Happy New Year! Now Let’s Get To Work

This is the first of many installments of The Unrealized Republic that will double as an open letter to elected officials here in Maine and across the country. I will write each blog post in 2017 as an open letter to an elected official or group of elected officials in an effort to help us, […]

These Long, Dark Nights

A couple weeks ago I wrote about winter as an opportunity to appreciate the lighter, brighter, more cheerful times of life during the darker, colder, more serious times. In doing so, we find value in cold and darkness, and therefore we can appreciate those times too. Winter is beautiful because it is dark; it allows […]

Breathe. Think. Don’t Think.

One of the hardest things to do when you work full time is to stay in shape, and for a number of reasons it gets even harder in winter months. We have fewer hours of daylight to work with, it is cold outside, and for some reason winter is a time of year when we […]

Light In The Dark of Winter

Last week, many of us in Maine awoke to the season’s first dusting of snow on the ground. Snow is seen by some as a magical kind of natural phenomenon, twinkling, sparkling ice crystals that descend from the sky and collect to coat the ground like frosting on a cake. For others it is the […]

Our Place In The World

For the 30th blog post, we’ve got a new name. Welcome to The Unrealized Republic. For the bulk of 2016, we’ve explored some exciting and controversial topics in public education, and looked into some ways that Maine could be a steward in the realm of public education. With its isolated northeast corner location of the […]

The Mandated Curriculum

A number of weeks into the school year, teachers start to get into the rhythm of their work.  The initial units of study are complete, beginning-of-the-year assessment results are coming in, and classroom dynamics are starting to take shape.  Teachers are figuring out who their students are, which ones will require a lot of support, […]

What We Can Learn From Charter Schools

I recently attended a candidates’ forum to showcase my district’s candidates for state senate and house of representatives.  On this year’s Maine ballot is a referendum question (question #2) that asks voters to approve a 3% surcharge on any household income over $200,000, which means that any individual who hauls in over $200,000 will have […]

Keep Small Schools Small

As schools in the world’s richest nation continue to rank far behind those of other nations with far fewer resources, one surprising trend stands out.  Small elementary and middle schools, and small classroom sizes, are becoming a thing of the past. One or two classes per grade, and fewer than 20 students in a classroom, […]

Math Is Everything

School has begun almost everywhere now, and once again we in the education profession are looking ahead to another year, hoping to do everything a little bit better than last year and the year before that. Doing what we do better than before is the theme for the entire series of posts in The Unrealized Maine […]