Shying away from difficult conversations about race could leave some students unprepared for life after school, says Texas eighth-grade teacher Kecia Dennis. In this interview, she explains why she discusses interacting with police, race relations and social justice with her students.
The first year of teaching is hard, but new teachers can thrive at the beginning of their careers, transformational leadership coach Elena Aguilar writes in this blog post. She shares 10 tips for building resilience for a good year, such as finding a mentor and seeking out good professional development.
A Vermont middle school gives students a voice and develops their leadership skills by having an "assets" council instead of student government. Students undergo leadership training, participate in school service projects and visit the capitol to see state government in action.
Middle-grades educator Mary Blow in this blog post describes an icebreaker that helps her get to know her students and provides some vocabulary lessons. Students create balloons where they describe their aspirations in an assignment that includes defining character traits and discussing their ideas.
As the US Education Department firms up its policies under the Every Student Succeeds Act, stakeholders are making their views known in such areas as school ratings, testing opt-outs and intervention timelines. Kris Amundson, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, says states should be in control of accountability policies and how they deal with testing participation.
To create a successful career, professionals need a team of people around them who will listen, give critical feedback and mentor them, Human Workplace CEO Liz Ryan suggests in this commentary. A friend outside of their field allows professionals to get away from work and enjoy themselves, Ryan writes.
School librarians can foster a better relationship with their principals by forging connections with teachers and providing solutions that benefit students, David Blattner, chief technology officer at Iredell-Statesville Schools in North Carolina, suggests. Above all, librarians should focus on the common ground of student outcomes that principals value the most, he advises.
School leaders can serve as role models for incorporating technology by showing teachers how such tools can increase collaboration and professional development, author and consultant Monica Burns suggests. In this blog post, she outlines three ways technology can help educators work together.
Indiana schools are facing teacher shortages as many educators change districts in search of better pay. At issue, some say, is a 2012 law that bases raises on performance and does not reward teachers for longevity within a district.
Wisconsin education officials are implementing new policies to make it easier for retired teachers and new educators to receive their licenses in an effort to ease teacher shortages. Under the changes, retired teachers can receive a nonrenewable five-year license without additional training, and teachers with emergency one-year licenses will be able to renew without further testing.
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