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By Blanca E. Vega The article “ ‘When I Would Hurt’: Undocumented Students’ Responses to Obstacles Faced During the College-Choice Process,” by Vega, B.E., Kenny Nienhusser, H., & Carquin-Hamichand, M.S., is in the current edition of The Educational Forum and is available for free during the month of August 2022 . “I asked my mom, ‘I need this number because I need to apply for financial aid.’ She said, “We don’t have that number.” . . . So I spoke to the counselor and I told her that I don’t have that number. That’s when she told me that because I don’t have that number, it means that I’m here illegally. I don’t apply for financial aid. I don’t ...
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By Christopher J. Jackson Congratulations! You’ve made it to your first year as a teacher and your first classroom, your new “home away from home.” A teacher’s perception of their classroom says a lot about how their first year at the school could go. You can set the tone of your classroom from Day One by establishing an atmosphere for each student, no matter their cultural background, race, or ethnicity. This article provides five tips for making your classroom your arena. Feel the Classroom Vibes When you first walk into your classroom, I challenge you to stop, close your eyes, and imagine your room filled with students. Your students come ...
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By Jeremy D. Visone The author’s article (coauthored with Courtney K. Mason and Keri MacLean), “ Teacher Leadership for Equity: Leveraging a Taxonomy for Improved School Experiences,” appears in the July 2022 issue of the Kappa Delta Pi Record. Get free access to the article through the month of August. Imagine you are a student with the following daily school experience. Because your bus picks you up at 5:30 a.m. and your stop is two blocks from your house, you wake up much earlier than most of your classmates. You have a 40-minute bus ride from the urban center where you live to your school in a suburban community. If your bus driver avoids significant ...
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By Micki M. Caskey and Karen Weller Swanson Being completely present means much more in the last 2 years due to COVID-19. After the difficulty of our first full year since the pandemic, it is time to take a breath and reflect. Teaching nudges us to think and rethink our practice, sometimes by choice and sometimes by circumstance. As we remember the challenge to bring our best selves into the classroom, bell hooks (2003) wrote that good teaching comes from whole teachers: “[T]he classroom is one of the most dynamic work settings precisely because we are given such a short amount of time to do so much. To perform with excellence and grace teachers must ...
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Garden-based learning is an exciting movement in the U.S. education system that has many benefits for students. School gardens have been shown to boost physical activity, increase fruit and vegetable consumption, improve student attitudes toward school, decrease problematic behaviors or those behaviors associated with attention deficit disorder, and effectively engage students of diverse backgrounds and learning styles (Berezowitz et al., 2015; Blair, 2009; Lautenschlager & Smith, 2007; Meinen et al., 2012). Further, garden-based learning can create memorable, hands-on learning opportunities that integrate gardening with math, science, social studies, and ...
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By Isabel Quiñones I distinctly remember learning about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a high school history class. I also learned about it as a Girls’ Leadership Worldwide participant through the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, the historic site that had been her home. Although I had all this information presented to me during my formal education, I never learned the details of this declaration and how it is being implemented throughout the modern world. By attending the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Learning, Training, and Practice Sessions, I gained some information and tangible resources to utilize with my students! ...
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Let’s be clear. Learning to teach is a career-long process, and building a successful teaching career in a rapidly changing society means devoting deliberate attention to your own professional development (PD) while keeping your students’ needs foremost in mind. Teaching is about preparing our students for success in the future. Looking to the future, many workplace demands will likely involve considerable knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), so preparing students effectively is critical. Therefore, even if STEM is not your strong suit, you owe it to your students to prepare to be a proactive STEM teacher regardless of your grade ...
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I remember my first days in the classroom with my little humans, thinking, “I LOVE teaching!” They were sweet and captivated by my voice and the cool things I created for their learning. Within days, however, it was clear that the “honeymoon” was over. Behaviors escalated. All kinds of them. Every one of which interfered with my teaching—and their learning. I wish someone would have taken me aside and said, “Ron, here are the essential things you need to know to manage your students.” Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It took years to refine my classroom management plan. As you begin, I recommend the classic text Classroom Management That Works: Research-Based ...
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Poet Maya Angelou once said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” (2014). As a middle or high school teacher, sticking to a simple, well-considered routine can keep you from becoming overwhelmed and over-stressed during your first year of teaching. Follow these simple tips to minimize busywork, bring balance to your life, and focus on the priorities in your work. Let’s make that first year one of thriving, not just surviving! Plan on weekends, grade during the week. This is a routine I established during student teaching out of necessity. I was teaching ...
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My personal code of ethics began long before my professional life but has directly influenced how I govern myself in both areas. In life and in education, equality means that everyone gets the same thing, whereas equity means that everyone gets what they need to be successful. It is important to understand which is appropriate and when. As a long-time educator and life-long learner, my code of ethics is centered upon building relationships and conducting my personal and professional actions and interactions with equity in mind. (Wagle, 2017) I come from a long line of educators. My maternal grandmother taught kindergarten for 35 years in a small ...
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Creating an inviting classroom environment can be an exciting yet stressful challenge for new teachers. Based upon our experiences as classroom teachers and teacher mentors, we have discovered eight practical suggestions for creating an inviting classroom environment on a limited budget. New teachers understand the importance of creating a well-managed and welcoming classroom. They recognize that an effective classroom management plan is “the primary determinant of how well students will learn” (Wong et al., 2012). For new teachers, however, budgets may be thin, and they may wonder how to create an inviting classroom environment on such a limited budget. Consider ...
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Education is an integral component of students’ lives, dedicated to instilling the respective skills needed to read proficiently, think critically, and write with clarity, all of which are essential with today’s complex and rigorous academic standards. The saying, “a mile of a roadway will take you a mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere,” accurately depicts how students gain literacy. Through their experiences and attention to their surroundings, literacy begins to form. Through educators’ instructional approaches, students begin to acquire academic and cultural fluency. Proficient reading and writing are two skills that not only prepare students ...
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Having been in the field of education in a variety of capacities since 2004, I often get asked for the most important advice I can give to new teachers. Folks often expect me to answer something akin to having strong lesson plans, good behavior management, excellent parental relations, and so on. However, for me, all of this comes secondary to the most important relationship you will have in the school, the one with the folks who set the tone for your school: administrators. This duet will make or break your experience as a teacher. What follows are some tips picked up over the years to help strengthen this bond. Dress well. If you want to be taken ...
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At 7:15 on a windy Tuesday morning, our school secretary informs me that two of our school’s five paraprofessionals are absent without substitutes. My jaw slackens. I thank her and stride down the hall toward two other special education teachers who have commenced the near-daily process of shifting instructional schedules to compensate for staff absences. One colleague will assign independent work to her reading groups so that she can support a fifth grader with feeding and toileting throughout the day. I will cancel my social-skills groups and skip my lunch break to provide behavior-regulation support for my second-grade students. My other colleague previously ...
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Today’s bloggers are Renee R. Moran, an Associate Professor of literacy education at East Tennessee State University; Natalia A. Ward, an Assistant Professor of literacy and second language education at East Tennessee State University; Jason D. DeHart, an Assistant Professor of reading education at Appalachian State University; Shuling Yang, an Assistant Professor of literacy education at East Tennessee State University; and Monica T. Billen, an Associate Professor at California State University, Fresno. Their article, “Flipping the Script of ‘Official Knowledge’ Through Multimodal Composition,” appears in the April 2022 issue of the Kappa Delta Pi ...
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The classroom is a dynamic learning “cave” where teachers embrace their own styles to establish an engaging learning environment for all students. For many, this includes having a co-teacher to manage the classroom and deliver effective instruction. For us, developing an effective co-teaching relationship started by designing a dragon. “Ferny the Dragon,” a home-grown fantasy character, sparked a class theme that continues to serve as the catalyst of our co-teaching relationship, inspire how we manage the classroom, and engage students in learning. For more than 3 years, we’ve worked carefully on strategies and styles for co-teaching. “Studies show that [this] ...
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As a new teacher, you may enter the field fully certified and prepared for your job, but no amount of classroom or even clinical experience fully prepares you for your first real teaching assignment. The first year in the classroom is a unique extension of your teacher preparation program, and you will need support as you develop your time management and instructional skills. Navigating data analysis, setting goals, learning both individually and collaboratively, implementing new learning experiences, and monitoring and adjusting best practices can be overwhelming. You must be fully embraced and supported in order to become part of your first professional learning ...
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A few years ago, I transitioned from teaching elementary students to being in a middle school setting. I had to overcome many challenges with this move; however, the most difficult task proved to be with discipline. Going from a classroom full of eager students who, for the most part, wanted to act appropriately, to seven classes full of preadolescent middle school students, made me reflect on my teaching style and personal desire to see my students flourish in all aspects of life. I knew I had some work to do. One of my students had a bad reputation among all teachers and administration. She was unruly, would dismiss any demands to act appropriately, and did ...
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Let’s explore two of my favorite edtech tools, Lumio and Canva EDU, and see how they can be combined to create educational magic. I’ll explain what each tool does first. Canva EDU Back in 2014, when I first started teaching, I was looking for a poster-creation tool online. A colleague recommended Canva to me. You can do so much here. As I dug deeper into Canva that semester, I discovered it contains a lot of features including social media posts, flyers, and infographics. You can create a free educator account at Canva if you’re a practicing teacher. It’s amazing. Here’s what you can do with Canva for EDU: Assignments A class with classwork Plan ...
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