Teacher Prep Ideas We Should Steal from Abroad -- THE TEACHERS EDITION - July 28, 2016

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

July 28, 2016  |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.

ED Releases Guidance on Supporting Homeless Students

More than 1 million homeless children and youths are enrolled in public schools, and that number continues to grow. Two-thirds of formerly homeless youths surveyed said that homelessness had a significant impact on their education, making it hard to stay and do well in school. Yesterday, ED released guidance that is intended to serve as a tool to help states and districts better serve homeless children and youth

Homeless Teen Graduates Two Years Early — with 4.0 GPA


Destyni Tyree has nearly done it all. She graduated high school after only two years. She has a scholarship to college. She was the prom queen. She has a 4.0 grade point average. All that, while living in a Washington D.C. homeless shelter. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $21,000 for Tyree who will study secondary education and hopes to become a charter school principal (SegravesNews4). 



Connecticut teacher Matt Presser, who served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow with the U.S. Department of Education this year, helped more than 30 teachers and principals raise their voices to share important perspectives on ED's blog. In this entry on our Homeroom blog, he reflects on what we have heard and why their voices matter. 

MVP Credits School for Helping 'Become the Person I Am'


The most valuable player in the recent NBA Finals credits his schooling in part for making him who he is. Curry attended Montessori schools and says they "gave me a lot of confidence at a young age," says Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors in a video released by the American Montessori Society. "Montessori has helped me become the person I am today." Curry's mom, Sonya, is the founder and director of a Montessori school in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Eighth Grader's Critique of 'White Privilege' Goes Viral


Atlanta eighth grader Royce Mann did pretty well for himself the first time he performed slam poetry. In fact, he's racked up almost 1 million views on YouTube in just a few weeks. His poem takes on the issue of white privilege and encourages his fellow "middle- or upper- class white boys" to take action. He says: "When I was born, I had a success story already written for me. You were given a pen with no paper. ... Everyone should have the privileges I have."

King: We Must Educate, Not Incarcerate

In an op-ed published in Education Week, Education Secretary John King registers his disappointment with the fact that "our society is increasing spending on locking people up faster than it is on educating them." He cites statistics about how people who are well-educated earn substantially more, pay more in taxes, are less likely to be unemployed, live longer, are healthier, and are more likely to vote to show how we ought to "invest in all our people and their capacity to contribute to society." 

New Study Says Stress is Contagious in the Classroom

When teachers are stressed, so are their students, according to a new study, reported by Time.com. The study analyzed the cortisol levels of students and teachers and found that students had higher levels of cortisol if their teachers reported higher burnout levels. "It is possible that spending most of the school day in interaction with a stressed and burned-out teacher is taxing for students and can affect their physiological stress profile" (Sifferlin).

Nearly 250 Teacher Projects Have Gotten Boosts at Summits

teach to lead

Including last weekend's Minneapolis Teach to Lead summit, 902 participants have worked on 243 teacher-led projects across eight summits. And new supporting organizations are joining the cause, with 128 supporters signed on. In Minneapolis, teachers worked on projects ranging from increasing play-based learning in early childhood education to helping older students make transitions into and out of high school. Read about projects that are making a difference for both teachers and students. 

Help! There's a Pokemon in My Classroom!


You've heard about Pokemon Go, the augmented reality video game that is leading players to look for Pikachus around every corner. Many teachers have taken to the blogosphere to share ideas for how to harness student enthusiasm around the video game in the classroom. California English teacher David Theriault shares 14 reasons why Pokemon Go reflects the future of learning. Others have suggested the game can be a springboard into other educational games or a clever ruse to get students exploring historical places (Toppo, USA Today). 

4 Teacher-Training Ideas That We Should Steal from Abroad

There are concrete steps we can take to retain more early-career teachers, according to a couple of recent articles in the education newsmagazine Hechinger Report. One suggests that other countries are on the right track when they require elementary teachers to specialize in content areas and focus on content knowledge to ensure they have a deep understanding of both content and learning. Structured professional learning communities and induction programs are also recommended, as is raising the selectivity standards for future educators. 

The High Price of Back to School Shopping

school spending chart

Family spending on back-to school items is expected to reach $75.8 billion, up from last year’s $68 billion, according to the National Retail Federation

The K-12 side of the spending includes an average of $630.36 on clothing, electronics and school supplies including notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks and lunchboxes. Savvy consumers are comparing prices, shopping early and taking advantage of free shipping on online websites. Teachers are looking at back-to-school cheat sheets for where to find the best prices (Lill, Simplemost.com).

teacher on television

Why Is TV Picking On Teachers?

Earlier portrayals of teachers on television were respectful and caring. But things have gone downhill since, showing teachers in an unflattering light. Revisit a list of memorable shows and see what's playing now that tries to be funny but lands a disrespectful punch, showing teachers as burned out and immature (Butler, Washington Post). 

Resources to Use

What We Heard from Educators This Week

tea with teachers photo of King

5. "I’m trying to instill a love of learning and a sense of curiosity" (Teacher, Connecticut).
4. "The time we made the most space for teacher voice is the time we got closest to the right answer” (Administrator, Minnesota).
3. "Staff meetings are often where good ideas go to die" (Teacher, Minnesota). 
2. "What professional development do teachers need? Access, time, and space to talk to each other" (Teacher, Maryland).
1. "You don't always have to have the right answers. Just the right heart” (Teacher, Minnesota).