"Don't be so busy looking for problems that you forget to notice improvements." Todd Whitaker. Turn on the television for a moment. Listen carefully to the conversations and interactions of the adults that are on the program you are watching. If you passively listen as you finish chores around the house you may not be aware of the disturbing amount of negativity that we are exposed to. Actively listen to some news programs and reality television, and you should find yourself concerned about the amount of fighting and blaming that is constantly being thrown at viewers. The Love Boat used ...


Today's guest blog is written By Michael Albertson. Michael is a music teacher in large high school in New York City Educators in urban settings deal with unique challenges not necessarily faced by their colleagues in less-populated areas. This is not to say that working in a city school is more "noble"; all teachers face difficult situations and work to provide their students with the best possible education. However, it is likely that teachers in urban areas will have large classes comprised of a diverse group of students. It is the responsibility of these educators to create classrooms that allow ...


It doesn't matter whether you teach in a suburban, urban, or rural school setting, we are seeing many students enter school with diverse academic, social, and economic needs. Perhaps they have a vocabulary or language deficit that puts them behind their peers, or they lack the maturity that allows them to fit in socially; schools have been playing the role of caregiver and educator in the lives of children for decades. Given all of the student needs that schools are seeing, in addition to all of the new mandates with the common core standards, evaluation and high-stakes testing, are colleges ...


"And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces" (Terrence Mann AKA James Earl Jones). There is something special about watching a Saturday afternoon football game. A few weeks ago I happened to turn on the Michigan State University versus Notre Dame football game. For full disclosure, my family and friends will be as surprised as I am that I would focus on football. I never played football but I did attend some games in high school. Cross ...


Facebook, as well as Twitter, are great social networking tools for adults and teenagers. It allows for everyone to connect in a variety of ways. Although it can be a useful tool for home and schools, there are advantages and disadvantages of using Facebook and Twitter as well. As we go further through the 21st century, we are all still learning more and more about ourselves and the world around us through the lens that social networking offers us. It does seem as though the pressure is on to have more and more friends, and many of those that accept ...


"There has been a dramatic increase in marketing to kids in the last 15 or 20 years! Billions of dollars are now spent by corporations to market to the special 'target' group called children." Nancy Carlsson-Paige There are times as I get older that I think I am becoming less patient with society. As I flip through television stations I am less likely to find something I like to watch. All of the shows seem to be "reality" in nature and those reality shows seem to promote anger, promiscuity, and fighting. They also happen to be on earlier and earlier ...


"Children have the greatest chance of reaching their potential and becoming positive members of the school community if schools treat parents as partners" (Wood, 2011, p.98). We all want to help our children be successful at school. No one wants to see their child struggle, because it leads to frustration and anger. Sometimes if a child struggles, it can lead to a sense of failure and negative attitudes about school which leads to disengagement. During these times of increased mandates due to NCLB and the pressure of high stakes testing, the home-school partnership is more important than ever. Parents ...


While we are all forced to wait for Superman, we need Walt Disney. Walt Disney imagined things that most people did not think were possible. Walt Disney was the Goliath of his generation. Disney was both reflective and creative. He had a sense of the past and could look into the future. His ability to dream was only matched by his ability to articulate his vision to people around him who could help make his dreams come true. Walt Disney's dreams became our reality. There are millions of people who make the trek to Disney World and Disneyland every year. ...


"While the intersections of social class, race, gender, sexuality, and religion vary for each person, their existence and importance within our culture are, for those who do not share membership in the dominant groups, social facts with social consequences" (Sears, 1991, p. 55). School codes of conduct and board policies are vitally important to the safety of all students. However, they are only beneficial if staff will follow through on enforcing them. Without proper professional development and training, many staff members do not know how to address issues that they see in school. Administration, teachers and staff need proper resources ...


Recently there have been a few high profile cheating scandals in Atlanta and Philadelphia. The school systems blamed their behavior on school leaders who created a culture of fear all in an effort to make sure their school system would not remain on a "failing" list. These recent stories about cheating left me conflicted. Conflicted between the idea that high stakes testing means that much that school systems have to cheat in order to look better and the idea that we are teaching our students that cheating can be done when the stakes are high. As much as each school ...


The opinions expressed in Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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