Reading NBCT Roxanna Elden’s novel chronicling the trials and tribulations of educators at fictional Brae Hill Valley HS made Rita Platt laugh. A lot. While Elden reveals the often “dark heart” of reform, she also captures the small everyday successes that keep us going.
Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
Every chapter of School Improvement for All starts with commentary about how to determine vision versus reality, outlines ways to get from one to the other, and then provides concrete tools and steps to follow as a plan of action, writes NBCT Kathy Pham. A true guide to PLC success.
Maverick Teachers highlights nontraditional teachers who are comfortable with change, and some of their outside-the-box methods of teaching. Though the teacher portraits are inspiring, math educator Abby Bateman finds the book lacks how-tos and evidence of school-saving results.
In today’s online marketing environment, everybody seems to be after the attention of young people, writes media literacy expert Frank Baker. Many tweens and teens have money and may not see through all the strategies and tactics of influencers. Educators need to help.
As schools ring in the New Year, instructional coach Elizabeth Stein urges co-teachers to use “crystal clear 20/20 vision” to examine their shared co-teaching experiences. How can they can bring it all into focus? Heighten awareness and consider multiple perspectives.
Sarah Cooper is always searching for ways to strengthen her eighth grade unit on the Constitution. This year she deepened her exploration of iCivics and found visually appealing readings and games her students enjoyed. She added sparkle with video and other fun activities.
Middle school principal Evan Robb’s Six Pillars of Leadership work in concert to form a solid and lasting foundation for shared decision making. The result: a student-centered culture that values collective vision, empowerment, risk-taking, kindness, trust, equity and more.
Principal Rita Platt is learning to sign, both to communicate with a new student and to renew her empathy for the hard work we ask students to do every day. She also has a fresh appreciation for learning targets. “Seeing the purpose of our work is critical to motivation.”
When we give in and teach students to “write for the test,” Brent Gilson says, we force them into a writing box that many kids come to hate. Learn how he’s reinventing his writing instruction so students discover their truth, expressed through their own words and ideas.
It’s inevitable. Interruptions will steal instructional time. As winter break approached this year, the urgency to “cover everything” left math teacher Michelle Russell super-stressed and her students sad. Armed with fresh strategies, she’ll try not to let it happen again.