Family involvement boosts student success. Yet parents of middle schoolers sometimes face a steep learning curve as they seek to interact with an increased number of teachers. Dr. Curtis Chandler suggests ways to engage and support families, including useful technology.
Every principal has dealt with unhappy or angry parents and guardians. Many family members simply have a concern and want to share it with someone they believe can resolve the problem. Ron Williamson and Barbara Blackburn offer ways to calm waters and get to solutions.
Over a career of teaching, mentoring and networking with novices, Barbara Blackburn has learned five key lessons about being a new teacher. Here she takes the butterflies churning in newbies’ insides and suggests ways to line them up in formation for a strong first year.
Bridging the gap between “real STEM study” and how school stakeholders may understand it is a doable task for teachers, says expert Anne Jolly. She offers some elevator-speech essentials to get you started (and perhaps avoid that virtual lab that could be in your future).
Teaching with Mathematical Argument can help support students as they reason through math problems, shifting the focus from “the answer” to the processes that lead to clearer understanding. Cynthia McBride likes the inclusion of assessment and parent communication advice.
One reason math educator Michelle Russell loves being a teacher is because every year she gets “a reset.” After a summer spent in part reflecting, she’s set two goals for fall: improving communications with families and helping kids focus on the positive every day.
In addition to explaining the brain science behind adolescent risk taking, John Medina’s Attack of the Teenage Brain! is filled with valuable information to change the way teachers respond to adolescents in the classroom, says educator Elizabeth OBrien.
As the school year winds down and heightened emotions proliferate, it’s easy for teachers to lose their cool. Student (and parent) behavior that would have been met with patience earlier suddenly ratchets up teacher frustrations. Rita Platt shares her coping strategies – laughter included!
Kids develop STEM habits in the classroom, but they spend most of their time outside of school. That’s where parents and other adults can help to inspire, support, and continue their children’s STEM learning. Anne Jolly’s tip-filled letter to caregivers can help.