Posts tagged schools

Unlike New York, Some Districts Embrace Social Media – SchoolBook

According to the New York Department of Education’s Web site, students may access the Internet for limited educational purposes. The Department of Education grants access to the Internet for relevant learning activities both in school and at home, for career development, and communication between teachers and students.

Students may use social media networks only for educational and current school activities. Therefore, popular Web sites like Facebook and Tumblr are blocked in New York schools.

Web sites containing what is deemed inappropriate information are often monitored. The New York Department of Education will ban Web sites deemed unsuitable for students.

New York schools do not like the use of electronic devices like cell phones because officials view them as irrelevant to the academic mission of schools.

However, not all educational leaders in other school systems feel the same way. In New Jersey, Eric Sheninger, the principal at New Milford High School in Bergen County, has different views about the use of technology in school.


Washington Post: House votes to send child nutrition bill to President Obama

The Democratic-led House voted Thursday to send President Obama a bill that would enable more poor children to receive free meals at school, raise the nutritional quality of cafeteria fare, and reduce the junk food and sugary beverages sold in school vending machines.

The bill, which cleared the Senate in the summer, won House approval on a 264-157 vote. More than 15 Republicans broke party ranks to join Democrats in favor of the bill. A handful of Democrats were opposed.

The bill, a priority for the president and first lady Michelle Obama, would boost spending on child nutrition $4.5 billion over 10 years and raise federal reimbursements for school lunches more than the inflation rate for the first time since 1973. It also would require for the first time that free drinking water be available where meals are served.

Suite101: How to Co-Teach in an Inclusion Classroom

I do not think that teacher-education programs have your practice co-teaching and working with an aide enough.  I know I had a hard time finding balance at first, and was always worried about stepping on someone’s toes.   When I had an aide, I really had a difficult time delegating anything to her, so I pretty much did everything myself (well, it also didn’t help that my aide didn’t like children).

I think this is an excellent article for teachers to read.

"Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog."

— Mark Twain

One thing that I think needs to change in education

I have gone through the hiring process a number of times because my certification is Prek-3 (plus K-12 reading endorsement) and I live in a state that has many, many teachers with that certification and continues to have more graduate from its many colleges and universities every year.   I am not exaggerating when I say I have made into the final interview rounds for ONE open position when that district had over 2,000 applicants for that position.

Now, obviously sometimes I’ve gotten it, and sometimes I have not.  Currently, I am in a tutor position which does not come with the same hours, pay, and benefits as a classroom teacher.  So, this summer I have to decide whether to stick around or try moving out of state where there are more openings.

I am leaning towards moving out of state, even though I hate leaving my very large extended family most of which lives within 20 minutes of me here.

However, I have been told outside of the interview process more than once by members of the interview panel that because I have my masters and a few years of experience, I am higher on the pay scale.  That has been what knocked me out as a contender at least a few times.

I’m not claiming to be the best candidate they saw.  I do think I am an excellent teacher.  I know I have room for growth.  I also do not know any of the candidates that they selected.  

But, let’s assume the best candidates that schools have to choose from have their masters and some experience (and I’m not knocking first year teachers, I’ve known some very dedicated first year teachers… this is just a hypothetical to discuss a problem I see). If I am being knocked out because of my price tag and that alone, are students getting the best staff available?   

What is a way of structuring the hiring process and pay scale so that teachers are not knocked out of the running because of how much they cost?  Don’t we want teachers who have their masters (since it is required eventually by my state) and successful experience in our classrooms?

Miss Brave Teaches NYC: 10 Things I Wish a Teacher Had Told Me

2. If you can put off until tomorrow what you planned on doing today…you might want to think about it.
I realize this sounds an awful lot like procrastination, which to most teachers is a dirty, dirty word.  But as a new teacher, you’re going to be staying in your classroom until nightfall anyway.  Your classroom is going to become a time-sucking vacuum of dry erase markers and despair.  (That was poetic, no?)  So if you really, really wanted to plan out your entire week’s worth of math lessons, but it’s after 5 pm and you’ve got at least an inkling of what you’re going to do tomorrow — go home.  You’ll take care of tomorrow tomorrow; tonight, you have to take care of you.

3. You can only plan what you can plan.
You can’t build a house without bricks.  So if you’re itching to start planning your word work period but your workbooks haven’t come in yet, don’t make yourself do the same work twice.  If you’re a brand-new teacher, it will kill you that you have empty boxes in your plan book.  Trust me, you will fill them with something.  Probably forty-seven somethings that you won’t finish.  Which brings me to…

4. There is no such thing as empty time.
When I first started in my own classroom, I used to panic about how I was going to fill all the hours in the day.  Then I quickly learned that at no point in your teaching career, ever, will you look around the classroom and say, “Well, kids, we’re all done for the day!  Let’s knock off for a bit!”  First of all, if you have elementary schoolers, everything will take seven times as long as you think it will (except, of course, the activities you actually want to drag out).  And you can always ask the kids to read.  Or write.  Or practice their math facts.  Or…you get the idea.  If you’re relatively innovative and have a good head on your shoulders, you will always come up with something for your students to do.  That said…

5. Be prepared for anything.  Really: anything.
Preps get canceled.  Field trips get canceled.  Assemblies get canceled.  Push-in and pull-out teachers cancel.  You know who never cancels?  Your naughtiest student, that’s who.  It always pays to have extra activities on hand — or at least in the back of your mind — that you can pull out when the copy machine breaks and you can’t hand out your social studies worksheet.  Because idle students are restless students, and restless students are troublesome students.

6. Improvise.
I used to love it when my math teacher’s guide instructed me to display something on my overhead projector. Because guess who didn’t have an overhead projector?  Or when I taught reading AIS and wanted to construct the same chart in all five of my classes, but desperately needed to save paper.  That’s when I discovered that contact paper + dry erase markers = reusable heaven.  Work with what you have, and as Tim Gunn would say: “Make it work!”

Click through to read the entire list.  I agree with everything on it!