Moves for Happier Classrooms -- THE TEACHERS EDITION -- February 16, 2017

The Teachers Edition

What Teachers Are Talking About This Week

February 16, 2017  |  Sign up to receive The Teachers Edition.

World Read Aloud

Today is World Read Aloud Day!

Across the world today, children, teens and adults are celebrating the power of words and taking action to show how important literacy is for everyone. The day encourages interactions with authors, sharing the love of reading with friends, and planned read aloud opportunities in schools, libraries, and at home.   LitWorld has created resources for teachers to use with students and everyone can share their experiences through social media using #WRAD17. 

Twitter chat

Join the #LoveTeaching Twitter Chat

You are invited to the #TeachersAtED twitter chat on Tuesday, February 21, at 7:00pm EST, to discuss why you #LoveTeaching in honor of the national campaign honoring the teaching profession. Learn more about #LoveTeaching and find out how to get involved in other ways at the official website

Use Interests to Promote Learning in Students with Autism

A study from New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development encourages teachers to see the intense interests of some students with autism as strengths rather than barriers. The study's co-author Kristie Patten Koenig says "if you see that interest as a strength, you're going to find a way to help them use that interest to demonstrate their knowledge and to work on areas of weakness." Adults with autism contributed to the study by sharing their experiences and perspectives (IasevoliEducation Week).

rural girl

Voices from Rural Students 

Students from remote areas reflect on why or why not to go to college. Laura Pappano talked with students and found they had various and complicated reasons for earning college degrees. "Just 29 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in rural areas are enrolled in college, compared with 47 percent of their urban peers" (Photo, GruberNew York Times). 

File This Under Great Ideas: Interdisciplinary Greenhouse

Math teachers, social studies teachers, and art teachers as well as community members all envision diverse benefits from a greenhouse project at Sanborn High School (Kingston, N.H.). The project is funded in part by an alumni group who supports school and community projects like this. "They want to support things that are out of the budget ... that get kids really interacting with their learning in some way," said Principal Brian Stack. The greenhouse is expected to be finished in 18 months and will facilitate learning by students in all kinds of classes (Golden, Eagle-Tribune). 

Sparking Student Interest in STEM

Seimans Science proj.

The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, launched Siemens STEM Day, a website that includes a new K-12 online STEM experience. In addition to more than 130 elementary and middle school activities, the site offers high school resources designed to support STEM curriculum and instruction with digital content. Siemens STEM Day is also hosting The Possibility Grant Sweepstakes, which offers schools the chance to win up to $10,000 to go toward STEM education and Teacher Support Center that provides educators 5-minute prep videos, live demonstrations of activities and downloadable one-sheets for best practice and how-to guides. 

preschool classroom

For the Love of Teaching 

To love teaching is to accept the good and the hard that comes along with it. 2012 Maryland Teacher of the Year, Josh Parker, pens a deeply personal account of his love for teaching. Parker’s support of students in and out of the classroom reminds us all that teachers are change-makers and improvements for education overall will be found in the expertise of the teachers (     

Male teacher with student

Moves for Teachers to Create Happier Classrooms

Three researchers who set off to discover what K–12 schools can learn from the best-run organizations in America have written a playbook that could help teachers and students excel in the classroom. They realize that schools are different from companies, and students are not teachers’ employees, but in both settings, the person in charge is seeking to create a happy climate that encourages and maximizes positive results. They found seven business practices that could help (Ascione, eSchool News).

De-stigmatizing Anger

Managing one’s emotions is a skill and one that is not addressed enough in schools. Specifically, students in middle school are in need of great support as they explore their identities and navigate their environments. Dru Tomlin provides specific strategies for helping young adolescents with addressing their anger, constructive outlets for their anger, and managing adult expectations, as well. De-escalating situations and de-stigmatizing anger is an investment in creating adults that better cope with their emotions (  

Resources to Use

  • Beware: Schools are Targets for Phishing. It can happen to any school – compromised data from a phishing attack. @IRSNews has the details on a new scam. 
  • There's An App for That. Peace in the Street Filmmaking can land in the hands of students and mentors with mobile phones. Learn more about how Peacemaker Corps Association helps make a significant change in the level of violence occurring in our local neighborhoods by empowering youth to realize that they can be peacemakers and encouraging law enforcement to become mentors. Download the app and check out the 2017 deadlines
  • Emperor Science Award. One hundred 10th and 11th grade winning students from across the country will be paired with a university-level mentoring scientist to collaborate on an important cancer research project. Whether virtually, or in a lab, students will be able to connect with their mentors to develop valuable research, organization and communication skills! Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

What We Heard from Educators This Week

Teachers seated

5. "Teaching is personal before it’s professional…we teach who we are, so we need to know who our students are before we can do anything else." Teacher, Minnesota

4. "I'm interested in learning about early learning standards in other states." Teacher, South Carolina

3. "It's one thing to talk high level, but how can we really make change happen?" Teacher, Louisiana

2. "If we want to create the society we want, we need to teach social and emotional skills to our students. These skills are the very foundation for student success." Teacher, Utah

1. "Schools need to have the ability to prioritize what they spend money on. It's not that they don't want to support programs." Administrator, Washington