One of the inevitable first-day-of-school tasks for elementary teachers (and many secondary teachers) is introducing the class rules. So it's no wonder teacher-bloggers have taken up the topic this week. Patricia Hensley, author of the Successful Teaching blog, laments educators' use of vague language in rule-making. She writes: Too many times we tell our students to behave and they have absolutely no idea what that entails. When my daughter was young, I remember her coming up to me and asking if she was have (with a long a sound). I couldn't understand her until she told me that I told ...


English teachers take note: Grammar—yes, grammar—has been making headlines this summer.


On the new Smartblog on Education, Tom Whitby, contributing editor and former a high school English teacher, highlights a potential glitch with the Connected Educator Month idea: Almost by definition, most of the teachers who are aware of it are already, well, connected educators


In response to what he sees as multiplying signs of public schools'—and teachers'—failures, David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale University, envisions the rise of "local Internet schools." These, he explains in a Wall Street Journal piece, would be one-room neighborhood schools in which students from a range of grades would learn mainly from high-quality online courses, with occasional help from patched-in tutors and teaching assistants. Actual classroom teachers would be expendable: In front sits any reliable adult whom the neighbors vouch for—often, no doubt, some student's father or mother, taking his turn. He leads the...


By guest blogger Ellen Wexler According to a new study that surveyed 2,000 teachers across the United States and Canada, one out of four science teachers who used lab animals in their classrooms released the organisms into local environments after they were done using them for instructional purposes. The study, funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that only 10 percent of those teachers released the animals as part of a planned release program—which suggests that the other 90 percent of teachers released animals that could potentially cause harm to native environments. The researchers—mostly part of ...


By guest blogger Ellen Wexler A few weeks ago, we received a letter from Holocaust survivor Peter Fischl, who has spent the last 18 years sharing his history and working to promote Holocaust education. We looked through Teaching Now and realized that it hadn't included coverage on Holocaust education before, so we decided to give Fischl a call. Fischl took some time to speak with me about his past work and the new Holocaust education resource he just designed. The education kit, called "Man's Inhumanity to Man," is Fischl's most recent project and somewhat of a summation of his efforts ...


Digital technology has made it both easier for students to cheat and for teachers to catch offenders, according to a recent piece in The Chicago Tribune. But overall cheaters maintain the upper hand.


A 4th grade teacher in Indiana has swapped out all her students' chairs for exercise balls.


In sharp contrast to last summer's celebrity-attended rally and march to the White House, the Save Our Schools gathering this year proved a quiet, 150-person affair. Held this weekend in the regal Wardman Park Marriott in downtown Washington, the convention featured presentations on an array of topics including advocacy, social justice, and elevating student voice, and a keynote by author and activist Jonathan Kozol. Attendees also attended workshops during which they crafted official policy stances to eventually present to policymakers (though these sessions were closed to the media). Mike Klonsky, Chicago-based educator and activist who is a first-year member of ...


Writing in the Deseret News, Theresa Talbot, a Utah teacher in her 25th year, says that the real problem with education today is that students are, well, lazy and recalcitrant. Among the examples she cites: It is the students in my math classes who, when I showed them how to work a multiple step problem, called out, "I'm not doing that; it's too much work." It is the students who "complete" and turn in every assignment and still score less than 30 percent on the test covering that material because they are not the ones who actually did the work ...


The U.S. Department of Education has declared that August is Connected Educator Month, a "celebration," as the website says, that is part of the Office of Educational Technology's Connected Educators initiative to support online professional learning. During the next four weeks, the department will bring together 100 education organizations to highlight professional online communities and networks of relevance to educators, the goal being to "broaden and deepen educator participation in online communities" and allow for more teacher collaboration, according to a department press release. The Connected Educator Month website provides a listing of the events offered this month, including ...


Miss Eyre, a unionized teacher, surprises even herself by reacting favorably to the new report on teacher attrition by TNTP, a group that has been critical of policies supported by the unions.


In an interview with the MinnPost, Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group the National Center for Science Education, says that science teachers are increasingly coming under fire for teaching about climate change.


Our latest Storify gives some context to the ongoing media coverage of the Khan Academy. At first almost exclusively heralded as having the potential to be an education game-changer, the videos—and Salman Khan himself—have recently come under fire for what some say is questionable pedagogy. Read more here....


In a post last month on an Atlanta Journal-Constitution education blog, a Fulton County, Ga., high school teacher named Jordan Kohanim wrote about her decision to leave the classroom on account of what she felt were unsustainable and deteriorating working conditions. In a follow-up post published today, Kohanim offers some thoughts on what schools and communities could do to stem departures like hers. Among other recommendations—e.g., giving teachers greater acknowledgment and at least some semblance of financial gain—she discusses the need to root out the "martyr mentality." This, she explains, is the public perception that teachers...


Middle school teacher Jose Vilson says that, as a teacher, he finds it difficult—if not pointless—to form an opinion about the Common Core State Standards without knowing what the assessment components will look like.


Ray Fisman, a professor of social enterprise at the Columbia Business School, points to recent research suggesting that—pace the heated rhetoric of some school reformers—'there may be perfectly viable ways to improve overall instruction in schools without firing low-performing teachers.


While I've seen signs for "unconference" sessions at some of the large organizations' annual conventions, I have never attended one. In fact, I admit that I wasn't even sure what an unconference entailed until reading this illuminating post by Monique Flickinger, a director of instructional technology for schools in Fort Collins, Colo. Turns out an unconference is a democratic and informal affair—a sort of counter to the banquet hall presentations by ed-celebrities at regular conferences. On Edutopia's Technology Integration blog, Flickinger explains that the first unconference she attended began with attendees writing potential discussion topics on a poster board...


I'm going to venture to say that not too many teachers are reading Forbes.com, because otherwise this post would be steeped in teacher comments. ... In it, Michael Horn, cofounder of the nonprofit think tank Innosight Institute, makes the argument that many of the teaching techniques comprising Doug Lemov's popular guide Teach Like a Champion, will soon be "rendered irrelevant" due to the growth of online learning. (For more information on the book, see our book club discussion with Lemov from last year.) Horn explains: Take the first technique in the book, for example: No Opt Out. As Lemov writes, "One...


Last month, we highlighted a story on the reported decline of grammar skills in the workplace. Now we can add Kyle Wiens, CEO of the online-repair-manual company iFixit, to the list of executives who believe this is not merely an academic issue. In a fiery post for the Harvard Business Review, Wiens says he flat out won't hire people who are careless with grammar. And to ensure that no offenders slip through, both of his companies—Wiens is also the founder of the documentation-software maker Dozuki—have instituted mandatory grammar tests as part of the hiring process. Wiens explains...


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