April 23, 2017

The hardest part of teaching

hardest part of teaching

  Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post once put together a series of quotes to answer the question “How hard is teaching?” and asked for more in the comments section. My rant didn’t entirely fit there, so I’m putting it here, because it is on the list of Top Ten Things They Never Tell You in Teacher School.  … Read more

The best summer school

summer lessons

By Julie Samrick As we sat around the campfire last weekend I pulled out an old Girl Scout goody for the 11 kids in our party. My Aunt Tilly, she died last night, she died last night, did she die?   At first the kids didn’t know what I meant, or why sometimes the answer… Read more

California teacher tenure ruled unconstitutional

teacher tenure

The ruling, which was enthusiastically endorsed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, brings to a close the first chapter of the case, Vergara v. California, in which a group of student plaintiffs argued that state tenure laws had deprived them of a decent education by leaving bad teachers in place. The teachers’ unions said Tuesday that… Read more

Growing up shouldn’t be easy

growing up shouldn't be easy

…Between delivering a few commencement addresses and listening to many more, here is what I believe graduates need to hear today. 1. Earn everything. It’s true that graduates today face a rough economy. Americans in their early 20s have to contend with a 10.6 percent unemployment rate — that’s twice the rate among people age… Read more

Best summer book recommendations

summer book recommendations

Summer means the tantalizing prospect of having more time for reading stretches ahead of us — long, lazy summer days curled up with a book. With that in mind, Newbery Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo shared some summer book recommendations for readers ages 8-13 with NPR’s Melissa Block. DiCamillo is the author of Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux,… Read more

What’s lost with handwriting

handwriting

Does handwriting matter? Not very much, according to many educators. The Common Core standards, which have been adopted in most states, call for teaching legible writing, but only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to… Read more

Graduate of the year

Graduate

TAY THI NGUYEN is one of the mightiest people I’ve met, at 94 pounds. She has a towering presence, at a bit more than 5 feet tall. She is so strong that she probably could bench press 25 pounds. Three times Tay Thi has fainted while here at college, training to become an English teacher,… Read more

How to Teach Kids the Importance of Memorial Day

memorial day

By Julie Samrick For many people Memorial Day  conjures images of 3-day weekends, discounts at the mall, and when we can officially wear white shoes without looking tacky.  But it’s important we pause to reflect and teach our kids why we have a Memorial Day but once a year, a day of serious reflection and… Read more

Homework hasn’t increased in 30 years

Parental concerns about ever-expanding homework assignments for their children may be misguided, according to new research suggesting that students’ homework burdens have barely changed in 30 years. Read more  

How to create a stronger math student before your child ever starts school

early math skills

By Julie Samrick I’ve shared how the years before kindergarten are optimal for playing games to create brighter students later on. And by specifically embracing numbers at an early age don’t be surprised when you’ve created a stronger math student too.    Sometimes when we wait to introduce concepts to kids, it takes them longer… Read more