Stop Bullying..Here’s How

This is a report from a conference

The most important skills that teachers have to communicate empathy and to share knowledge of this issue sadly might be intuitive for good teachers. But wait , there is help.

The Department of Education and other government agencies came together to serve schools, communities and children in a conference entitled StopBullying.gov.

The conference was research rich. It shared positive examples that work. Out children are deep in the uses of all kind of technology. Sadly , few people who teach reach out to gather the resources to help students establish a good digital footprint and understanding of the path to take in using technology in learning and home environments.iho

How many teachers or administrators know how to guide students, community and individual parents to best uses? We were given a ton of resources to explore, examine and to be aware of. You can find them here. Today I want to focus on Bullying. The resources here will be something to share in your educational community.

 

Bullying is no rite of passage.

An image of four schoolchildren wearing backpacks.

HRSA launched the first federal anti-bullying campaign in 2004.
Today, all 50 states have adopted anti-bullying policies or regulations.

The consequences of bullying extend into adulthood and can be more severe than physical violence and other forms of child mistreatment, Acting HRSA Administrator Jim Macrae said in a recent C-SPAN broadcast(at the conference)

Not only are bullied young people more likely to suffer low self-esteem, depression and loneliness, but entire classrooms, schools and communities can be affected — and children who bully others also are likely to experience emotional and mental health problems themselves, Macrae said.

“In particular, we know that some youth are disproportionately impacted by bullying: children with special health care needs, who may have cognitive challenges such as autism, as well as people in the LGBT community,” Macrae said at an August 12 Bullying Prevention Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Education. “About one third of kids who are LGBT are still being bullied in school.”

A pre-conference initiative on August 11th at the White House was a focus on the problems in bullying that South Asia and students who are identified as Sikh, Muslim and Arab suffer.

Do you have definitions of these students and how do people identify them? Students shared their stories with us.

What kind of a community initiative do you have in your school and neighborhood?

Here is what we were offered to share with you.

Prevention at School

A teacher talks to a class of teens.Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts. There are a number of things school staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying.

Getting Started

Assess school prevention and intervention efforts around student behavior, including substance use and violence. You may be able to build upon them or integrate bullying prevention strategies. Many programs help address the same protective and risk factors that bullying programs do.

Assess Bullying in Your School

Conduct assessments in your school to determine how often bullying occurs, where it happens, how students and adults intervene, and whether your prevention efforts are working.

Engage Parents and Youth

It is important for everyone in the community to work together to send a unified message against bullying. Launch an awareness campaign to make the objectives known to the school, parents, and community members. Establish a school safety committee or task force to plan, implement, and evaluate your school’s bullying prevention program.

Create Policies and Rules

Create a mission statement, code of conduct, school-wide rules, and a bullying reporting system. These establish a climate in which bullying is not acceptable. Disseminate and communicate widely.

Build a Safe Environment

Establish a school culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect. Use staff meetings, assemblies, class and parent meetings, newsletters to families, the school website, and the student handbook to establish a positive climate at school. Reinforce positive social interactions and inclusiveness.

Educate Students and School Staff

Build bullying prevention material into the curriculum and school activities. Train teachers and staff on the school’s rules and policies. Give them the skills to intervene consistently and appropriately.

 

In the next post I will share about Cyberbullying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Should You” shoot” your Child’s Computer? Digital Citizenship is a Better Solution

     
Is it Ever OK to Shoot Your Child’s Computer?
 

                                                  We have a better solution.

 

 

                                                   digital citizenship      

                                              Here is a  description of sooial media and digital citizenship.

 The Project Digital Generation

 Many of today’s kids are born digital — born into a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibilities. But their digital lifestyle is about more than just cool gadgets; it’s about engagement, self-directed learning, creativity, and empowerment. The Digital Generation Project tells their stories so that educators and parents can understand how kids learn, communicate, and socialize in very different ways than any previous generation.

    Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants

Introduction

Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants support world-class research to improve our understanding of how social media can impact the next generation. In August 2011, we invited academic and non-profit institutions to apply for the $200,000 in grants funding research that highlights trends associated with digital citizenship. Nearly 100 researchers from more than 10 countries submitted outstanding applications. Based on in-depth evaluation from a team of Facebook employees and our Safety Advisory Board, we are awarding the inaugural Digital Citizenship Research Grants to these four researchers who will advance our global understanding of digital citizenship.

Original

Our Grantees


Dr. Shaheen Shariff, McGill University

Professor Shaheen Shariff, undertakes research focused on youth and digital media. She guides schools, parents, teens and policy-makers to navigate a balance between online free expression, privacy and safety. Her recent bilingual website, Define the Line helps develop resources, workshops and interactive online forums to reduce cyberbullying and enhance responsible digital citizenship. The DFL team will survey how school kids define the lines between friendly online joking or teasing, and hurtful cyberbullying. They will also examine how teens define the lines between public and private online spaces.

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Dr. Michael Searson, SITE

Dr. Searson is President of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE) and heads the School for Global Education and Innovation program at Kean University. SITE represents approximately 1500 educators, from about 500 institutions of higher education throughout the world. In these roles, Dr. Searson works with educators across the globe to explore issues related to information technologies, informal learning, mobile devices and social media.The SITE project will bring together a coalition of international scholars, researchers and practitioners who will develop an open source course and course modules for the preparation of future teachers to teach digital citizenship.

Original

Shari Kessel Schneider, Education Development Center (EDC)

Shari Kessel Schneider is a researcher with the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), a global nonprofit dedicated to designing and evaluating programs that address challenges in health and education. Schneider has done extensive work in the fields of bullying and suicide prevention and has been conducting research on cyberbullying trends since 2006. Working with a large group of school districts, the EDC will engage school leaders, parents, and teens to examine existing programs and policies but also to uncover ideas for new strategies and linkages to encourage positive use of social media. Schools across the country are being mandated to take steps to address cyberbullying and protect the health and safety of youth both at school and online. This research will look at the roles of educators, parents and social networking sites to determine how they can work together.

Original

Janice Richardson, European Schoolnet (EUN)

Janice Richardson is a senior adviser at European Schoolnet (EUN), an umbrella organization that works with 33 Ministries of Education across Europe to raise internet safety awareness and to transform teaching and learning through the integration of innovative technology. EUN’s grant will be used for their Social Media in Learning and Education (SMILE) Action Research project to investigate the issues of how much teachers are benefitting from the full potential of social media tools. In addition, the SMILE project will create an online learning course and mentoring techniques for educators.

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Transformational Learning in a CyberLearning Summit

Some of us as pioneers in STEM and in technology, have been working in computer learning and use of technology so long that we had begun to think that change would never happen. Working in minority areas we are always running to catch up.

I was participating in technology well  enough to be on the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Council. We helped to frame the vision of what technology would be in the United States. We wrote documents and shared methodology. But change was slow in coming. Years have passed and not much has happened in some teaching and learning spaces. Some of our dreams and ideas are still waiting to be fulfilled, like Broadband for all. In case this information is history here is a link if you need a history lesson.

So we go from conference to conference and speak those who believe change will come. We continue to learn and try to keep carrying the message of the use of technology. But it has been hard. We pioneers are talking about computational sciences and the latest headlines from Apple regarding the repurposing of textbooks. You have to look at that picture, because the end of the conference talked about the reality of that happened. That was Chad Dorsey of Concord.org. He is the reason I was able to sit and sit and sit.. though the conference was great it was a long time to actually BE on line. Did I mention NSF? I take it for granted having taught in Arlington, with access  to their information. I remember being laughed at when we used the first iterations of digital media, but NSF was firmly in support. CUSEEME? the reporters said it was stupid. So much they did not know.

There was a reference to a cyber conference from the National Geographic . If you have ever had professional development from the National Geographic you would jump at the chance….the resources for teachers are so many. Their  training is outstanding and it is inclusive learning. So with NSF and SRI and National Geographic  I knew the offerings would be outstanding.  You can still participate in the portal to help build knowledge.

This was the site, for the webcast. If you know me,You know that I do not love webcasts because so many of them are really bad.  I also love the excitement of talking to the participants and the exchange of ideas. What I usually do  to go to the National Academy of Sciences and attend the workshops , when I know about them. It is a singular joy to learn in this way, but the experience from yesterday expanded the audience, created a collaborative group of people even beyond the projects that I love the most wbich are the Supercomputimg Comference and Cilt.org which is no longer an entity but a great model for what happened yesterday.So I was not included.. well really I was, there was the online group  you can look here to see the program  for the webcast. My friend from SRI gathered the best and the brightest to inform the public and to share the resources. I knew their work was from excellence since they were a part of Cilt.org. This may be their new way of :

What a powerful example of transformational learning . Here’s to the creators of the conference. You should join the thought parade. Thanks to all who created an inspirational day. Hopefully some of these ideas will be made a part of the national conversation on the use of technology.

Transforming Teacher Use of Technology with Use of Teragrid Outreach Resources

 
Sharing the Vision of THe Teragrid

Family Science Days AAAS Teragrid Outreach

Three Dimension/Film of the Teragrid Outreach in the AAAS Science booth

You may ask, what is the Teragrid?

Teachers find it an empowering resource…

A formal definition is this:

TeraGrid is an open scientific discovery infrastructure combining leadership class resources at 11 partner sites to create an integrated, persistent computational resource.

Using high-performance network connections, TeraGrid integrates high-performance computers, data resources and tools, and high-end experimental facilities around the country. Currently, TeraGrid resources include more than 2.5 petaflops of computing capability and more than 50 petabytes of online and archival data storage, with rapid access and retrieval over high-performance networks. Researchers can also access more than 100 discipline-specific databases. With this combination of resources, the TeraGrid is the world’s largest, most comprehensive distributed cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research.

TeraGrid is coordinated through the Grid Infrastructure Group (GIG) at the University of Chicago, working in partnership with the Resource Provider sites: Indiana University, the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the National Institute for Computational Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Purdue University, San Diego Supercomputer Center, Texas Advanced Computing Center, and University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The research community supports teachers, and education through outreach in several ways.  Each of the research communities has a specific education section . Gateway if you will to the use of the research .

San Diego Supercomputing Center features the subject of Computational Thinking using a well thought out project that was written by Pat Phillips of Microsoft. You can find that here:  http://education.sdsc.edu/resources/CompThinking.pdf

You may have noticed that the major teacher organizations, CSTA, ISTE, CoSN, and SITE featured papers, workshops and discussions on the use of computational thinking in the classroom. This was a planned outreach started by the network of educators and researchers within the Teragrid network.

Here is one of the papers presented at the Consortium for School Networking in New Orleans in 2011:

http://etcjournal.com/2011/04/01/white-paper-21st-century-education-computational-thinking-computational-science-and-high-performance-computing-in-k-12-education/

Executive Summary

The 2010 National Educational Technology Plan says “…technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work…. Whether the domain is English language arts, mathematics, sciences, social studies, history, art, or music, 21st-century competencies and such expertise as critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication should be woven into all content areas.”

Since the late 1990s, the US has been trying to describe what a 21st century education should look like. Futurists are trying to divine the skills that will be needed for jobs that do not yet exist, employing technologies that have not yet been invented. However, a careful look around can allow us to see many areas that have been virtually unnoticed by those who are focused on 21st century skills.

Supercomputing – sometimes called high performance computing – is not a new technology concept, but the supercomputers of 25 years ago were about as powerful as a cell phone is today, and likewise the supercomputers of today will be no better than a laptop of 10 to 15 years from now. As the world of the biggest and fastest computers has evolved and these computers have become increasingly available to industry, government, and academia, they are being used in ways that influence everyday life, from the cars we drive, to the food in our cupboards, to the movies we enjoy.

Supercomputing is not an end in itself, but rather the technological foundation for large scale computational and data-enabled science and engineering, or computational science, for short. It is a collection of techniques for using computing to examine phenomena that are too big, too small, too fast, too slow, too expensive, or too dangerous to experiment on in the real world. While problems with small computing footprints can be examined on a laptop, the grand challenge problems most crucial for us to address have enormous computing footprints and, thus, are best solved via supercomputing.

As a result, in order to be competitive as a nation, we need to produce knowledge workers in far greater numbers who understand both what supercomputers can do and how to use them effectively to improve our understanding of the world around us and our day to day lives.

The thinking about large scale and advanced computing has evolved, too. Today, we realize that, while not everyone will be using big computing in their jobs, they will need to understand the underlying concepts.

These concepts collectively are referred to as ‘computational thinking’, a means of describing problems and how to solve them so that their solutions can be found via computing (paraphrased from Jeanette Wing, Jan Cuny, and Larry Snyder). Computational thinking includes abstraction, recursion, algorithms, induction, and scale.

Our 21st century citizens, entrepreneurs, leadership, and workforce will be best positioned to solve emerging challenges and to exploit new opportunities if they have a strong understanding of computational thinking, how it applies to computational science, and how it can be implemented via high performance computing. These are true 21st century competencies that will serve our nation well.

The authors of the paper have been immersed, involved and integrated into the Teragrid community through attending workshops, NCSI initiatives, online contact with the researchers and outreach specialists over a period of time that has proved to create a powerful network of educators sharing the story of possibilities within the Teragrid.

An initial outreach , Teacher Bridge Day , which preceded  an ISTE and CSTA conference, united teachers and educators who then continued to work together over the period of months . The teachers benefitted from the combined efforts of the many researchers and outreach specialists who participated and contributed to the very first workshop.  Following that workshop, there were involvements with ITest through Joyce Malyn Smith.

I am pleased to say that this year , Joyce and the educators at SITE.org reported a large number of people interested in the strand. Joyce took the idea and developed it into a specialized strand for the ITest Community.

Here are a few of the 2011 presentations from the Aera Annual Meeting.

There may be more resources that link to the outreach of the Teragrid. I have chosen these to share.

Joyce was also a force at the SITE conference in Nashville, TN. The informal outeach team, those of us who try to broaden engagement and show diversity were there to shake up the force within SITE.org . We established a SIG for Computational Thinking and fielded a number of workshops.

We worked also at the K-12 levels of technology in Texas at TCEA.

Everything  is Big in Texas:  TACC and Supercomputing , at  TCEA

Ranger?    Stallion ? Computational Thinking and Learning

I  go to Texas a lot. My brother lives there, friends live there,  NASA holds events. I have been to Lockhart for BBQ, to Galveston for a wedding, to San Antonio and other places. I even know lots of recipes and ways to BBQ. But Austin put the icing on the cake for those of us doing digital outreach and broadening engagement in Supercomputing.I took classes at Rice (Teacher Tech) with a Supercomputing scholarship.  I have digital sisters and brothers in Texas.

TEXAS

Why not? Texas is a huge state and I have found lots of friends and educators who support my ways of thinking there.

I participated in a Teacher Tech  workshop at Rice University in Houston, and met Karen North and Dr. Richard Tapia. For a long time I was in constant email touch with a LOT of Texans. We were not sure what kind of reception we weuld get in 2011, this being a new topic to many people. I have been to Austin a lot, so when I see the statue of Barbara Jordan and the big guitars, I feel at home. We had a Supercomputing conference in Austin a few years ago as well.

Ray Rose, Henry Neeman, Vic Sutton and I have been a team at other conferences, we were literally breaking the ice in Austin for educators. It was scary to do.

. (It was very , very cold)  The keynote was a very warm one by Leigh Anne Touhy. The Blind Side was written about her true life experience. She set the tone for broadening engagement and social justice for me. She shared how her life was changed . I had not seen the movie , but I will.

We think that in education there is a blind side to the understanding of technology, particularly computational science, so we put together a workshop for Supercomputing and the use of the Teragrid and we did  a workshop for Emerging Technologies, and a tour of the TACC center.on the campus.

TCEA  Supercomputing and the Teragrid…  no limits, remember?

Henry Neeman has a great presentation , ” What in the World is Supercomputing!“. We took it to a state conference. Did I mention he is from Okahoma? They razzed him a lot, but he just kept on presenting. The interesting thing about it is that he is a reseacher, who can bring the ideas down to earth with fun, and understanding. Henry can do this in person, on line or in a course online. You can fund a lot of the information here.

http://www.oscer.ou.edu/Symposium2003/neeman_bio.html

Nothing like being with him in person however. Think Puzzle. Think a guy moving around at the speed of light, absolutely able to help you understand Supercomputing. This is Henry.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5653613&l=8267b33412&id=593996326

Dr. Neeman also has taught a series of workshops titled “Supercomputing in Plain English”, directed at an audience of undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff not only in computer science but also in a variety of physical science and engineering fields. Dr. Neeman’s research interests include high performance computing, scientific computing, parallel and distributed computing, structured adaptive mesh refinement, scientific visualization, Grid computing and computer science education. You can find his materials on line. He is the Education and Outreach Chair for Supercomputing 2012 in Seattle.

We embarked , engaged, energized , and educated teachers so that they could be empowered to understand the computational sciences. We had outreach materials from the Teragrid. So well put together, and such a hit with the educators.

All three of the sessions were a success. We did not have supertech people except one or two and we had about 50 people in the first workshop.

TOURING TACC

The second was the tour.My heart fell when I went to the bus, because at first I could not see it was full. We had a grand tour of TACC. I love the visualization images .http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/scivis-gallery/

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the nation’s leading universities, an academic institution of enormous breadth and depth, with 50,000 students and 3,000 faculty. It’s an economic powerhouse that pumps more than $8.2 billion into the Texas economy each year. It ranks fifth in the world for academic citations and is the recipient of more than 400 patents. Seven of its doctoral programs rank among the top 10 in the nation.

The University of Texas’ intellectual firepower extends far beyond its classrooms and labs. In addition to ongoing research in 18 colleges and schools, the university sponsors 100 separate research units and 10 organized research units, such as the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

TACC plays a pivotal role in the new culture of computational science at The University of Texas at Austin and is central to UT’s success as a major public research university. TACC boasts world-class resources and expertise that enable scientists and researchers to find solutions to the biggest problems facing science and society. From climate change to medical research to energy resources, traditional and renewable, advanced computing provides the tools that are critical to discovery in science and across disciplines. Faith Singer-Villalobos lead the presentation and discussion.

TACC’s education and outreach programs support their mission to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. We all benefit from advanced computing in our everyday lives, from more accurate weather reports, to safer automobile designs, to smaller, lighter electronic gadgets.

TACC’s education & outreach programs introduce K-12, undergraduate and graduate students to the power of advanced computing for science, technology, computer science, engineering, and mathematics. It believes that the students are the next generation of Einsteins, Curies, and Hawkings, who will someday make breakthrough discoveries that we can’t even imagine today.

We wanted to touch the future through sharing with the teachers what the university and supercomputing had to offer.

Teachers touch the future.

Our last presentation was to identify the real 21st Century Literaraies.  about data visualization, and computational thinking, data mining and global collaborations. We were able to share partnership organizations to teachers for field experiences, National Geographic, Earthwatch, NASA , NOAA but most importantly to show ans share curriculum opportunities that were free.

Shodor.org

http://www.shodor.org/activities/

and Scalable Game Design

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/wiki/Scalable_Game_Design_wiki

http://scalablegamedesign.cs.colorado.edu/gamewiki/index.php?title=Scalable_Game_Design_wiki&oldid=3534#Game

Meanwhile San Diego is doing outreach of this kind.

Upcoming Computer Science Courses for High School and Undergraduate Students

http://education.sdsc.edu/

Introduction to C++ Programming
Mondays, January 10 – March 14, 2011– 4:30pm- 6:30pm (weekly)

This class  introduces programming concepts to students, with no previous programming experience required, and will focus on learning to read and write programs in C++. The class will focus on in-class programming and participation. The course will move quickly and students are required to have access to a computer at home. The course will cover IDEs, programming basics, compilation, execution, flow control, functions, arrays, pointers, file I/O, structures and classes. Weekly homework assignments solidify understanding in preparation for a comprehensive final project.

Introduction to Programming in Python ( this already started)
Tuesdays, January 11 – March 15, 2011– 4:30pm- 6:30pm (weekly)

This course offers an introduction to computer programming via the Python programming language. Students listen to weekly explanation-demonstrations of and gain simultaneous practical experience with basic coding concepts such as calculations, string formatting/manipulation, conditional statements, iteration, file i/o, and the abstraction of functions, as well as programming style. Weekly homework assignments solidify understanding, and a final project offers the opportunity to creatively deploy the class materials. This course is designed to prepare students for the class’s final project, the creation of a computer program that generates a poem.

In our network we can identify lots of opportunities for K-12. Teragrid even features them in a booklet.

How much data is that? Check out the visual idea of it.

http://www.focus.com/images/view/52784/

Teacher Community Angst.. What is a Bad Teacher?

 

Who is a bad teacher? Who decides?

When Innovation and STEM were considered unusual...

 

In some of the press, recently teachers have been attacked in many different ways. The initial assault was months ago with a pose of Michelle Rhee on the cover of a national magazine. The story gained national attention and the story started a whole new perspective , a look at what is called a BAD teacher.  Since that time there have been a raft of stories with test scores as the reason that teachers were being tagged as being unfit. There was even a teacher suicide that was hardly reported. The suicide was based on the LA TImes ” revelation or assumption ” that the teacher was unfit,

What is a Bad Teacher?

I am not sure what most people consider a bad teacher but the press began to collect evidence , or build the case for bad teachers and the articles continued, without a stop until the movie, “Waiting for Superman” . By that time the stories were at a fever pitch. The Los Angeles Times created even more furor by publishing information on teachers that had to do with testing and the assumption that a teacher was a bad teacher if the students had low test scores.

I think I would have been considered a bad teacher in some of the schools in which I taught though I taught , gave, contributed and worked overtime to make a difference. I taught in Washington DC. I am a long time teacher and have lived through the fashion of educational change of decades. I have lived through unit methods, team teaching, new math, a Nation at Risk, New Standards. I probably have missed a few of the educational dictates.

New Ideas in Teaching and Learning

Think  benchmarks, Hands On Science, New Math , Independent reading vs Textbook reading, the pendulum changed with the dictate of political pressure.

Sometimes I moved to new schools, and sometimes I stayed and tried to wait until the new educational mandate came. I never feared for my job but once or twice, but I have been harassed, bullied, and transferred to another school. Sometimes it was personality, sometimes it was that I worked too hard without involving other teachers , and was successful. Sometimes it was that I was dazzling parents and community members, school children with the expertise that I gained from learning partners, NASA, National Geographic, NSTA, Earthwatch, NCTM, AAGE, .. How I loved attending the workshops, using the resources, the various outreach that happened by working with learning partners. I was so pleased to be an AAAS demonstration teacher.

My mother and father were teachers and when I got upset, they calmed me and advised me. I admit that being a teacher who helped to integrate schools across the spectrum was hard. I never experienced difficulty from other teachers until I started to use technology. Playing , with computing I was told was a problem. I was taking away valuable time from teaching. Doing field trips often and going to learning places, what a waste of time. Other complaints doing enrichment using resources from NASA. Inside my head, as I was winning awards nationally and getting in difficulty with administrators because I was becoming a teacher ” star” I was probably considered to be a bad teacher.

I am of color, I am a minority, I came from schools that were marginal in their preparation of me and others as a teacher. I graduated without difficulty and with honors.  When I had taught for three years, I escaped the profession by going to Europe to teach. The first three years of my teaching were hard years. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of my students.

There are secrets in teaching that bothered me. I was trying to teach everything, some other teachers mocked me as I taught science, and social studies, .. eventually I was told , teach reading , math and spelling .. the rest is extra and if you have time fill it in. Well, I never did that .. I had been trained as a gifted and talented teacher and loved teaching science and new math. That made me a BAD teacher. I wanted to teach the kids that were not identifies as Gifted and Talented.. I worried about tracking.

There were students who had all kinds of problems, homeless students, poor students, students who had parents going through divorce, a couple of girls who were suffering from sexual  relationships against their will and even more difficult problems. Once a child who was being sexually compromised as an adoptee, shared her angst with me. Interestingly enough my pursuit of her concerns made me a bad teacher.

I was able to survive because I wrote grants, got national attention and learned to involve community.

So what is a bad teacher…I know what I wanted to do with that broom that Ms. Rhee used in her pose. I admit that I was hurt, angry and saddened that a person who had the power to change teaching and learning could so openly blame tie ills of society on teachers .

Teaching is hard work. Being a good teacher or one of the best is even harder work. The press has been unmerciful and mean. It is time to stop trashing teachers and look at the problems of society that affect our children. Most of the time I have loved working with students. The current media position on teachers even for teachers in the District of Columbia, does not consider the reality of the job, parental involvement or not, and or problems of the community.

Teachers and students work together in some schools that are pointed toward the future.  The power of us is to make change and to demonstrate the possibilities.

MetLife Survey of the American Teacher

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success examines the views of teachers, principals and students about respective roles and responsibilities, current practice and priorities for the future, addressing the issues of effective teaching and leadership, student achievement and teaching as a career (2009).ED509650

The Survey report was originally released in three parts, which have been combined into the document posted above:

  • Part 1: Effective Teaching and Leadership examines views about responsibility and accountability; what collaboration looks like in schools, and if and to what degree it is currently practiced.
  • Part 2: Student Achievement examines views on student goals, teacher expectations, and what educators believe would increase student achievement.
  • Part 3: Teaching as a Career examines collaboration in the context of teacher professional growth, experience level and career paths.

Home-to-School Connections Guide: Tips, Tech Tools, and Strategies for Improving Family-to-School Communication

Edutopia shares with youtheir  latest classroom resource guide highlighting new solutions for connecting home and school in order to improve student learning and success.

Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or district administrator, this new guide provides  relevant and valuable tools and resources for how best to strengthen the bonds between schools, families, and communities.

http://www.edutopia.org/home-to-school-connections-guide

STEM.. science , technology, engineering, when do we really start this conversation?

In recent days, we have heard a lot about teacher effectiveness. We  who are really interested in reform need to create a better understanding of how to prepare teachers, students and communities for the future. The press needs to do their homework and share research, reports and findings that are relevant to change. Teacher effectiveness is dependent on many factors. I offer many of the sources here. Not my work, but I have been to many metings and workshops to gather this information for other teachers and advocates.

The nation has been involved in discussions about what makes an effective teacher. The discussion has lacked the depth of expertise that has taken a reflective look at the history of STEM and the path to the understanding of what is needed for true change in education, on a national basis.I have tried to gather the information for perusal and for discussion of the real issues.

Who is concerned?

Many meetings have been held in Washington about ways to ” fix” K-12.I believe that the ongoing conversations of the nation, our education nation, have been compromised at a shallow level that only discerns legendary educational leaders who are in the guise of ” superman” ,”wonder woman” with a one person effort. Here we have the efforts of those who truly care about  have the research to back, and who have broken silos to shape the future of the nation.

How Do We Get the Right Perspective on What is Needed?

In a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S. competitiveness and pre-eminence in these areas

. This congressionally requested report by a pre-eminent committee makes four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts on meeting the nation’s needs, especially in the area of clean, affordable energy:

1) Increase America’s talent pool by vastly improving K-12 mathematics and science education;
2) Sustain and strengthen the nation’s commitment to long-term basic research;


3) Develop, recruit, and retain top students, scientists, and engineers from both the U.S. and abroad; and
4) Ensure that the United States is the premier place in the world for innovation.  These are not my words, these come from a meeting that tried to pinpoint where change needed to be made.
I was one of the few K-12 teachers at that meeting. I listened and learned. Norm Augustine has been the person who has spearheaded the effort. Continue reading