Welcome to Insights from Educate, a curated weekly newsletter of professional learning and inspiration from authentic voices in education.
You did it! The end of the school year is nigh.
The school year for my children started remotely and moved to brick-and-mortar in September. I understand how fortunate we were to get back into buildings sooner than most.
Many schools ended with a short stint of face-to-face teaching while some schools remained remote for the entire year.
It was a year of adjustments — to technology, to remote teaching styles, to connecting with students via a camera and microphone.
My newsfeed has been filled to the brim with updates regarding initiatives to ban critical race theory in schools across the U.S. Adrian Florida at NPR notes that at least six Republican legislatures have advanced, or are planning to advance, bills that will effectively end the race conversation with our students.
Critical race theory is “an academic approach that examines how race and racism function in law and society.” Conservatives are deeming the teaching of critical race theory as divisive and unpatriotic.
As a former high school English teacher, I taught To Kill a Mockingbird and other supposedly controversial texts…
I am sure many of you were just as appalled as I was when this video was released of a Florida principal paddling a young child, while her mother secretly filmed it no less.
Using a paddle to discipline a student is referred to as corporal punishment and is surprisingly legal in 19 states. F. Chris Curran, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Florida, writes:
To be honest, this seems a little low. My husband and I are both teachers, and when our children were young, we struggled to pay for daycare while we worked. So much so that I resigned from my teaching position to be a stay-at-home mom as it didn’t make sense to spend my entire salary on daycare and preschool.
Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, writes: “As a scholar who studies government support…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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. …