Charting the Teaching Profession -- THE TEACHERS EDITION -- JANUARY 5, 2017

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

January 5, 2017 |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.

pay for success grants

Improving Outcomes through 

Pay for Success

To advance the understanding of how Pay for Success grants for preschool programs can be used to expand and improve the quality of preschool programs for low-income and disadvantaged preschoolers, ED announced more than $3 million in grant awards to eight government organizations. The Preschool Pay for Success feasibility pilots will support innovative funding strategies to expand preschool and improve educational outcomes for 3- and 4-year-olds. The grants will allow states, school districts and other local government agencies to explore whether Pay for Success is a viable financing mechanism for expanding and improving preschool in their communities.


Returning from winter break can be tough for teachers and students, but Teaching Ambassador Fellow Melody Arabo shares how she uses the start of a new calendar year for reflection and improvement in her classroom. Check out her blog to see her New Years classroom resolutions. 


growth mindset chart

Charting the Teaching Profession

For the past several years, Teaching Now has captured charts from their in-house research center and outside organizations—to visually capture the state of teaching. In 2016 they mainly focused on how teachers feel about certain policy issues; challenges teachers are facing right now; and what is going on in the classroom that policymakers and administrators need to know about. Checkout the ten categories and graphs to find out what teachers had to say (Will, Education Week/Teacher). 

Resolve to Join the next #TeachersAtED Twitter Chat

Looking to share ideas for the New Year in our profession? Join the #TeachersAtED chat on Tuesday, January 10 from 7-8 pm EST. Educators from around the nation will convene for an hour on Twitter to give and get, hear and be heard. Join us and use the hashtag #TeachersAtED to participate.

Teachers Twitter chat

What do the Hunger Games and Julius Caesar Have in Common?

the hunger games archery lesson

A lot, it turns out. And high school English teacher Brielle Rue (Anderson Preparatory Academy, Anderson, Ind.), helps her 10th-grade students experience those similarities through archery lessons, hand-to-hand combat instruction, and an interview competition. There are also more direct comparisons to be discovered related to themes, names, and culture. Rue explained her approach, saying “It’s just bringing what they read to action. It piques their interest. It cements ideas from the book” (Knight, Photos; Bibbs, The Herald Bulletin).


Fact Vs. Fiction

How can students tell the difference between real and fake news when teens admit they stay informed primarily through social media? Organizations like The News Literacy Project founded by a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter Alan C. Miller are helping teachers and students figure it out. Their latest offering, a digital curriculum called checkology virtual classroom, gives students the tools to be smarter consumers — not just of news, but of all information (Turner, NPREd). 

Read a Short Story from NaNoWriMo

As part of National Novel Writing Month (known as NaNoWriMo), last November Education Week invited educators and students to submit a short story to their contest. The winner has been selected. Marit Rogne, a fiscal analyst at the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee and former 8th grade language arts teacher wrote Twenty-Six, the story of "a young student using the power of writing to deal with loss for the first time" (StoltzfusEducation Week).

Inspiring 2016 Education Stories

ASL club kids

These education stories may not have led the evening news, but they inspire us by depicting small acts of kindness. If you want to look back at some of them -- like an Indiana school that donated unopened lunch food to charity, Illinois students who learned ASL to communicate with their deaf classmate or Virginia middle school students who collected socks for the homeless -- check out these 16 unforgettable acts of kindness at schools for 2016 (Johnson, the 74). 

A Glimpse Into a Last-Chance School

In the documentary, the Bad Kids, the audience gets a look into the hardships of children attending a school for at-risk students. The Atlantic writer, Emily Deruy, assumed the bleakness of these students' situations would be the focus, but was pleasantly surprised by the balance of small and large wins and the tough love needed to push students forward. Read about the development of this new documentary and watch the movie if you can.  

mindset man

High Fives from Growth Mindset Man Helps Students Thrive

Michael Wilson, Assistant Principal at West Woods Upper Elementary School (Farmington, Conn.) has found a way to implement and celebrate growth mindset in his school. A masked man known as Mindset Man walks around the school 'instilling positive attitudes, giving high-fives and teaching kids that it's okay to make mistakes," said Wilson (Gorman, Education World). Educators should read Wilson's full article about the school's use of feedback to engage students on getting smart and watch Mindset Man champion growth mindset on their video. 

Crying teenager

Making Students Cry

Students cry for many reasons throughout the school day, and teacher Alice Trosclair acknowledges sometimes she's the reason and sometimes there's a deeper reason. Reading through Trosclair's memories of students' tears, there's a good chancce that you've experienced something similar and she provides a great reminder of the impact teachers have on their students (Trosclair, The EducatorsRoom).  

indian education

Improvements to Indian Education

Almost 200 schools across the nation are administered by the federal Bureau of Indian Education and many are overshadowed by deteriorating facilities, low-academic performance, and other troubles. But recent efforts to prioritize support for these schools, funneling resources to improve physical infrastructure, lifting academic outcomes, and supporting cultural education gives local control to tribal communities. Donald Fixico of Arizona State University says changes over the past several decades have provided the foundation for the current priorities: “Native people are in control of the schools. They're in control of the curriculum, how it develops, what needs to be taught, supplying the instructors” (Jung, NPR). 

South Carolina Looks to Add Computer Science Standards

Aiming to fill anticipated gaps in computer science graduates, the South Carolina Department of Education has proposed standards requiring that all students from Kindergarten-8th grade learn the fundamentals of computer science, from password creation at lower grades to algorithms in the higher grades. According to computer science teacher Darwin Shorters (St. John’s High School, Johns Island, S.C.) this kind of education provides equitable access to opportunity for all students in South Carolina: “When you push an initiative like K-8 standards for everyone in public schools in South Carolina, yes you do start to balance things out”(Pan, The Post and Courier). 

Breaking the Cancer News


Fourth grade teacher, Justin Birckbichler, knew he would have to tell his students about his cancer, but he also recognized the opportunity he had to teach students about the sometimes taboo topic of men's health and to develop healthy interest in learning more about illnesses. Read about how he broke the news to his students and their responses (  

Resources to Use

What We Heard from Educators This Week

King with elementary students

5. "This year I would like to focus on exposing my students to global education, and making them into global citizens." Teacher, California

4. "I will cultivate green, healthy, and sustainable schools." Teacher, Pennsylvania

3. "I want to learn to manage the adverse childhood experiences so my Kindergartners can learn to read." Teacher, Montana

2. "My resolution is to surround myself with other educators who challenge me to grow in the profession." Teacher, Texas

1. "I will intentionally nurture joy in my classroom so that my teaching and our learning absolutely sing." Teacher, Indiana