Last Call for ED Fellows -- THE TEACHERS EDITION -- February 2, 2017

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

February 2, 2017  |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.

african american history month

Celebrating African American History Month

The Teachers Edition is featuring teaching resources to support this year's African American History Month theme, "The Crisis in Black Education,” which focuses on the crucial role of education in the history of African Americans. The themes are curated by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, which was founded by noted Black historian, Carter G. Woodson, the father of Negro History Week. These are just a few of the numerous resources teachers may find useful as they and their students learn about the lives of African-American leaders, the history behind the Emancipation Proclamation, the abolition of Jim Crow and other racially discriminatory laws, the Brown v. Board of Education case and more.

African American History Resources

Last Call to Apply for the ED School Ambassador Fellowship

The ED School Ambassador Fellowship will close on Monday, February 6, at 11:59 p.m. EST and is open to teachers, principals, counselors, librarians and other educators that have direct contact with students from traditional public, charter, virtual, military, tribal, and private schools and early childhood programs in urban, suburban, or rural settings across the United States. The School Ambassador Fellowship is designed to improve education for students by involving educators in the development and implementation of national education policy. To learn more about the application requirements, please visit the Fellowship website.  


English Teacher Helps Students Whip up Some Poetry
A careful appraisal of a mentor text called Whipstitches by Randi Ward, followed by a meander around the school in search of inspiration, led to students' own poetic concoctions. Teacher Karla Hilliard (Spring Mills High School, Berkeley, W. Va.) writes that students understand certain qualities of "whipstitch" authors: they use figurative language, write  concentrated poetry, write only one sentence. Their finished products are also presented creatively and invite a second look (Hilliard, MovingWriters).

Boy and mom

An Apartment of Their Own 

Many academic hurdles remain even after displaced students find a permanent home. This story about Traci Hansome and her son, Darius, is a hopeful one - though "about one in 10 students in New York City experienced homelessness last school year, according to data released in October by the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students" (Mark Keierleber, the 74). 

Bringing Outside News into the Classroom 

Angie Miller, 2011 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year, was an elementary school student the day Ronald Reagan was shot and remembers that not one teacher mentioned it. She reflects on the way current events affect students' behavior and achievement and looks at ways to integrate important current events in the classroom responsibly, offering 6 things teachers can do (Education Week Teacher).  

Small-Town School Celebrates Chinese New Year

Elkins, WV population 7,214, knows all about Chinese New Year and even celebrates it in the middle school there. Social studies teacher Richard Leitner describes the interdisciplinary approach the school takes to teaching many aspects of the event, culminating in homemade masks for the dragon parade. "We have to teach that there is diversity and cultures out there," Leitner said (MacVean, The Intermountain).


What's Fueling Education's Teacher Exodus?

Why are teachers leaving the profession? English and Language Arts teacher (Conn.) Keith Lambert dug into the question and came up with some analysis of his own. He looked at the data, but also focused on the "unquantifiable experience of an educator.. and the stories behind these numbers." He found out some of the reasons fueling teachers' desire to walk away from the classroom, and concludes that students need to be the center of every decision in every school (Education World).

girls in science class

Is Dick Smarter than Jane? 

By the age of 6, girls already doubt their intelligence. A recent study found that an estimated 75 percent more women would be working in STEM professions, if girls increased their confidence. Another study looked at 240 children aged 5-7 who were presented images of two males and two females and asked to describe their attributes, the younger ages in the group associated terms like brilliant and smart with their own gender. But girls in the older groups underwent a change, instead of picking women, they began to instead pick men (Yong, The Atlantic).

Apps Galore

Streamlining Parent Communication

Partnering with parents is a normal part of a teacher’s job, but it takes time and plenty of effort. In this article, EdTech Magazine takes a look at four phone applications that teachers can use to connect with families which may assist with quicker and more frequent communication. There are apps for both younger students and high school students, so teachers in all grades may find something that fits their needs (Bogardus Cortez).

Finnish Education Innovation Effort – HundrED

One of the ways Finland plans to celebrate the 100th year of its independence in 2017 will focus on how education al over the world must document innovation to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the global community. HundrED will be a system that educators across the world can utilize for free to learn about innovative approaches that work and tips for how to execute. The leader of this effort has a world tour planned for the roll-out, so keep an eye out for the official launch (Jack,  

Resources to Use

  • Just the Facts on Charter Schools. A report from the Center for Education Reform defines the charter concept and describes the history of the movement, while also refuting myths about the charter school landscape with data. The report also highlights the most important aspects of a strong charter school law.
  • PBS Digital Innovators 2017. The PBS Digital Innovator program is a professional development opportunity for highly engaged, changemaker pre-K-12 educators whose innovative use of technology and media create exciting learning experiences for their students. Interested applicants have until February 13, 2017 to apply.
  • ABCs of School Choice. A report from EdChoice provides a comprehensive guide to every school choice program in the country, including charter schools, online learning, school vouchers, education savings accounts, and tax credit scholarships. It outlines how each program works and whom it serves, but offers feedback on how it could be changed to help even more families in a particular state.

What We Heard from Educators This Week

Teachers talking

5. "Strong teacher-student relationships shape the way children think and act in school." Principal, New York

4. "Many of the skills our students will need to be world-changers will never be measured by tests." Principal, Missouri

3. "You're always a teacher even outside your classroom and school, especially in small towns." Teacher, Montana

2. "Spread the happiness and joy in your school and everywhere you go! It matters." Principal, Arkansas

1. "I always approach my students with unconditional love and the understanding that they are more than just getting good grades and mastering content." Teacher, New York