There’s No Such Thing as Math People

Mathematical Ability Is Not Fixed, We're Just Teaching It Wrong

The first time my girlfriend and I fought, it was over, of all things, math. It was one of those past-midnight, early-relationship nights, when instead of sleeping, you talk about the big, impossible questions: truth and justice and so on. I told her that rather than God, I believe in infinity.

She laughed.

In high school, I was like most students; algebra and proofs and numbers left me uninspired. But when I wound up a math teacher—and, later, a coach for other teachers—I had to think more deeply about math. I …

Poetry in a Pennsylvania Classroom

Chandler’s poem about a gold chain
is a sinker on a fishing line
in the classroom where fluorescent
lights suck smoke out of my lungs.
Smoke that I inhaled 20 …

How to Turn Elementary School Teachers into Emotional Detectives

Strengthening the Bond Between Educators and Pupils Can Get to the Root of Behavior Problems and Bullying

About four years ago, I found myself asking a question many teachers ask their students: “Why would you do something like that?”

I was sitting down with a fourth grade …

The Best Teachers Aren’t Heroes

But We Still Don’t Know What Exactly a Great Teacher Looks Like—or How to Build More of Them

We’ve all had bad teachers—and many of us have had great teachers, too. It seems as though it should be simple to figure out what the great ones have in …

How a Teachers College Dean Makes Great Teachers

It's Not Enough to Recruit Smart People. We Need Our Students to Learn the Theory, Get in the Practice, and Receive Lots and Lots of Mentoring.

I was 20 years old when I graduated from college in 1967—the first woman from my family to take courses past high school. My cousin Adolfo was my only other …