Fighting the Education Reform Battle

A Guest Post by Steven Zipkes, founding Principal/Director at Manor New Technology High School in Manor Texas (Originally posted on Facebook – February 20, 2013 )     My head hurts from constantly fighting the educational reform battle. It is not about extending the school day, or mandatory Saturday school, nor selecting the “right”students or […]

Reflecting on my Life With PBL In July of 2011 I wrote about attending training and how I realized that my perspective had changed when it came to experiencing new requirements with my teaching.   Having just re-read that post and reflecting on the year that is about to finish, I realize just how fortunate I am for embracing PBL. […]

How Do You Create a School? (Part 1 of 2)      (Part 1 of 2)      The first question that hit me when I said I wanted this job was how do we transform an existing school, Decker Middle School in Manor Tx, from what it is to what it will become?      I mean the school building is there.  There […]

What I Look For In A Coach As I was applying for an instructional coach position a few months ago, I decided I would think about what I look for in a good coach.  When I didn’t get the position I started questioning my ability to meet my own list of what it takes to be a good coach. First on […]

The Post was originally published in December 2009

Assessment in a PBI Environment? How?       Whenever I talk with someone who is considering using Project Based Instruction (PBI) in their classroom I can be assured that the topic of assessment will be one of the first questions asked. Assessment, both formative and summative, is a topic that is guaranteed to bring out opinions from […]

What A PBL Teacher Does on Vacation       Today is the first day of my Spring Break and I am relaxing by watching NCAA Basketball, keeping tabs on SXSWi, thinking about how I will be mentoring a school doing a school-wide pbl, and planning my classes for when the break ends.      There are teachers who will not do […]

Writing in a STEM Classroom Yesterday my students took final exams in two Project Lead the Way classes:  Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) and Digital Electronics (DE).  Their exams consisted of a writing prompt with the requirement that they write at least one page, they use introductory and concluding paragraphs, and that they use proper spelling and grammar. For […]