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How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching

Education Next – Thomas Toch

“Eric Christopher is the kind of young, gifted, committed teacher that any principal would want to hire. A straight-A student from a public high school on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he gave up a chance for an Ivy League education to take care of his sick mother and attend nearby Washington College, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 2006. He spent the next seven years at a public elementary school near his hometown, teaching the Spanish-speaking children of agricultural and poultry workers while earning a master’s degree in bilingual education. But opportunities to advance were mostly based on teacher seniority, the pay was low, and he was eager for a fresh challenge in a new environment. So, in 2013, he moved to the big city—Washington, D.C.”(more)

To develop teachers, look to other teachers

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“Researchers from Michigan State University this week presented the findings of a study that indicated half of early career teachers leave their schools by their fifth year, and one in four leave the profession altogether. Part of this can be attributed to a perceived lack of support by their principals, but another part is due to a lack of support and personal development that encourages persistence.”(more)

How to Shake the Blended Learning Blues

Ed Surge – Carly Nations

“When I interviewed for my current teaching position, my school’s 1:1 program was a huge selling point. To me it represent administrators’ commitment to bringing public schools into the 21st century, and to providing equal educational opportunities to all. When I entered the classroom, however, my relationship with the laptops got…complicated. I discovered the machines were at odds with much of what English teachers—myself included—hold dear. Even worse, the novelty of using technology every day seemed to wear off quickly for students. After less than a year in the classroom, I felt like a burnt-out teacher nearing retirement rather than a young woman fresh out of college. In order to get my groove back, I had to go truly blended, giving the laptops a backseat to literature. Here’s what I learned.”(more)

Outside the limelight, rural schools face challenges in finding, and keeping, teachers

Ed Source – Fermin Leal

“Walking through the hallways of Tranquility Elementary School, Principal Matt Kinnunen regularly pokes his head into classrooms to check on his teachers, especially the newer ones. He asks about their day, assists them with student lessons and offers advice. It’s part of a routine to help them feel valued and supported. And maybe that will keep a few from leaving the small, rural campus in California’s Central Valley, a region hit especially hard by the state’s ongoing teacher shortage. Kinnunen’s school is one of six that make up Golden Plains Unified, a 1,770-student district 40 miles west of Fresno that spreads across three tiny towns and 16,600 acres of mostly almond, raisin and cotton farms.”(more)

Make Teaching More Doable

Education Next – Thomas Arnett

“Sometimes teaching feels like an impossible job. Today’s teachers perform a wide range of tasks, including supervising and instructing students five to six hours a day; creating lesson plans; grading papers; engaging in professional development; and taking up other school-related duties, such as coaching and advising student organizations. And as teachers feel the need to take on additional responsibilities—such as providing students with social and emotional support, building relationships with parents, and assisting students with the college application process—many teachers find themselves on a pathway to burnout. But it doesn’t have to be this way..”(more)

How to Beat Teacher Burnout: With More Education

Governing – Liz Farmer

“When mathematician John Ewing started lobbying state governments to adopt a new model for keeping top teachers in the classroom, he anticipated all the usual pushback over funding and resources. One thing he didn’t anticipate was a resistance to the idea in general. In education right now, “the focus is on everything that’s not working,” he says. By contrast, his model “invests in teachers that are doing a really good job.” In 2009, fellow mathematician and philanthropist Jim Simons called and asked Ewing to help him take over his fledgling nonprofit to provide continuing education for K-12 math teachers in New York City. But the organization, called Math for America (MfA), eventually evolved into a larger fellowship program aimed at cultivating and keeping top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in public schools.”(more)