Posts By: Christopher Lloyd

The Labor of Teachers

In 1894, the United States government created a federal holiday to recognize the economic and social justice achievements of labor, to be held each year on the first Monday in September.  The holiday itself was born out of tumult, following a failed attempt by President Cleveland to break up a railroad strike.  And while many

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

We often use the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to compare student performance of our children to those around the world.  And yet, if we compare the working conditions of teachers in some of the countries with the highest scores to those conditions we face here, stark differences emerge. Author Thomas Friedman studied education

Out of Time

In the long narrative of a school year, as teachers and students learn together, external events continue to make the work all the more challenging.  From a Secretary of Education that proudly proclaims there’s no such thing as a “free lunch,” to a governor that has put days of tourism before days at school, the


As educators, we focus on building positive relationships in our classrooms, so that a community of learning centered on respect and responsibility can be maintained.  Communities are complex living organisms, and at times, relationships are damaged by actions of individuals, and repair and restoration are needed.  That’s why we as teachers believe in the power


My mom taught children in first grade for much of her career, waking early, toiling throughout the day, planning and preparing phenomenal learning opportunities, and all the while teaching me as a child the power of the words “try” and “do.”  So on this Labor Day weekend, I pause to think about what we “try”

Summer Slide

“Americans cherish the notion of summer as a time of relaxation and fun, but it comes at a heavy cost to poor students and the schools that serve them,” wrote Jeff Smink in a New York Times editorial.  Today’s action by Governor Larry Hogan creates an 11-week instructional gap for students – and hurts students

New Year’s Day

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  First lady Eleanor Roosevelt said that, and I find the words appropriate as we enter the first week of school.  Education is about facing fears,


It’s a big week in Montgomery County.  Over one thousand individuals will join the school system as new teachers, and their first day is Monday.  The amount of information they’ll get in the next two weeks will test the elasticity of their brains, and at times I’m sure, will seem overwhelming.  They’ll sit in auditoriums

Teachers, defined

Teaching is an act of social justice.  That’s what Michael Williams said when he accepted the award for Teacher of the Year here in Montgomery County this year.  And among all of the things that teachers do, it is perhaps more important to note who we are, in our hearts.  We are advocates for justice. 

Learning from the New

In established systems, many times there are unwritten rules about from whom we can or should learn.  And while there is no doubt experience is invaluable in the life of an educator, there’s ample evidence that learning from the new is vital to the profession and the students entrusted to our care.  This school year,