Teachers increasingly use home visits to connect with students’ families

The two high school teachers knocked at Apartment 512 of a Crystal City high-rise and waited to see the inside of Alvaro Nunez Alvarez’s life. Up to that point, the teachers knew this about 14-year-old Alvaro: He was quiet, reports the Washington Post. He had recently arrived from somewhere in Latin America. He was smart and ambitious. They were there to fill in the blanks—to conduct a kind of parent-teacher conference on the family’s turf. There’s no better way, many educators say, to turn distant or unresponsive parents into allies and communicators actively involved in the education of their children. But that means venturing far beyond the classroom, penetrating the private spaces that students disappear to when the afternoon school bell rings…

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Wisconsin teacher retirements double after cuts to benefits and collective bargaining

Superintendents, experts worry about the loss of veteran teacher knowledge.

When students return Thursday for the first day of school across Wisconsin, many familiar faces will be gone, as teachers chose retirement over coming back in the wake of a new law that forces them to pay more for benefits while taking away most of their collective bargaining rights.

Documents obtained by the Associated Press under the state’s open records law show that about twice as many public school teachers decided to hang it up in the first half of this year as in each of the past two full years, part of a mass exit of public employees.

Their departures came before the new law took effect, changes pushed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature that led to weeks of protests at the Capitol.…Read More