Blog Archive


Teachers on remote school, the achievement gap, and masks in the classroom.

In July, Slate sat down with four teachers for a candid conversation about their hopes and fears for the coming school year. “I’m scared,” one said. “The opportunity gap is just going to widen,” said another. And they all agreed: “When a kid or a teacher dies, everything is going to change.”

We’re now halfway through the fall semester—time for a midterm check-in. Our panel of teachers reconvened to talk about how remote learning is going, what it’s like to be back in the classroom, and the ups and downs of what may (hopefully) be the strangest academic year of their careers. Our teachers—all writers for Slate’s Ask a Teacher column—are Matthew Dicks, a fifth grade teacher in West Hartford, Connecticut; Brandon Hersey, who teaches second grade in Federal Way, Washington, and is also on the Seattle school board; Cassy Sarnell, an early childhood special education teacher

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  • October 26, 2020

Should I stop seeing a teacher because of classroom sexual fantasies?

A woman with a head in her hands.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by StockPhotosArt/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Dear How to Do It,

Given the extended period of physical distancing we’ve been experiencing, I have begun to explore online dating. Particularly, I have been looking for someone who both shares my sexual interests and is a good human being overall for the possibility of a long(er)-term relationship.

While I feel like I might have found this person recently, the fact that they are a high school teacher and have a strong interest in role-playing student-teacher and my own dating history make me wonder if this kink is a healthy outlet for someone in their position or a foreshadowing or indicator of something more sinister. While I do not want to rule out someone for “pre-crime” or “thought crime,”

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  • October 12, 2020

Jill Biden drawing on classroom time for case against Trump

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) — When Jill Biden introduced herself to millions of Americans during last month’s Democratic National Convention, she did so from a high school where she once taught English near her Delaware home.

Since then, she’s visited a classroom that would otherwise be filled with elementary school children, participated in a health briefing on how to safely resume in-person learning and met with teachers in a Wisconsin backyard.

The emphasis on education is a natural fit for someone who was a public school teacher for more than 20 years, earned two master’s degrees and then a doctorate in education and continued teaching at a community college when her husband, Joe Biden, was vice president.

But in an election year where reopening schools shuttered by the coronavirus is emerging as a flashpoint, Jill Biden is increasingly drawing on her classroom experience to empathize with parents struggling to cope with

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  • September 6, 2020