Even on a "Busy Day" for "Busy People," reading is a wonderful way to expand children's worlds and to bond children and caregivers, and one that can start at birth. It also is a crucial way to help children gain the language and literacy skills needed for a good start in school.
Teachers should video themselves teaching for many reasons, but here are 3 of the most powerful. Sadly, because of hostile school climates, many teachers will never be able to use the process for everything it's worth.
"David Gamberg is the superintendent of the Greenport and Southold districts on Long Island’s east end. He has long worried that the politically hostile environment for teachers is contributing to the shortage we are seeing today. “I suspect that a range of issues conspire to exacerbate the problem. Certainly the ongoing, nationwide attack on teachers and unions is near or at the very top of the list of factors driving people away.”
What Gamberg suspects has evidence. There are frequent stories about public school teachers who are leaving the profession or taking early retirement because of the toll of working in a ‘test and punish’ environment. A November NEA survey reported that nearly 50% of all teachers are considering leaving due to standardized testing. Of equal concern is how frequently educators are cautioning young adults about entering the profession."
Sometimes students are stuck through no real fault of their own - family situations or access to education may have caused them to slip behind. However, it's just good old-fashioned stubbornness, with a dash of insecurity, that results in underachievement. That's where Einstein comes in.
For a number of reasons, it appears that fewer of our best and brightest young people are becoming teachers. Enrollment in teacher prep programs — both short-term ones like Teach for America and the more traditional college education majors — are on the decline. TFA has experienced a 21 percent decline in applications since 2013; federal Title II data on teacher prep programs shows a 31 percent decline in enrollment since 2008; and enrollment in graduate education programs has decreased by about 3 percent annually since 2008. These application and enrollment drops have been well documented by the likes of the New York Times, NPR and Education Week.
A new study by the advocacy group TNTP finds that PD activities don’t seem to factor into why some teachers get better while others don’t.
"We've known for a long time that a lot of PD is not actually effective at helping teachers improve their craft, but there have not been changes in this sector of the marketplace," said Heather C. Hill, a professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. "Part of it is that we don't have good ways of tracking what works and doesn't work, so we don't point to things that work or don't work, and teachers keep signing up for the same things.”
I don't talk about my school much to my friends who work elsewhere in the district because it frustrates them. They want what I have, a great environment. Schools like mine can happen anywhere if principals begin to accept the huge role they play in setting the tone for a great culture.
Let’s remember that the real work of writing workshop is writing.
As you begin your school year, I urge you to make room for a large chunk of writing time for every student every day. And I do mean actually writing. Not reading mentor texts, not talking to a writing partner, not uploading accompanying pictures to a blog. Yes, those are all important parts of the writing process, and yes, students need time to do those things also. Most importantly, though, students need time to write. Every single day.
As an instructional coach, I will be cognizant of ‘actual time spent writing’ in our classrooms. I suggest collecting data on this throughout the year. Choose a student at random and spend an entire writing workshop just observing that student. Have a timer handy and record how much time that student spent actually writing on any given day. Or, if you have an instructional coach in your building, ask your coach to collect the data for you. Keep in mind that writers do often stop to think, to reread, to envision. Writing doesn’t always look like pencils scratching across paper or fingers clicking on keys. It does, however, look very different from sharpening a pencil or talking to a writing partner.
Considerable evidence shows that overwork is not just neutral — it hurts us and the companies we work for. Numerous studies by Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and her colleagues (as well as other studies) have found that overwork and the resulting stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, including impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease. Of course, those are bad on their own. But they’re also terrible for a company’s bottom line, showing up as absenteeism, turnover, and rising health insurance costs. Even the Scroogiest of employers, who cared nothing for his employees’ well-being, should find strong evidence here that there are real, balance-sheet costs incurred when employees log crazy hours.
Even if you enjoy your job and work long hours voluntarily, you’re simply more likely to make mistakes when you’re tired — and most of us tire more easily than we think we do. Only 1-3% of the population can sleep five or six hours a night without suffering some performance drop-off. Moreover, for every 100 people who think they’re a member of this sleepless elite, only five actually are. The research on the performance-destroying effects of sleeplessness alone should make everyone see the folly of the all-nighter.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Depletion" has a major impact on principal's performance and in principal turnover.
A passing acquaintance with the notion of mindset—though an excellent start—doesn’t fully convey the richness of Dweck’s idea, however. The influence of mindset shows up in students’ thinking and behavior in so many ways, one of which I want to focus on today. That is the effect of mindset on how students handle feedback.
Understanding and acting on feedback is absolutely critical to the process of mastering academic knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, although parents and teachers may givefeedback to students, that doesn’t necessarily mean that students get it—that is, get it in the sense of really listening to it, striving to understand it, and applying it to their subsequent efforts.
Grouping students is easy; creating effective student groups is less so.
The following infographic from Mia MacMeekin seeks to provide some ideas to help make group work easier in your classroom. The strength of this particular graphic is in the range of the ideas. The first tip refers teachers to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal development, which frames student ability in terms of a range: what they can do unassisted, what they can do with the support of a More Knowledgeable Other (MKO), and what they cannot do even with support. This is different for each student, and understanding these ranges for students can help inform grouping decisions, whether you’re using a peer instruction model, ability grouping, or another approach.
A new report from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching reviews what we know about student motivation.
""Data clearly suggests that it's not just academic ability that determines motivation, but also the capacities and character traits like resilience, self-confidence and tenacity that help students stay the course as the emotional path grows rougher and the learning curve steeper.
Students with "growth mindsets," by contrast, believe that with effort, their ability and performance can improve.
8. "Mindsets apply not only to academics -- to the attitudes that students have about their intellectual abilities -- they also apply to what students believe is their rightful place in school."
The first day of school is an opportunity. It's a chance to let students know what they can expect from you and your class. Will the class be teacher centered or student centered? Will they work in isolation or in collaborative groups? Will they be challenged or not? Unfortunately, many teachers
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