“School” begins at 9 a.m. at our house. Well, OK maybe 10. Honestly, it starts after I’ve had at least two cups of coffee and I’ve managed to filter through all my work emails and respond to those that are urgent. Those two cups of coffee are important, because often there is an impending battle of wills with my second grader, Everlee, over doing her schoolwork. She enjoys the Zoom videos with her teacher and classmates, although they seem at times chaotic with all the students wanting to socialize instead of listening to instruction.
Will education survive? Are the dark forces of COVID-19 scaling the walls of our current education system, preparing to lay waste to the castle and destroy all that is good? Will in-place education remain our dominant system, or will traditional education go the way of the Dodo?
Relevant Tags: COVID - 19
I wasn’t surprised that we got some great stories about educators when we were soliciting submissions for Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Best Advice I Ever Heard. We all have those favorite teachers who changed our lives, and we often quote them for years.
Relevant Tags: COLUMN - SOUP’S ON!
Children eating Tide Pods. Children bring guns to school to kill. Turn on the news or look on your favorite social media site and you are bombarded with news of our children doing some of the most ridiculous and scary things you can imagine. What has changed?
Relevant Tags: COLUMN
We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” When it comes to state policies that affect the teacher workforce, we need to make sure we see both.
Relevant Tags: K-12 AWARENESS
Social emotional learning (SEL) and trauma informed practices are commonly thought of as two separate initiatives. However, these two practices actually have many conceptual and practical similarities. In addition, SEL and trauma informed practices each have unique strengths and when brought together, they can provide a truly effective spectrum of support for students. Trauma informed practices provide the predictable, safe and regulating context where specific social-emotional skills and academic instruction can be delivered effectively and efficiently. As such, we think it is efficient and effective to consider SEL and trauma informed practices as “better together”.
Relevant Tags: SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING
A Tale of Two Schools
Though 400 miles apart, Neal Middle School in Durham, NC and Liberty Point Elementary in Union City, GA, experienced similar struggles with student performance and available technology for teacher observation and feedback.
There have been several “aha!” moments in my life as a science teacher that have really changed the way I teach.
One such moment was when my seventh-grade science students were observing pond water under the microscopes. They brought in many samples of water from roadside drainage ditches, neighborhood streams, and the puddle that formed under water fountain by the athletic field.
Relevant Tags: STEM
I thought it might be interesting to do an article about questioning using a series of questions to help teachers to raise the intellectual rigor in their classrooms.
Every semester I speak with prospective and current students who wonder about the cost of college, and I frequently hear questions about why it is necessary to pay thousands of dollars for an education that they can get online or at the library for free. Each time I encounter these questions, legitimate as they are, I feel compelled to revisit the scene in the movie Good Will Hunting wherein the titular character, Will, berates a pompous bar patron for being unoriginal and, even more appalling, spending thousands of dollars on an education he could have just as easily received at his local library.
Relevant Tags: COLLEGE
One Friday morning in early January I arrived at my university office expecting to smell coffee brewing and faculty chatting as they trickled in for a faculty meeting arranged by a program coordinator for the master’s program. Instead, the corridors were empty, and the only offices occupied were mine and the executive aides. I learned that due to impending weather for faculty who lived over an hour away from campus, faculty decided to move the meeting to an online gathering via Zoom and to use the collaborative platform Microsoft Teams. Our university had just purchased an institutional subscription to Zoom and recently moved to Microsoft Outlook which also gave faculty access to Microsoft Teams.
Relevant Tags: COLLEGE SPOTLIGHT
Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John G. Roberts, Jr., closed out the 2010s and welcomed the 2020s with powerful words in his 2019 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary:
Relevant Tags: CIVICS
A good IAQ strategy can improve learning environments while reducing energy consumption and lowering building operating costs.
Air cleaning equipment manufacturers have been busy in the PK-12 education sector in the last decade. They have seen indoor air quality (IAQ) initiatives on the rise, many having been spurred by the desire to lower operating costs, to reduce absenteeism, or the need to correct specific airborne issues.
Relevant Tags: FACILITIES
Motion helps our brains to be more alert. When muscle fibers are activated, blood circulation increases. The brain receives more oxygen and neuroplastic messengers are released that support nerve cell growth and synaptic switching. Students’ brains are more alert, and they are emotionally more engaged – conditions which have a positive impact on school performance.
School safety is a fragmented space. Districts across the country are searching for the right combination of security solutions, training, advocacy and buy-in from their administrations. They need a roadmap, resources, and the answer to two basic questions: what should we do and how do we prioritize?
Greek physician Hippocrates suggested there is a correlation between our diet, our health, and our ability to heal ourselves based upon our diet. Now, Hippocrates was more than likely referring to our physical bodies in this quote, but does this same philosophy apply also to the healing of our minds? Is there a direct parallel in what we eat and mental health illnesses such as anxiety, chronic depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder? Can a change in diet change our minds — literally? Some medical professionals believe so, others not so much.
Relevant Tags: HEALTH & WELLNESS
It has been over 20 years since the mass shooting occurred at Columbine High School. For many this event stands out as the beginning of a period in history that brought the growing crisis surrounding student mental health in schools to the forefront. Numerous school-based shootings and attacks have occurred since then and the response to such tragedies has been to improve school safety primarily through crisis intervention, lockdown drills and improving structural safety. Addressing safety in this way, while necessary, only targets the question “what do you do when?” But it does little to address the growing mental health concerns that our children face on a daily basis. We know what to do when a threat is made or when an intruder shows up. We have precautions in place to block an intruder’s entry and we have crisis procedures in place to address threats of self harm or harm to others but what is being done to address the mental health needs of our students before they rise to the level of an identified crisis?
Burnout, talent drain, years of education only to buy your own school supplies. Parents who don’t care and parents who care too much. Hormonal kids, social media, bullying, child suicide. Where does it stop? Is a teacher an educator-or a health and wellness provider? Who provides self-care for teachers?
Are you in the know? About educational field trips at the North Carolina Zoo that is. The Zoo offers a variety of educational activities for school and homeschool groups. To start, did you know that North Carolina teachers can bring their students to the Zoo for free, twice between early September to early June? Out-of-state schools receive a discount on their admission. Please make sure to register on our website (www.NCZoo.org) at least 15 days in advance of your group’s visit.
Relevant Tags: TRAVEL
The Fredericksburg region, consisting of the city of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County and Stafford County, is conveniently located between Richmond and Washington, D.C. and offers a rich history with a multitude of opportunities for students to interact with the historical events and remarkable people who helped form our country. Here are some the region’s museums and tourists’ favorite attractions:
On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white male, a move that would spark the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott represented the first large-scale U.S. demonstration against segregation, and Mrs. Parks became frequently referred to as the mother of the civil rights movement.
Today, Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum stands on the spot of Mrs. Parks’ historic arrest. Located on the University’s Montgomery Campus, the museum opened on Dec. 1, 2000, with the mission of preserving and interpreting the story and lasting legacy of Mrs. Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott for future generations.
Chattanooga, Tenn. (March 4, 2020) — Does your child love to doodle images of flowers and trees? Has she shown a strong interest in math? Is he a natural problem-solver?
For the first time ever, the Tennessee Aquarium is offering eight specialty summer camps to satisfy—and stimulate—the curiosity of budding scientists, engineers and artists age 2-14.
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