Curriculum Mistakes to Avoid
I’ve always loved twice-baked potatoes, especially when they’re covered with cheese. But I hate twice-made policy mistakes. When a board establishes flawed policies, children end up being taught less well than they should. What’s distinctive about these six policy mistakes is that history emphatically proves all of them are misguided.
Growing Your Own Teachers
Finding qualified teachers was an uphill battle for many years in Belen, N.M., which is considered a high-need district by the state. But five years ago, a solution appeared in the form of a Transition to Teaching grant. Today, 28 highly qualified teachers in Belen have taken this route.
Are You Open to Alternative Certification Teachers?
Despite low pay and long, often thankless hours in the classroom and at home preparing on evenings, weekends and vacations, many accomplished professionals decide to switch careers and become teachers. And many are doing so with a passion that is both refreshing and exciting for the profession.
Making Minority Staff Feel Welcome
When new teachers make decisions about where they want to teach, salary often drives their final choice. But as they continue in their careers, professional development and how the rest of the staff contribute to a positive school environment become important. Simply stated, it’s the little things that count.
Teacher Retention Vital to Teacher Quality
It takes new teachers three to seven years to hit their stride and become quality instructional leaders. With one-third of all novice teachers leaving the profession in three years and more than 40 percent leaving within five, some students rarely get the benefit of having an experienced teacher.
How Can We Increase Teacher Quality?
We’ve all heard about the “Lake Wobegon Effect”—our habit of declaring all our children “above average.” An even bigger whopper lurks out there: it’s the system many districts use to rate teachers “superior,” “distinguished,” or some other meaningless superlative, and it’s about as reality-based as that mythic Minnesota idyll.
Support Your Library and Raise Student Achievement
Since the early 1950s, school libraries have evolved from having a primary focus on books to providing a rich selection of digital resources. Problems arise, though, when there is a lack of educated staff to continue to oversee and enhance the growth of these libraries.
The Importance of Civics Education
Overall, schools have seen a decades-long decline in civics and government courses and students’ general interest in democratic values. That decline has not only left students less informed about the basic workings of government, but also has led to less participation in government and their communities.
Helping High School Freshmen Succeed
“What made you stick it out when others just like you quit?” We posed this question to individual students who were successful despite the odds. In every case, the students had an important connection to school in some way -- and a smooth freshman year. We developed a single program to address both factors: a ninth-grade seminar.
E-rate Tips for School Boards
E-rate allows rural and low-income school districts and libraries to purchase Internet access and other telecommunications services at discounted rates. However, to truly get all the benefits from the program, you need a long-term strategy. Use your district’s technology plan as the basis for your E-rate funding requests.