Teacher Recruitment -There's an App for That --THE TEACHERS EDITION -- November 3, 2016

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

November 3, 2016  |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.

National Principals Month Celebration

principal facebook live

During the month of October, schools, districts and states celebrated the incredible job principals have running a school. The month included the announcement of the 2017 National Principal of the Year, Thomas Dodd (Lesher Middle School, Fort Collins, Colo.). It also included a Facebook Live event with Secretary King and New Leader principals (pictured at left) discussing and celebrating school leaders. ED Staff also took the opportunity to shadow principals to learn what a day looks like as the school leader. 



Principal Ambassador Fellow, Director of Secondary School Leadership for Montgomery County and recently the principal of Ridgeview Middle School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Dr. Monifa McKnight, shares the drive and hard work it takes to run a school. She also shares what she believes all principals need to be successful

App store logo

Teacher Recruitment -There's an App for That

There is growing excitement that technology is gaining ground in the teacher-to-school matching sector. It’s like Tinder for teachers and schools looking for a good long-term relationship. Several new Apps have entered the market, including Selected, MyEDmatch, and TeacherMatch, and more are likely on the way (Gopal, the74).  

largest pumpkin contest winner

Teacher’s Giant Gourd Wins Big Prize

Third-grade teacher (Washington East Olympia Elementary School, Little Rock, Wash.) Cindy Tobeck is this year’s winner of the 43rd Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.  Her science background gave her the information she needed to plant the right seed, flawlessly weed her garden and grow the enormous specimen. Her 1,910-pound pumpkin named Orange Crush netted $6 per pound, amounting to $11,460 (Johnson, the 74).  

podcasts for kids

Delivering Content through the Ears: Podcasts for Kids

Playing podcasts is a quick and fun way to share information with kids in the classroom. Jennifer Gonzalez in her blog Cult of Pedagogy lists eight podcasts that can energize and educate students on topics from science to ethics and book studies.  Gonzalez suggests using podcasts as a part of a blended learning approach to teaching (Gonzalez, Cult of Pedagogy).

Leveraging Diverse Abilities to Teach

Down Syndrome

Gaza and Argentina have great examples of how teachers are constantly breaking glass ceilings. Both countries have utilized the expertise of teachers with Down syndrome to teach in their schools. The teachers instill the traditional values and educational lessons students need, but they also provide a big picture lesson. Students are exposed to a leader that exemplifies that different doesn't mean bad, and disabilities aren't necessarily blockades to dreams (Mic, Facebook.com).

A Plea for More Vocational Education


Forbes reporter, Nicholas Wyman, makes the argument for increasing the opportunities for vocational education options for students, not slashing them as so many districts have done. Wyman notes that our turn toward college-for- all does not fit the needs of all our students or our economy.    

How Principal Pipelines Work 

Wallace Foundation's Principal Pipeline Initiative reported that after four years, six urban school districts have made significant progress in building pipelines to develop effective school principals. Their new study, Building a Stronger Principalship: The Principal Pipeline Initiative in Action, noted direct benefits to novice school principals by raising the quality of their training, hiring, evaluations, mentoring and other support during their crucial first years on the job. Wallace also released its own Perspective entitled "Building Principal Pipelines: A Job That Urban Districts Can Do," which includes considerations for both districts and states interested in building pipelines. 

guidance counselor

Ambassador Fellows Program Expands to Counselors, Leaders in Schools

The next round of School Ambassador Fellows applications, starting with the 2017-18 cohort of Fellows, will broaden to include other school personnel that work with students and other educators. Secretary King announced last week that the School Ambassador Fellowship will continue to target teachers and principals, but will also be open to school counselors, assistant principals, and others in the school setting. Fellows have informed wide-ranging policies and have been instrumental in expanding conversations in the field that inform the guidance the Department issues, as well impact ED’s outreach, tools, and products. Including other school personnel will bring important perspectives to discussions of federal policy and programs. ED plans to open the application process for next year later this month.

Are Teachers of Color Too Political?

New York City teacher Vivett Dukes speaks her truth in this blog post about the importance of the voices of teachers of color, and the pushback they experience when sharing  their reality. She says, “Teachers of color are ‘great’ — as long as we are not too ‘political.’” Dukes commits to continuing the conversation in order to better serve all students (Dukes, New York School Talk).

Teaching Research: Ultimate Solution to Election Confusion

american flag

This year’s election season has many teachers scratching their heads over how best to help students sort through the endless news, fact-checkers, and other sources of information. One teacher-librarian in New Hampshire has the answer: “Teaching our students to research well is the most critical skill we can help nurture in order to move the national dialogue to one that is civil and based on reality,” says Angie Miller. In fact, she says, doing so is our civic duty as teachers (Miller, The Contrarian Librarian).

Master Schedule of Change

What happens if a principal decides students should be the agents of their own learning, and the schedule must shift accordingly? Principal Jerry Smith (Luella High SchoolAtlantaGa.) can tell you: it’s a new kind of education. But first, the master schedule had to change to include rotations and constant formative assessment. “‘The rotational model is meant to give kids some choice and to let them be in different settings, because we all know we perform differently in different settings,’” said Smith. Innovative approaches like this are important models for schools looking to serve students in new ways (SchwartzKQED).

Resources to Use

What We Heard from Educators This Week

John King

5. “My joy in teaching is student growth and ownership of learning.” Teacher, Arizona

4. “My joy in being a principal is having a direct influence over the vision and direction of a school and then seeing that vision become reality.” Principal, Delaware

3. “I enjoy helping my kids develop their own perspective about complex ideas and problems.” Teacher, Texas

2. “My joy in teaching is connections between me and the kids and between them and art and life and art and, and, and…” Teacher, Montana

1. “My joy in teaching is the moment in the year when you realize that you love your students more than you do yourself, and your mutual respect and vulnerability makes you a family.” Teacher, Washington, D.C.