This week's question comes from Gail Kochon, who asks: What social/political causes have contributed to the downgrading of respect for the teaching profession? I think it is safe to say that many of us teachers have felt under attack for many reasons -- whether it's the push for new test result-connected evaluations that are often couched in terms of "firing" teachers instead of helping us improve; the publication of teacher ratings in newspapers, and being told that the "best" people don't become teachers. But perhaps not all of us feel the same -- maybe others feel that there has ...


P.J. Vermont asked: Does grade-level retention work as an accountability tool for students and parents? It's an important question, P.J., and I'm sure it's one that weighs heavily on the minds of many teachers and administrators. Personally, I try as much as possible to base all of my student-related decisions and perspectives -- grades, discipline, feedback -- on the answer to one question: Will what I'm thinking of doing help the student "move forward"? In other words, will it encourage him/her to want to continue learning? Will it help the student develop intrinsic motivation? Will it increase ...


This week's question comes from P.J. Vermont, who asks: Does grade-level retention work as an accountability tool for students and parents? The issues of grade level retention and social promotion come up frequently for teachers and administrators, so it's an important question to explore further... Please leave your responses to P.J.'s question in the comments section of this post. I'll share a few of them next Wednesday, where I'll also publish my response and ideas from invited guests. Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a selection of twelve ...


Carla Arena asked: How do teachers make informed decisions in relation to a balanced use of technology in the classroom? Where can new teachers become better informed about best practices for technology use in the classroom without becoming overwhelmed and discouraged by the overload of information? It's a great question, Carla, and particularly timely in light of last Sunday's major New York Times article on this topic. In order for me to use any kind of technology in my classroom -- beyond a document camera or showing a YouTube clip on my computer projector, I need to be able to ...


This week's question comes from Carla Arena, who asks: How do teachers make informed decisions in relation to a balanced use of technology in the classroom? Where can new teachers become better informed about best practices for technology use in the classroom without becoming overwhelmed and discouraged by the overload of information? Now that's an issue often faced by new and experienced teachers alike! It's fairly easy to feel seduced, scared, frustrated or burdened by educational technology. Let's explore the best ways to get a handle on ed tech so that it benefits our students and doesn't create even more ...


Chris Moore asked: "How do you teach people to LISTEN better? Everyone seems to want very individualized instructions. They don't listen to any of the instructions and then the minute they have a problem with the assignment they want me to explain it all over again to them personally. It seems to be almost every teacher's number one problem -- how to teach listening skills..." Many of us have faced, or are facing, this challenge. It can be frustrating to hear students asking "What are we supposed to do?" within seconds of having explained instructions. There are, I think, some ...


This week's question comes from Chris Moore, who asks: "How do you teach people to LISTEN better? Everyone seems to want very individualized instructions. They don't listen to any of the instructions and then the minute they have a problem with the assignment they want me to explain it all over again to them personally. It seems to be almost every teacher's number one problem -- how to teach listening skills..." Many of us have faced, are facing, or will face this challenge. It can be frustrating to hear students asking "What are we supposed to do?" within seconds of ...


Cyndy Woods-Wilson asked: How can we "motivate" the unmotivated to learn something new? It's a great question, and is surely one often on the minds of educators everywhere. I especially liked how Cyndy put the word "motivate" in quotation marks, because it reflects what I learned during my 19 year community organizing career prior to becoming a teacher and which I shared in an excerpt from my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves. that Education Week Teacher published earlier this year: One of the lessons community organizers learn is that you might be able to threaten, cajole, badger, or bribe someone ...


This week's question comes from Cyndy Woods-Wilson, who asks: How can we "motivate" the unmotivated to learn something new? This is a question that I'm sure has crossed many educators' minds. Please leave your responses to Cyndy's question in the comments section of this post. I'll share a few of them next Wednesday, where I'll also publish my response and ideas from invited guests. Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a selection of twelve (including mine, Helping Students Motivate Themselves) published by Eye On Education. Thanks, Cyndy! You can send questions ...


This weekly "advice" column will be a place where educators can ask questions about K-12 classroom management, professional development, instructional strategies, English Language-learner instruction, school reform, and any other challenges facing teachers and administrators in their professional lives. I'll be providing answers, as well as responses from colleagues I invite from around the world and readers of this blog. Unlike some in the education world (and in other areas of our society), I'll be reluctant to prescribe solutions on topics that I know little or nothing about and, instead, will often be relying on other educators to share their thoughts ...


The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo 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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