Nine Young Adult Novels that Teach Gratitude, Grit, and a Growth Mindset -- THE TEACHERS EDITION -- August 11, 2016

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

August 11, 2016  |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.


Let's Read Where You Are

What do Tatyana Ali, the NASA Hubble Telescope and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh have in common? They were all part of Read Where You Are. Reading over the summer makes a difference during the school year. When students keeping reading, they keep learning, and are more prepared when the new school year begins. That's why ED makes an annual call to action which encourages more reading time out of school, especially over the summer months, as a part of the My Brother's Keeper Initiative. On Friday, #readwhereyouare was trending for six hours, reached 28 million people and was seen 61 million times! In addition, Secretary King and Interior Secretary Jewell read to YMCA science campers at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, following the annual Let's Read, Let's Move event at the U.S. National Arboretum where VIPs included Secretary King, White House Executive Director of Let’s Move! Deb Eschmeyer, White House Chief Horticulturist Jim Adams, Chef Carla Hall from ABC’s “The Chew" and more. 

virtual reality glasses

Glimpses of Mars in 3D and Other Amazing Sights

Many immersive programs are available to schools through the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. Available at no cost to schools, the program visits schools around the world and provides everything needed to run virtual reality (VR) expeditions for the day, including cellphones and Google Cardboard, which are affordable VR glasses. The program also includes a short training to guide teachers in leading a virtual trip for their own students. Learn more about how to get started and what it's like to participate in a day of VR adventures (Mak, ISTE).

Children With Autism May Benefit from Multilingualism 

Should multilingual families speak only one language at home to their children with autism or other developmental delays? Old school advice to stick to one language is being challenged with new research showing potential benefits of bilingualism (GriswoldScientific American; Illustration Jun Cen).


growth mindset

Gratitude, Grit, and a Growth Mindsets

Here are blogger Robert Ward's suggestions for nine young adult novels that teach courage, perseverance and tenacity in the face of adversity. You'll want to read (or re-read) them yourself.  

teach to lead summit

Good Idea? Teacher Leadership Summit Wants You

Teach to Lead will be hosting the next Teacher Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on November 3-4th, 2016. The summit will focus on teacher preparation programs, leveraging teacher leadership to strengthen teacher prep programs. Teachers and institutions of higher education (IHEs) are welcome to apply. IHEs must identify and collaborate with alumni teachers to develop a proposal which addresses a current area of growth or problem of practice within their teacher preparation program. To attend, you must submit your idea ( by September 6th, 2016. The Teach to Lead team will notify you if your idea is accepted for attendance by September 23rd.

black lives matter

White Teacher Is Woke

Teacher Leader in Residence at ED Maddie Fennell questions her own beliefs about racism, leads a conversation at the National Network of State Teachers of the Year urging them to have a position statement on equity and vows to "use my White privilege to speak to those who need to be challenged by someone who looks like them in order to see the truth of institutional racism" in this Education Post blog.

Denver ED student

Lack of Diversity Concerns Spur Change

Responding to black educators over how they and their students are treated, Denver Public Schools commissioned a study to understand the experiences of African-American teachers in a school district that acknowledges a history of racism. The report about working conditions substantiates concerns and provides an action plan around solutions (Wright, Chalkbeat). Loundon County (Va.) similarly responded to concerns about their lack of teachers of color by analyzing hiring data and reviewing it with their local board – the result is a new diversity leader in their district office tasked with finding solutions. 

Zika Virus Response Planning

zika virus

As the school year begins, administrators may have questions on CDC’s guidance Zika Virus Response Planning: Interim Guidance for District and School Administrators in the Continental United States and Hawaii,  and how schools can prepare for potential cases of Zika. Dr. Eric Dziuban, a Chief Medical Officer at CDC and lead for their Children’s Health Team of Zika Virus Response, will go over Zika basics; responsibilities of school officials; planning for possible Zika transmission in K-12 schools and more.

On Friday, August 19 from 1:30 – 2:30 PM EST you may click this URL to join the webinar: join Audio Only by phone: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll). Webinar ID: 494 704 100.

Ready to Teach as Never Before

During the month of August, the Center for Teaching Quality community will continue to host a virtual book club to discuss topics from The Novice Advantage: Fearless Practice for Every Teacher by Jonathan Eckert (TAF 2008), which include defining the novice mindset, learning from mistakes, sharing expertise, and going public with practice. The book explores the concept of teachers thinking of themselves as novices who are constantly growing and learning instead of experts complacent with their practice.

Resources to Use

What We Heard from Educators This Week

Colorado discussion

5. “As school leaders, even when we try to do so much, there is still so much that is out of our control…You can give your kids virtual reality goggles, but when they go home, they can’t turn on the light to do their homework” (Principal, Maryland).

4.“It’s one thing to feel you do have efficacy, but there is an initial barrier of people feeling they should have efficacy” (Teacher, South Carolina).

3. “We need to have education leaders saying that racism is taught and learned - therefore it can be untaught and unlearned” (Teacher, Washington, DC).

2.“It’s amazing to me what [the Dreamers] in my district are capable of … If they had access, they are going to be contributing, successful members of our community, all of these things. If they don’t, they have nowhere to go” (Superintendent, Washington). 

1. “Please remember that teachers at low-performing schools aren’t worse than teachers at high-performing schools” (Teacher, Connecticut).