professional developmentAs I read education blogs, news editorials and Twitter, I sometimes am struck by the “us vs. them” mentality I see between veteran and newer teachers. The purpose of this article is not to demonize or laud either one of these groups, but rather to promote the idea that teachers should support one another. We all got into this profession for the same reason, and I suspect we will find that we are more alike than we realize. What’s more, both veteran — those in the profession for 10 years or more — and newer — those with five or fewer years of experience — teachers have valuable, unique skills and perspectives and could learn from each other. In the end, we all want to do the right thing for our students.

Veteran teachers can offer wisdom and assistance based on their years of experience. They have already developed curricular materials for their subject area and should be willing to share these with teachers entering the profession. (read more…)

Hopscotch courtOctober is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

Imagine the following scenario: There was a disease that plagued the population for a long time and finally a cure for was discovered. There are enough resources available to translate this discovery into a treatment plan that could be implemented by hospitals and doctor’s offices. This treatment plan, however, might require those medical institutions to change many daily and routine practices including ones that might have contributed to the spread of the disease. Most medical institutions, however, continue business as usual and make none of the required changes. Feeling like they have to do something, however, as a way to at least acknowledge that the disease is not a good thing, the institutions simply tell the general population to avoid the disease.

What is the problem? Is it the disease or it is the lack of change in the medical establishment?

Most of us would readily agree that the disease is really no longer the problem. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by Curriculum Associates

Writing instruction took a back seat to reading during the No Child Left Behind era. Common core has brought it back into the spotlight, with a brand new set of rigorous expectations. Educator and literacy expert, Jim Cunningham, discusses the challenges teachers face today and what they can do to successfully teach to the new standards.

How have the expectations for teaching writing changed with the introduction of the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards?

From about 1980 to 2002, writing was taught in almost all elementary schools and assessed in many states. Since No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which focused on reading and math, writing instruction in the elementary grades has declined tremendously. NCLB was the most intense fidelity implementation of any federal education policy, but it did not have any writing requirements in it—there was Reading First but no Writing First in NCLB. (read more…)

cem-notxt1October is Connected Educator Month. SmartBlog on Education will be bringing you content throughout the month to celebrate CEM.

Over the past several years the importance of being a connected educator has been emphasized at educational conferences, written about in books and posted on social media. There is no doubt that this is a much welcomed change to the world of education. Which is why other school stakeholders, such as parents and community members, must understand how vital it has become to stay connected in the virtual world. No longer is an option to stand idly by and simply ignore all of the wonderful things taking place in schools around the world. Everyone now has a responsibility to contribute, especially with the evolution of technology and how easy it has made it to access information and share our lives with others. The more we connect and share as stakeholders, the more likely the success of students will be impacted. (read more…)

Sheryl-3908-WebRes-1Today marks the first day of Connected Educator Month. SmartBlog on Education will be bringing you content throughout the month to celebrate CEM. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, a member of the CEM leadership team, is helping us kick off the celebration with an overview of the event and a look at free resources for connected educators.

What is Connected Educator Month?

Connected Educator Month was started in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education as a way to get educators proficient with social media to improve their practice, help schools integrate connected learning into their formal professional development efforts and stimulate and support innovation in the field of education. Last year, more than 300 educational organizations, schools and school districts participated in Connected Educator Month, and more than 600 free, national professional learning events and activities happened around connected education.

But as successful as Connected Educator Month 2013 was, there are still educators who are not connected, and many more who are not yet taking full advantage of the opportunities connected education affords. (read more…)