: What is “Teaching in the Middle”?

Teaching is not an exercise in futility. Teaching is not producing widgets in a factory. Teaching is not test-taking strategies. Many people think they know what teaching is: parents, news anchors, pundits, legislators. Who really knows what teaching is? Teachers. I call this blog “Teaching in the Middle” because educators are caught in what seems the middle-ground in a larger debate on defining what teaching is and what it should be. We truly are teaching in the middle and our voice deserves to be heard! Stay tuned! Posted April 11, 2011

Question 2: What is “education reform from the teacher’s perspective?”

Considerin­g the current environmen­t of blaming teachers, drastic cuts in education budgets, and the increasing public clamor for more reform despite any real understand­ing of how to actually educate, I cannot blame anyone who gives up a life-long dream of entering education in favor of a job that might actually pay well considerin­g the level of education most teachers have. Yet, we are the most prominent voice in education precisely because we teach the children. Our voice should be heard and not kept quiet. Education reform starts with teachers and it should come from them. Posted April 13, 2011



Question 3: What does TintM believe about what education reform looks like?

Some believe that teachers are simply in the profession not for the kids, but the money, while others believe that politicians are the cause of the problems in education. A third group of thinkers believe that the unions are to blame for education’s ills and need to be eliminated. Many times over the years, some new idea or teaching method or other similar pedagogy has come along that is touted as “the next big thing.” Let us spend our resources wisely in this age of budget cutting and stop spending money on “the next big thing” and instead focus on what is most important – our students! Posted July 6, 2011

Question 4: Who is Dr. James Norwood?

Dr. James Norwood is a middle school teacher (English/Language Arts and Drama). He is very passionate about true education reform that reaches all students and all parents. Dr. Norwood possess a PhD in the area of curriculum and instruction and spend much of his time working with his school and district developing a more holistic approach to the curriculum. Dr. Norwood enjoy’s life and spend as much time as possible with his wife, their two dogs, and their two cats. Dr. Norwood publishes Teaching in the Middle, The Informed Educator and also guest blogs at Unplugged Mom.

Question 5: What makes Dr. Norwood’s thoughts important? Are they important?

Dr. Norwood, whose doctorate is in curriculum and instruction, has been a classroom teacher for ten years. Additionally, he has been an advocate for teaching both in the schools and outside of them. This website, for example, began in November, 2007. The importance (or lack of) his views are completely at the discretion of the reader.

Question 6: What is Dr. Norwood’s experience in education reform?

Dr. Norwood has published in the areas of professional learning communities, student evaluation systems, and numerous other topics on both his website and in respected journals. He has worked extensively with his own colleagues on reforming their curriculum and teaching practices.

Question 7: What is the primary focus of “TintM?”

Teaching in the Middle is all about giving a voice to educators. Our motto says it all, “education reform from the teacher’s perspective.”

Question 8: What are the next steps? Where is this site going?

Teaching in the Middle continues to grow in both readership and informed topical discussions. Look for an increased level of discussion in the next months as our newest contributor, Tom McLaughlin, continues sharing with the wider world of education and beyond.

Question 9: What are the biggest challenges facing education today?

There are numerous major challenges facing public education including: standardized testing, for profit educational companies, teacher turnover, and the ongoing budget crisis, to name a few major issues.

Question 10: What are the biggest strengths of public education?

The biggest strength of public education is very simple: the educators who work day and night (literally) to educate and inspire students each and every day.


Dr. James Norwood is a middle school teacher (English/Language Arts and Drama). He is very passionate about true education reform that reaches all students and all parents. Dr. Norwood possess a PhD in the area of curriculum and instruction and spends much of his time working with his school and district developing a more holistic approach to the curriculum. Contact me james@drjrn.us

0 comments:

Post a Comment