Action: OK, speducators, no words of encouragement this week. Instead, to address the needs of our visual and auditory learners, take two minutes right now, and watch this video: Our Teach For America-DC Region executive director sent this to us earlier this summer and I’ve been saving it for once school started and the good and bad things really came out… This is her friend’s student. Even if this isn’t your student, no doubt this child is ...

Hang tight, my first-year friends, because October is almost over. For those who haven't taught and for those who have forgotten, October is when new teachers feel the strain, the stress and the struggle of teaching... multiplied by 10. It results from a combination of factors: The honeymoon with your kids has worn off, the five new strategies you tried have failed and failed again, first-quarter grades are due, and you've finally succumbed to the fact that all the changes your vice principal promised you back in August won't be materializing, at least not until April. It's a rough time, ...

I admit, when my students used to misbehave, I occasionally strayed from my consequence plans and would pull a version of the age-old parental guilt-trip: Don't you know there are children in [insert impoverished country] who don't even have the privilege of school? Don't you know they walk miles and miles each day to practice math under a tree using a stick to write numbers in the dirt? And you're sitting here telling me you don't feel like solving for x? I'll tell you: You are lucky to be solving for x. You even have air conditioning. Much like the ...

At the end of a meeting today with a first-year teacher, she turned to me and nervously asked, "Do you think it's still possible at this point in the year for me to get my students to reach really great gains?" Like so many others, it hasn't been an easy ride so far for "Mary", a high school inclusion teacher. She teaches at a disorganized school and has struggled to understand her multiple science courses, was desperate to learn new ways to manage her classes, and had to figure out how to effectively plan with her co-teachers so her students ...

Here's a dose of warm and fuzzy for this Tuesday morning: The New York Times: "This is Generations of Hope, a nonprofit adoption agency that has designed a community to resemble a nurturing small town, complete with surrogate grandparents. Created out of a shuttered Air Force base, Generations of Hope seeks to rescue children from foster care and place them with adoptive parents who have moved here. About 30 children currently live with parents in 10 homes. The community is also home to 42 older people who have subsidized rent. The program’s annual budget for the Rantoul site is $500,000,...


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