In late July 2014, Texas came under criticism after a report released by the U.S. Department of Education for the state's rankings on special education services. Many one of the greatest struggles in our classrooms today is reaching students with special needs and at-risk students. According information published by the Texas Education Association, one of the key tools to improving drop out rates is providing educators ...more »
Fall 2014 Campaign
At times it would be nice if struggling teachers could watch how someone else would handle a group of students (possibly a class with several special needs for differentiation or behavior modifications) because hearing how it could be done is not always very effective. There are times when it would be most effective and efficient to simply see how a master teacher could orchestrate the same class. If the master ...more »
Teachers, support staff, and principals need to communicate effectively with both parents and students about expectations. It is important for both to know what they are learning and why.
Teachers are under intense pressure to show effectiveness through academic competencies. Administrators show adequate progress through the resulting test scores but proficiency in and of itself isn't a predictor of post graduation success. Employers and colleges demand academically capable people, yes. However, research also shows that they are interested in well rounded, emotionally capable people with strong critical ...more »
I would like to start a discussion of ways to foster accurate academic participation for ELLs (or other student populations). Currently, I use scaffolds such as posted and practiced academic sentence frames to assist students when reporting out ideas after “Think-Write-Pair-Share.” I would like to collaborate with others to broaden my strategies and increase student use of academic language and structures. Please share ...more »
A lot of teachers I know want to attend Professional Development programs, but can't due to financial restrictions. When they ask for funds, there is no money available. I also know many teachers, including myself, who pay out of pocket to attend numerous conferences and trainings. My non-teacher friends are always shocked to find out that not only I am not getting paid to attend the PDs on my own time, I am also paying ...more »
21st Century Educators face many challenges on a daily basis. These challenges can cause great stress to those in education. This stress then impacts the education system in negative ways. It has been my experience and observation that the well-being of those in education is not taken into account and this leads to stress, burnout and/or retention problems. We have a responsibility to ensure that we are leading the next ...more »
Materials published and disseminated by Network Team Institute (NTI) regarding teacher training and data-driven best practices, EngageNY and teacher effectiveness aligned with the goals of the Common Core, and Uncommon Schools and increasing rigor toward data-driven instruction each provide models, framework, materials, and in some cases, training and professional development for teachers in their respective geographic ...more »
There are places that Harper Lee once described as never changing, regardless of the ebbs or flows of U.S. prosperity. Hempstead, NY is one of those places: its unemployment and crime rates are high, its literacy rates are low, and it's always been this way. While one program cannot change all the problems of one community, it can change one thing: it can give the middle school students of this village a voice. The ...more »
Teaching is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn, you’ll never forget. Writing a thorough lesson plan gets you up on that bike, rolling along. Standards provide a framework for excellence in teaching, but it’s just oh-so-easy to pick up that old textbook and teach from cover to cover. Teacher evaluation programs give us more specific criteria, but they only assess. Instead, coaching teachers to create thorough lesson ...more »
Schools and districts need to find better ways to increase teacher motivation, retain highly-skilled teachers and increase student achievement. Creating distributed leadership teams within schools may be one way to do that. These teams would transcend your grandmother’s “committee”—instead, distributed leadership teams would have actual decision-making authority. Districts and schools would have to be willing to give ...more »
teachers should be evaluated by other master teachers not administrators. Many administrators have been out of the classroom for too long. Their input and suggestions are not as relevant or meaningful as a teacher who is current in her practice and effective. Peer review provides A less threatening method of evaluation. I believe it could lead to better instruction and more effective teachers!