How to build relationships with instructional coaches

Teaching at any level can often be a solitary occupation. Even with a classroom full of students, teachers often work in isolation from peers. Teachers rarely receive instruction on how to work with co-teachers or teacher assistants in their pre-service teacher education programs. Therefore, it is often difficult or awkward for teachers to ask for help or effectively collaborate with others. Instructors often don’t know how to accept help from the instructional coaches, even when they would like to.

Educational practice is shifting from isolating practice to collaborative efforts, and creating healthy and productive team dynamics is often a challenge. Instructional coaches can positively impact these relationships, but the trust must be in place for it to occur. Even in systems where working with a coach is expected, building those initial relationships can be challenging.

Instructional coaches, instructional designers, and even assigned co-teachers often struggle to establish working relationships with individual classroom teachers. Librarians regularly complain that they spend more time clearing jams from printers instead of assisting students with reference questions. However, clearing that paper jam can help the student see the librarian as a resource. In the same way, the instructional designer might start to build a relationship by helping an instructor properly format hanging indents for a research paper. One instructional coach started building a positive relationship by making copies for classroom teacher. Just like the proverbial salesman who had to get a foot in the door, sometimes the first step is a small one.…Read More

School Superintendents of Alabama and Curriculum Associates Recognize Students and Educators with $12,000 in Scholarships

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., May 11, 2022—Curriculum Associates recently sponsored the 2022 School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA) scholarship program to help recognize and support students and educators throughout the state. The 12 scholarship recipients—eight high school seniors who intend to pursue a degree in education from one of Alabama’s public colleges or universities as well as four educators who plan to pursue a degree in school administration from one of the state’s public colleges or universities—will each receive $1,000.

“One of SSA’s top priorities is to promote high-quality public education throughout our state. This has become even more critical as we face a teacher shortage crisis not only in Alabama but across our nation,” said SSA Executive Director Ryan Hollingsworth. “It is our hope and belief that these scholarships will aid in the process of rebuilding our workforce by assisting these qualified students and educational leaders in achieving their career goals. These recipients have demonstrated a commitment to quality in our schools and we, alongside Curriculum Associates, are proud to be able to assist them as they pursue their degrees.”

Selected by superintendents who were chosen as district finalists for the SSA/Schneider Electric Superintendent of the Year Award, this year’s SSA Student Scholarship recipients are:…Read More

New resources target STEM via aerospace education

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Estes Industries, and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) have joined together to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through a new, multi-year initiative that will bring research-based aerospace education to thousands of classrooms nationwide.

Launched in April, Exploration Generation (ExGen) will provide K-12 educators with free lesson plans and curriculum storylines to help guide students as they explore various concepts in aerospace, engineering, and rocketry. High-quality professional learning experiences will also be developed to support teachers’ use of the ExGen instructional materials.

Even as the U.S. aerospace and defense industry leads the world in innovation, it faces challenges with the workforce: a skills gap among STEM-literate students entering the industry, a need for greater participation by women and ethnic minorities, and a growing knowledge gap from early retirements.

Based on the 2021 AIAA State of the Industry Report, nearly 50 percent of respondents believe an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion by aerospace industry employers will help increase the pipeline of skilled, competent aerospace professionals.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Estes and NSTA to inspire a new space age generation. Our shared commitment to strengthening the aerospace profession is driving us to inspire the future workforce,” said Dan Dumbacher, executive director, AIAA. “We all recognize the need for a diverse and robust STEM next generation who use what they learn today to innovate and invent tomorrow. These new resources will help even more educators join us in shaping the future of aerospace.”…Read More

New Education Policy Roadmap Aims to Ensure High School Graduates in Every State are ‘Future-Ready’

CHICAGO – Parents and educators agree that a key goal of K-12 education is to ensure that students are “future-ready”—with the knowledge, skills, and drive to navigate their careers and lives. Americans look to the education system to equip young people to succeed in this environment, but traditional approaches have often fallen short with the rapidly changing future of work. Employers and the evidence point to a need for social and emotional skills within career and workforce education. So, how can policymakers, educators, business leaders, and community leaders come together to nourish students’ real-world competencies and help them succeed after graduation on their own terms?

To address this need, Civic, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the Coalition for Career Development (CCD) Center have released a new report featuring a state policy roadmap for K-12 education that prepares students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. This groundbreaking report reframes what it means for students to be “future-ready” by integrating essential social and emotional learning (SEL) with career and workforce development (CWD). 

Access the full report: Educating Future-Ready Students: Bridging Social and Emotional Learning and Career and Workforce Development …Read More

How mixed reality glasses can help struggling readers

Imagine you are a struggling reader. You dread reading…in any class. You feel like a failure, and you are starting to hate school. One day, your science teacher brings in a Microsoft HoloLens headset. You put on the mixed reality glasses and pick up the science article that the teacher wants you to read. You begrudgingly begin reading.

After only a few sentences you are lost because you don’t know what “light energy” means. Because your eyes stopped on that phrase, an animation jumps off the page through the glasses demonstrating an example of the concept with a voiceover explanation. Several moments later you read the word “photosynthesis” and another animation appears with an audio explanation. Suddenly, reading in science class takes on a whole new emotion…you are feeling success and are even interested in reading more about science.

Characteristics of struggling readers…Read More

Riverside Insights and Educator Impact Partner to Improve Student Well-being and Enrich School Cultures

ITASCA, Ill. – May 6, 2022 – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced a new partnership with Educator Impact, an international,  Australian-based Ed Tech company dedicated to enriching school cultures through student and staff well-being “pulse checks.”  Educator Impact’s Pulse product, on its easy-to-use platform, provides key insights to help educational leaders regularly gauge the well-being of students and staff, inform SEL strategies and school wellness programs, and enhance overall school health. 

Unlike other observational well-being tools, ei Pulse quickly gathers and amplifies student and teacher voices and empowers educators with direct feedback to help personalize connections, shape classroom climates, and strengthen school communities. 

“Riverside Insights’ partnership with Educator Impact further illustrates our commitment to support the whole child and their ‘Limitless Learning’ by empowering them to unlock their full potential” said CEO, Rajib Roy, Riverside Insights. “We know that students learn best when they feel safe, supported, and loved. These contextual student well-being insights, paired with student ability and achievement measures, empower teachers with a 360-degree view of students so they can serve their classroom’s needs. Riverside Insights will now be able to support educators with a more comprehensive set of insights to accelerate student learning.” …Read More

Popular Ebooks and Audiobooks Keep Students Reading All Summer Long

CLEVELAND – May 6, 2022 As schools seek innovative new strategies to increase reading and learning, teachers are using digital tools inside and outside the classroom. In response, OverDrive Education is offering the most expansive Sora Sweet Reads summer reading program yet, May 4–August 17. In its ninth year, this free program is designed to help educators and students beat the “summer slide” with popular digital reading materials through the award-winning Sora student reading app. Currently, over 53,000 schools around the world are opting into the program. 

Sora Sweet Reads provides free access to a variety of popular digital books during the next 100+ days to encourage student reading during the rest of the school year and summer break. From May 4 through August 17, students from participating schools worldwide can enjoy free, 24/7 access through the Sora reading app to 50 juvenile and young adult ebooks, audiobooks and Read-Alongs from their school, the largest amount ever offered through the program. The Sora Sweet Reads titles are provided by 21 publishers and divided into elementary, middle and high school sections. Ebook titles include 10 Blind Dates, Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Ironheart, and Ark Angel. Audiobook titles include Flannery and Game Changer. See the  full list

“When our students began using Sora last spring, they were excited to check out ebooks and we wondered whether that excitement would carry over into the summer months,” said Alexandra Brown, Educational Technology Specialist at National Heritage Academies in Michigan. “When we participated in Sora Sweet Reads our students were so enthusiastic about the selection of books that our checkouts surpassed all our expectations. Sora Sweet Reads gave our students access to ‘always available’ books ensuring there was no waiting list and students could read favorites at the same time as their friends.” …Read More