teacher syllabus

Two of my teachers at UW-Madison, Dr. Maisha Winn and Hannah Graham, introduced me to the idea of the teacher syllabus. The teacher syllabus is an ongoing list of texts that inform your teaching practice--not necessarily in terms of pedagogical theory, though it could include that, but in terms of texts that help teachers expand their cultural understandings of their communities and the students they work with, helping them "build relationships, restore peace, and repair harm, working towards better relationship with self and other."  Here I share the texts that guide me.

See also:  videoaudio | currently reading 


Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age by Michael Apple continues my early 90s influences. He was writing in an earlier conservative age but...here we are. Michael Apple is such a great source of sociological context for schooling. Excerpts below.

He was writing in an earlier conservative age but...here we are. Michael Apple is such a great source of sociological context for schooling. Excerpts below.

“Yet the powerful...


Once again, a book from the early 90s examines the problems I see in our 2020 educational institutions. Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality by Jeannie Oakes, was actually written in 1985, and was one of my summer reads. 

The school I currently teach in is one of the remaining middle schools in our district that separates math, science, and English into “regular” and “advanced” levels in the 7th and 8th grades. 6th grade was added...


This weekend I returned to a handful of articles by Gay Ivey, looking for inspiration for building the reading community in my classroom. (Click on her image at right for her google scholar citations. Also Peter H. Johnston, her collaborator on several of the articles.) 

I am going to excerpt two of them here--I will try not to paste the articles in their entirety, though I will want to. In reviewing these I felt regret that I neve...


 This is a book I've had in my stack for awhile but I finally dove into it a couple weeks ago, finishing it in a few days. I usually love Lisa Delpit's work, so it was not surprising that I got into this book, but I didn't realize that it had an anthropological focus. Parts of the book examines the cultural specificity of literacy practices, and how school may unknowingly alienate groups of students by promoting only one type of literacy and...


Christina of @teachlikeagirl is one of my favorite educators to learn from on instagram.

She is currently offering her Teacher Researcher course at a discounted price of $38. I'm going to work on it this summer. Want to join me? Read more by clicking the image below.  

(I am getting no kickbacks from this link, I just really like her work.)


Subscribe to rethinking schools! It's one of the best and most useful resources to get in your mailbox. They also create tons of great books that will inspire your teaching and help you see new possibilities.

From the Winter 2018-19 issue (Vol. 33, No. 2):


I read a good helping of this book sitting in a bookstore in Chicago last fall, but finally checked it out from the library so I can read the rest. Nicholson Baker is a writer who worked as a substitute teacher in Maine for 28 days to investigate some of his hunches about schools. I find his observations painfully funny and real. I also came into teaching by way of subbing and so his anthropological gaze feels familiar, but he also captures...


yes yes yes yes yes

The image below is the first edition, which is the one I am reading, but if you click on the book it'll take you to the newer edition, which is probably even better as it has extended content.


I saw this book recommended often by teachers I trust, but thought it was mostly for elementary...but it's for everyone. I'm excited to start bringing this into my work this year, hoping it will help students' reading and writing feel more powerful and authentic to their lives, in addition to helping them become critical and active citizens. I'm definitely becoming a Sara Ahmed fan.

Please reload