Virtual Chat: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg


Okay, I dove in, and I’m dying to share thoughts and read thoughts with you all about Sandberg’s theories on women in the workplace.   To be honest with you, I’m not sold on Sandberg yet.  But I’m wavering.  I do like this idea of leaning in, but it’s complicated, and when does Sandberg start talking about that?? (Disclaimer: I’m only on chapter 3).

Let’s start a comment thread to fuel the fire for our virtual chat here on Monday night at 8PM EST.  (Click on comments underneath the post’s title to see the thread and add comments).

Girl Power! (But what kind of power are we talking about?)

Here’s what’s running through my mind:

1) Sandberg claims that she does not advocate for all women having the same objectives, i.e. that it’s cool if some woman choose to go to work and that some women choose to stay home, saying “Some of the most important contributions to our world are made by caring for one person at a time.  We each have to chart our own unique course and define which goals fit our lives, values, and dreams.” (Sandberg 10).  However, she also claims that the only way for women to gain equal status with men is if women hold more positions of power.    She advocates for “ambition in any pursuit”.  Let’s keep it real Sheryl- those two ideas are dichotomous, and in my mind, they punch holes in your lean in theory. I question whether it’s possible for women to gain enough power in the world  to attain total equality with men given the biological drive women feel to stay home with their children, or spend time with their children.  The gap between men and women is the widest disparity in the world-it cuts through time, it cuts through culture.  Moreover, I question the idea and interpretation of “power” in our society, and wonder how attaining the power that Sandberg’s talking about will provide equality between men and women.

2) I love the connection between Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Sandberg’s Lean In: both profess how speaking up as a women in the workplace will laud you the title of “bitch” or that you are being “bossy”.  I work in a place full of women, and I still feel every time I speak up and am direct, people feel hurt or that I am being “bitchy”.  Sandberg says, “When a girl tries to lead, she is often labeled bossy. Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of the boss does not surprise or offend” (19). I wonder how many other women feel like when they take the lead, they are judged negatively? Moreover, how can we as women support one another in these scenarios as opposed to pull each other down through gossip, or the expectation that we should receive emotional vindication at every meeting in the workplace?

Comment at your own pace!

In solidarity, Kass

Addendum: Let’s take two weeks to read this book.  It’s loaded! Can’t wait to comment throughout the weekend and chat on Monday via

Double Addendum: This is a friendly chat designed to provoke our thoughts and to grow and learn from one another.  We might think differently, but that’s the awesome part.

What you need to know about School Testing in the USA

Is it all about this?

What you need to know about School Testing in the USA

October 16, 2014  |  Culture, Teaching  |  No Comments

So I feel “some kind of way” about standardized testing. (I’ll save that for another post.)

Feelings aside, though, I do believe that access to information is power, and because many of our states use these tests, I wanted to share the latest info from the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessment consortiums. These are the two organizations that write most of the testing for school-aged children in the United States.

What you will see here is standards and sample tests from each of these companies. This represents their latest public thinking as they prepare to assess students in the spring of 2015. (HUGE shout out to Janet and Mary for sharing this with me!)

If you are a teacher, this is another thing that can help you to decide how to use classroom time.

If you are a parent, this can help you to think about the language that your child is probably hearing at school.

— Corn


How do we reach ALL learners?

Teaching “The Kids in the Back of the Room”

October 4, 2014  |  Teaching  |  No Comments

A while ago, my (AMAZING) partner Janet and I presented a workshop together on teaching special education. It was a lot of fun (and super-productive).

So we did it again this week. We wanted to think publicly about what it takes to Modify Reading & Writing Workshop in an ICT setting.

We used a lot of the resources from the organization where we work, but we also worked with teachers to make a few other things. Here are some things that we hope you find useful!

  • We talked quite a bit about co-teaching, here is a reminder of all the different co-teaching models. This leans on all that we have learned from Marilyn Friend.
  • The term “differentiation” has been thrown around for eons. Here is what it means to us, and here is a quick form that we use when we think about how to design a lesson universally so that all kids can access it.
  • Teaching with another person is a relationship that is just as significant as the relationships we share with friends and family. As such, these relationships require maintenance. Here are a few documents that can help you to work on your teaching relationships in productive ways.
  • Here are some of our favorite digital resources and apps for inclusive teaching.
Color Sets? No. Text Sets!

Step your matching game up!

Color Sets? No. Text Sets!

August 12, 2014  |  Teaching  |  No Comments

Here are some text sets that I’ve been using recently.