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I am an ex-pat educator living in Japan and write about education, running, parenting, writing, and personal growth/travel/life/etc. Really, whatever is moving me at the movement makes it onto the page.

I am the Founder and Editor at Educate. If you are education-adjacent, please find me there and share your voice.

I also publish on my website at Jennifer Osborne Writes and can be found in all the usual places: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.

Without further ado, here are the topics:





Personal Growth


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Welcome to Insights from Educate, the 14th edition of a curated weekly newsletter focused on providing you the latest in education news, research, and professional learning.

As a new teacher, I made the rookie mistake of grading every task I assigned to my students. Grading student work became a form of compliance instead of a way to offer genuine feedback. I thought if I graded all of my students’ work, then they would stay on-task while learning in the process.

What I quickly learned, and what most veteran teachers know, is that spinning my wheels in grading purgatory was not…

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If there is ever a year that teachers need to be appreciated, it’s this one. If you are a parent that temporarily became a teacher in remote learning, then you deserve appreciation too.

It is often said that it takes a village to educate a child. At my daughters’ elementary school, there are several educators who help ensure my girls stay on-task and learning while feeling safe and supported at school. We wrote thank-you notes and sent gifts to not only their core teachers but also to the specialists and paraprofessionals who support them in their classes.

From navigating new…

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As a new teacher, I assigned a 10% participation grade to my students. I methodically scribbled check-marks onto my handy clipboard. The student answered a question, check. The student read a passage voluntarily, check. The student cast eyes downward and didn’t raise a hand at any point, no check.

It was subjective grading, to say the least. In Julie Mason’s article, “Should We Grade Participation?” at We Are Teachers, teachers provide input on the pros and cons of how they wield, or don’t wield, the controversial participation grade.

Proponents of participation grades believe they are important to measure classroom behavior…

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As vaccine efforts continue to ramp up, Sandra M. Chafoueleas, a school psychologist and Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, presents a different kind of a vaccine — a behavioral vaccine.

Chafoueleas notes that vaccines are intended to be preventive. It is a simple matter to receive a vaccine in early childhood to prevent more serious and possibly fatal diseases. As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes the latest inoculation, Chafoueleas is finding parallels between vaccines and the little things we can do as educators to support positive behaviors in the classroom.

I have written before on the importance…

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The EdSurge Podcast asks: “Why Is Teaching So Prone to Fads?”

Before I even dived in (or listened in), I was already nodding my head in agreement. Teaching is prone to fads. I would even dare say it is overly prone to fads. With a decade of teaching under my belt, I have certainly felt the cyclical winds of education blow through.

Although there are some mainstays, such as backward unit planning (Understanding by Design) and using standards to guide instruction, each year I walk into another professional learning session, I am reminded yet again of how much there is…

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I have been spending more of my leisure time reading instead of writing. After a couple of months of daily writing, I felt myself beginning to wear down from the heavy expectations of the habit.

Lately, I have been prioritizing daily reading in lieu of daily writing to implement more of a balance in my already busy family and work life.

Although it may seem like I am in a slump, I am actually enjoying tearing through my book collection at a rapid clip. …

Julia Brodsky, a contributor to Forbes, poses an interesting question in her article, “How Metaphors Shape Our Ideas About Education.” Brodsky interviews experienced educator and writer Julia Turchaninova, exploring the most common metaphors that are used to describe the complicated system that is education.

Turchaninova states, “metaphors help us visualize and convey our mental models (the intuitive frameworks we carry in our mind that help us interpret the world) in a succinct manner.”

Turchaninova begins optimistically using the oft-referred to “garden” metaphor first posed by John Amos Comenius, known as the father of modern education. In this metaphor, schools are…

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Advice runs rampant on the internet. Write every day. Create a writing routine. Write about what you love. Write for your audience.

Recently, I read an article from a well-known blogger that advises keeping writing simple. Sentences and paragraphs should be clear and concise. Shorten sentences. Create plenty of white space between paragraphs. Ensure ideas are crystal clear. Use bullets for takeaways.

As a reader who loves the eloquence of the written language, I felt vaguely affronted. I highly value the poetry of the written word, even when not in a poetic form.

Recently, while reading Dear Edward by Ann…

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Schools are beginning to re-open after a year of navigating a challenging educational landscape. Students and teachers have grappled with the steep learning curve of remote learning. Now, researchers, administrators, policymakers, and educators are wondering how this past year has changed the future of education. Will schools embrace hybrid learning and 1:1 device access going forward?

I am a Google Certified Educator. Having taught at international schools for most of my career, I have been surrounded by technology as a teaching tool for over a decade. …

Jennifer Osborne

Educator, M.S./M.Ed.⎪Expat ⎪Runner⎪Editor of Educate.⎪

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