For COVID catch-up, don’t remediate–accelerate

One of the biggest changes educators will see in 2022 is the shift to accelerated learning. Educators have been experimenting with accelerated learning for some time, but in the last year or so, as districts looked for new strategies to address pandemic-related learning losses, organizations like The New Teacher Project have released reports on the effectiveness of the approach.

The phrase got picked up by the United States Department of Education and used in much of the department’s materials related to ESSER funds and stimulus money flowing to schools to address learning disruptions. As a result, if you look at almost any state’s recovery plan, you’ll find the phrase “accelerated learning.”

And for good reason, too. It’s an elegantly simple change, it appears to be quite effective, and it’s a perfect fit for the particular challenge we find ourselves in as we try to bring students back up to speed after a couple of difficult years.

What is accelerated learning?…Read More

New Award Celebrates Standout Teacher Leaders from Schools Around the Country

An educator from each state to be recognized with the Teacher Leader Impact Award for their notable achievements and impact on others to create positive lasting change

To recognize the outstanding achievements of teacher leaders nationwide, Edthena is now accepting nominations for its new Teacher Leader Impact Award. District-level administrators are encouraged to nominate a teacher leader who is making a measurable impact on others and creating positive lasting change.

“The Teacher Leader Impact Award is all about celebrating teacher leaders who day-in and day-out are making such a difference with their students and their fellow educators,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “Given the particular challenges of this school year, this is the perfect time to recognize their hard work, innovation, and remarkable accomplishments.”…Read More

New Award Celebrates Standout Teacher Leaders from Schools Around the Country

An educator from each state to be recognized with the Teacher Leader Impact Award for their notable achievements and impact on others to create positive lasting change

To recognize the outstanding achievements of teacher leaders nationwide, Edthena is now accepting nominations for its new Teacher Leader Impact Award. District-level administrators are encouraged to nominate a teacher leader who is making a measurable impact on others and creating positive lasting change.

“The Teacher Leader Impact Award is all about celebrating teacher leaders who day-in and day-out are making such a difference with their students and their fellow educators,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “Given the particular challenges of this school year, this is the perfect time to recognize their hard work, innovation, and remarkable accomplishments.”…Read More

Gale In Context: For Educators Launches New Teacher Learning Center 

Gale, a Cengage company, is helping educators enhance skills for virtual lesson planning and online teaching. The company has launched Gale In Context: For Educators’ new Learning Center, an on-demand professional learning hub for finding, organizing and learning how to teach – virtually or in-person – using the content created within For Educators. Now teachers can take control of their own professional learning and find support as they work to use For Educators to drive student learning outcomes.

Studies show that lack of training and ongoing support around using technology for classroom instruction is a major pain point for educators, who increasingly rely on tools for teaching in remote, in-person or hybrid learning environments.[i] With the Learning Center, educators get on-demand training that provides immediate access to support and guidance, anytime, anywhere.

“In the last nine months, we have repeatedly seen educators given access to teaching tools without the support they need or the time for formal training,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. “The For Educators Learning Center enables teachers to take the lead, with on-demand training built right into their workflow to get up and running fast.”…Read More

How we turned around our new teacher retention

Demographics:

Gaston County Schools, located in North Carolina, is the 10th-largest district in the state. We have a very diverse, economically challenged population in our school system, with roughly 65 percent of our student population eligible for free and reduced lunch.

Biggest challenge:

Three years ago, when I started as executive director for high school instruction, our state of student achievement was average. That was not good enough for us. Like districts all over North Carolina, we were also facing teacher shortages. We typically see 40 new teachers in our high schools each year. These include teachers new to the practice as well as those new to our district.

We had pockets of excellence happening inside of classrooms, but only a handful of students benefiting from them. We aimed to have 100 percent of our classrooms doing great things for children. The challenge was how to get 700 teachers to buy into that.…Read More

How I found more satisfaction in teaching

Early in my career, I got upset and disappointed when students made mistakes in class. I couldn’t understand why they weren’t understanding when I was teaching everything so clearly and putting so much time into scaffolding my lessons. As a new teacher, I worked hard to deliver concise lessons at the front of the room, and I became resentful when students asked questions or did not understand.

My attitude was exacerbated by the fact that there are some students who process information easily and master new ideas quickly, while other students struggle to grasp the same material. I assumed many children were not listening, not taking good notes, or not studying. My attitude made me annoyed when helping students one on one, because I was continually repeating what I had just taught at the front of the room.

This attitude created a very negative atmosphere in my classroom. In my first few years as a math teacher, students cried often in my class. I chalked this up to my being strict and having high expectations. Eventually, my poor attitude toward the learning process became pervasive and manifested itself into anger. I often considered leaving the profession.…Read More

How I found more satisfaction in teaching

Early in my career, I got upset and disappointed when students made mistakes in class. I couldn’t understand why they weren’t understanding when I was teaching everything so clearly and putting so much time into scaffolding my lessons. As a new teacher, I worked hard to deliver concise lessons at the front of the room, and I became resentful when students asked questions or did not understand.

My attitude was exacerbated by the fact that there are some students who process information easily and master new ideas quickly, while other students struggle to grasp the same material. I assumed many children were not listening, not taking good notes, or not studying. My attitude made me annoyed when helping students one on one, because I was continually repeating what I had just taught at the front of the room.

This attitude created a very negative atmosphere in my classroom. In my first few years as a math teacher, students cried often in my class. I chalked this up to my being strict and having high expectations. Eventually, my poor attitude toward the learning process became pervasive and manifested itself into anger. I often considered leaving the profession.…Read More

AR for ELL: ‘I had students screaming and jumping up and down’

Almost 10 percent of students in US public schools are English language learners (ELLs), and that percentage is growing every year. One of the biggest challenges today’s teachers face is helping ELLs develop the literacy skills they need to keep pace with their peers. An essential first step in that process is getting their attention in class.

Here, two educators discuss how they use the engaging powers of the emerging 3D technology, augmented reality (AR), to do just that.

Hugo E. Gomez: Using AR to Engage Kindergarteners…Read More

ClassFlow launches new teacher-parent communication app

ClassFlow Moments, a new free app for teacher-parent communication, is the latest addition to Promethean’s collaborative learning software ClassFlow. With the ClassFlow Moments app, teachers can easily share classroom assignments, announcements, and awards with parents so they can proactively engage with their students’ learning. ClassFlow Moments is free for parents.

“Most parents can identify with asking their children about school and receiving a one-word answer,” said Vincent Young, the Chief Marketing Officer at Promethean. “ClassFlow Moments offers a new way for teachers to connect parents to their students’ classroom activities. As teachers assign homework or reward students with award badges in ClassFlow, they can easily alert parents at the same time. The parent-student conversation after school then shifts to ‘Tell me how you earned a badge for excellent class participation today,’ or ‘What ideas interest you for your science project?’ With the ClassFlow Moments app, students receive additional support from their family to reinforce their education.”

According to a report from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL), “Programs and interventions that engage families in supporting their children’s learning at home are linked to higher student achievement.” Using the ClassFlow Moments app, teachers can bring parents and guardians into the learning process by sharing classroom content directly from ClassFlow – the hub where they direct classroom activities, deliver lessons, launch quizzes and interactive polls, and send out homework assignments.…Read More

The 7 questions every new teacher should be able to answer

Teaching for the 21st century looks a lot different. Here’s what admins — and teachers — need to know for job interviews and beyond

Not long ago, the leadership team of a school district I was working with asked me: “If you were going to hire a new teacher, what would you ask in the interview?” They were concerned that hiring teachers with the right skills now can save a district a lot of money in staff development later. Moreover, they wanted to hire teachers who would be open minded about changes to come. The problem is to balance the reality of today’s pressure for test scores and required teacher evaluation with the changes that can be anticipated during the next two decades.

As I wrote in my last column, the traditional skill we valued in teachers when paper was the dominant media—the ability to transfer knowledge of a subject—is becoming less important. Increasingly, a teacher’s knowledge can be found online and in various learning styles. As the internet drives down the value of a teacher’s knowledge, their ability to personalize learning with resources from around the world will increase. We will have more data generated about our students as we build out our online communities. We will need teachers who understand how to make meaning of this data to personalize learning for every student from a vast digital library of learning resources. Also of increasing value is their ability to teach students to be self-disciplined about how “to learn to learn.” Rather than losing overall value, teachers will be more important than ever.

The big change is not adding technology to the current design of the classroom, but changing the culture of teaching and learning and fundamentally changing the job descriptions of teachers and learners.…Read More