These are a Few of My Favorite Teachers -- THE TEACHERS EDITION -- October 13, 2016

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

October 13, 2016  |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.

College Access and Affordability for First Generation Latino Students

With Hispanic Heritage Month 2016 coming to an end, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics is proud to provide ¡Gradúate!: A College Planning Guide to Success, a resource for students, families, and educators to help navigate the process of pursuing higher education. The guide provides information for high school students, descriptions of the financial aid process, and tips for the first semester of college. Educators and families may also find ¡Gradúate!: A Financial Aid Guide to Success helpful. 



Dr. Angela A. Palacios is a Spanish high school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. A daughter of immigrants, Dr. Palacios found her calling to teach through her higher education experience. On the Homeroom blog this week, she shares her advice for students interested in becoming a teacher and how she has found success through ganas and corazón.

Indigenous Language Instruction Now an Option

“When you say things to people in a native language, it touches their soul and their spirit,” says Aurelia Washington. Students at La Conner High School (La Conner, Wash.), have a unique opportunity to learn their tribal language, Lushootseed, right in their school. Washington, who is the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s cultural director, describes this initiative as a way to preserve language and culture. Classes are taught by local language experts and are open to tribal and non-tribal students (

Battle of the Student Food Trucks

Food truck

Students, sharpen your knives! Get ready, get set, cook! Culinary students from four high schools in the Austin, Texas area competed in the first food truck battle hosted at the Chalk Walk and Festival. All the trucks made sliders served on Hawaiian rolls, but the sliders ranged from jalapeno popper-stuffed meatball to Korean-style barbecue. Students from the winning truck received scholarships. (  

wait time

Engagement Strategies for Students and Teachers

Routines are important, but sometimes our routines turn into ruts. Jonathan Eckert describes how changing wait time, altering discussion protocols, and returning to our teaching roots can help energize the classroom for kids and teachers themselves. Eckert says, “Never lose your sense of humor -- it will make you less boring and is probably essential to maintaining your sanity,” (Eckert, Edutopia).

These are a Few of My Favorite Teachers

On World Teachers Day, the World Bank asked students from across the globe what they like about their favorite teachers. Not surprisingly, the results were consistent among respondents. Teachers that listen to the needs of their students, teachers that treat students with kindness, and teachers that inspire were all popular answers, but don't take my word for it, check out the video (


Looks and Sounds Like an Effective Teacher

There are many ways to describe the actions of an effective teacher, and fortunately, The Teaching Channel shares the University of Minnesota’s observable characteristics of effective teaching from their Methods of Evaluation resource. The 20 items provide specific actions that teachers can integrate into the classroom immediately. Take a look to see what actions you may embed into your classroom. 

global teacher survey

Teachers' Trust is a Must 

In a new global survey of what constitutes educator effectiveness, teachers, students, parents, school administrators and policymakers in 23 countries cited relationships between teachers and students as the most important factor. While the survey was fielded in 23 countries, respondents from the U.S. were united in their top choice: the ability to develop trusting, productive relationships. The survey explores how people answered by country, role, development level, and many more characteristics (McKnightPearson). 

art image scholastic

Celebrating Student Art

ED honored this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing award winners at its 13th annual celebration of the winners and opening of an exhibit that will be housed at ED until August 2017. This year, the Scholastic judges selected 2,500 medalists in grades 7 through 12 from almost 320,000 submissions across 29 artistic categories. The works convey themes, from love, death and identity to politics, peace and technology. The 2017 Scholastic Awards are now open. Guidelines and deadlines vary by region.

Making Allowances for Early Financial Literacy

Kids who learn about money early, tend to manage money better later. This is not surprising, but putting this common sense into practice requires planning. A cadre of 24 schools in Palm Beach, Fla., participated in My Classroom Economy, a program that simulates a micro-economy. Fourth- and fifth-grade students were “paid” for their work in the classroom and used their “money” to cover expenses, such as a desk – which they had to choose whether to rent or buy (Kadlec, Money).

Science and Literacy

At the Corner of Literacy and Science 

Learn about how relationships with formal and informal educators from schools, museums, and youth programs are focusing on the relationship of science and literacy. Ten funded projects are exploring how increasing the interconnectedness of literacy and science can support local projects. The National Science Teachers Association dives into two of the projects with the local affiliates of the National Writing Project and the members of the Association of Science-Technology Centers sharing how collaborative projects benefit students, teachers, and community. 

What's Your Innovation Index?

Bellwether Education’s new publication,  The U.S. Education Innovation Index: Prototype and Report describes the new education systems that are taking root in cities across the country, how innovation plays a pivotal role in improving schools for urban students, the importance of  measuring innovation, the index framework and methodology, and case scores and case studies on our four target cities -- Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; New Orleans; and San Francisco. Each city has a very different innovation profile that reflects its local and state contexts (Weeby, Robson, Mu). 

Resources to Use

What We Heard from Educators This Week

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5. "Secretary King’s willingness to speak with educators during the Title II roundtable affirms the importance of providing support to ensure all new teachers receive optimal training." Teacher, Montana

4. "There is no greater preparation for teachers than real time in classrooms." Instructional Coach, Utah

3. "We are in the middle of a teacher shortage crisis; however, we cannot sacrifice quality teacher preparation to simply fill open positions as quickly as possible." Teacher, Utah

2. "The nation is facing a serious teacher shortage, and better preparation would without a doubt help districts deal with this double-edged challenge of recruitment and retention." Teacher, Colorado

1. "If we invest in strengthening and lengthening our teacher prep programs, we will create life-long teachers." Teacher, California