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4 terrific teacher communities for summer PD

E-School News – Emily M.

“Thinking about ways to avoid the “summer slide” over the next few months? Keeping up on skills over the summer isn’t just for students. The summer break is a great time for teachers to take advantage of those professional development opportunities that are hard to fit in during the school year. Teacher communities are a nice blend of social interaction and knowledge-sharing among peers. We put together a list of our favorite online PLNs for you to check out over the break.”(more)

What happens when teachers spend more time in a classroom — before teaching?

The Hechinger Report – Jackie Mader

“In her large, bright, pre-K classroom, the teacher turned to the group of 4-year-olds learning how to give a baby a bath. She sat on the carpet and cradled a doll carefully as eager students strained their necks to watch. “How am I holding the baby?” the teacher, Alina Kaye, asked, and then answered her own question: “Nice and calm.” She held up a small, empty plastic bottle and mimed squirting shampoo onto the baby’s head. The kids edged closer. Meghan Sanchez, a 23-year-old teacher in training, watched Kaye’s every move just as intently. Sanchez is in her first year of an immersive four-year training program via Urban Teachers, a nonprofit group that trains aspiring teachers in Washington and Baltimore.”(more)

How to Rally Veteran Teachers Around a Personalized Learning Model

Ed Surge – Jin-Soo Huh

“In my previous column, I shared some tips on how to support new educators in a personalized learning environment. But getting veteran teachers on board is just as crucial in ensuring success. To gather some insight, I spoke with teachers and administrators from a variety of traditional and charter public schools including: Cesar Chavez Elementary (grades K-8, Chicago), CICS West Belden (managed by Distinctive Schools; K-8, Chicago), Intrinsic Schools (7-12, Chicago), Liberty Elementary (Baltimore), and USC East College Prep (9; Los Angeles). These schools have either transitioned to or were founded upon a personalized learning model in which the learning experience is tailored to the individual based on their strengths, needs, and/or interests. The schools all took various approaches ranging from radical open space designs that leverage team teaching and multi-grade, flexible grouping to more familiar station rotations that leverage technology. Here are ways to help your veterans teachers make the transition.”(more)

Report urges sustained teacher training to improve science education

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“Many teachers are not well-prepared to teach the new Next Generation Science Standards, according to new report released Tuesday. Called “Science Teachers’ Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts,” the report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine makes several recommendations to help educators transition to the standards, which emphasize deeper learning of broad scientific concepts instead of memorizing facts and stress the relationship between what is taught in the classroom and workplace practices of scientists and engineers. California adopted the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013. They are expected to be fully implemented by 2018. “An evolving understanding of how best to teach science, including the NGSS, represents a significant transition in the way science is currently taught in most classrooms and will require most science teachers to alter the way they teach,” the report concluded.”(more)

Report: Advancement Opportunities Could Improve US Teacher Quality

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“A new study performed by the National Center on Education and the Economy has taken a closer look at teacher professional development in three countries that maintain a standard of excellence in education outcomes – Shanghai, Singapore, and British Columbia. Findings suggest that all three of these countries expect advancement in the careers of their teachers, and interaction between such professionals is encouraged in order to obtain such advancement. While such a culture doesn’t exist throughout the United States, experts continue to argue that if these systems were adopted in the US, more qualified candidates would be attracted to teaching positions and the country would see improvement in student test scores.”(more)