During the school year, my daughter spends more waking hours with her teacher than with me. This is the woman who helped her learn how to read, who hugged her calm the day she fell down the stairs, who wrapped up her lost tooth lovingly in tissue paper and sent it home with a note. So when Teacher Appreciation Week comes, I'd really like to spoil my daughter's teacher.
As we near the end of the school year, it's time to take stock of our efforts in teaching, learning and leadership, and how well they’ve worked. We should also be looking at what has or has not worked in regards to engaging all of the families in our school community.
I've interviewed hundreds of people over the last decade about how schools in the United States often choose to structure time. Most often, I pose the question to people in the places I visit, "Can you explain how the school day is structured, and why?"
Recently, NPR launched a new blog entitled Code Switch to examine the "frontiers of race, culture and ethnicity." Blog host Gene Demby explains: "We're looking at code switching a little more broadly. Many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We're hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities -- sometimes within a single interaction."
National Teacher Day is May 7th! There are so many different ways to show teacher appreciation, from poems, to thank-you notes and gifts. But I thought I'd put together a little bit of everything. Here, there are inspirational teaching quotes, fun video clips, and a database of educator discounts, to name a few.
We all know that the demographics of America's public school population are shifting. In 2011, nearly a quarter -- 23.9 percent -- of pre-K-12 students was Hispanic, many either immigrants or the children of immigrants who speak another language at home. And that proportion is projected to grow in the coming years, bringing new challenges and opportunities to schools across the country.
My grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau was once quoted as saying, "Before we talk about the environment, we must talk about education." It's one of my favorite quotes of his because at its root is his belief in the power of youth to change the world. It's not only a belief I share, but one that I'm confident is our best opportunity to tackle some of biggest challenges facing our planet and the world community.
During the past three years, over 250 Edcamp events have popped up worldwide. Teachers from every corner of the globe have been organizing open opportunities for educators to collaborate and solve problems.
In spite of this growth and energy, there are still many educators who are either uninformed or skeptical of the Edcamp model for teacher professional development. Given the plethora of "silver bullets" and magical cures in education, some skepticism is healthy. It ensures that we refine and revise our beliefs through meaningful investigation.
I founded Karen Peterson and Dancers (KPD) in Miami in 1990. We are recognized as the leading mixed-ability dance company in the U.S. Southeast. As a not-for-profit dance organization, KPD commissions and produces the work of dance artists with and without disabilities -- presenting excellence in dance through our quality-based programs, community performances and educational workshops.
I'm not an alarmist, but we truly are in an environmental crisis, headlined by, but not limited to, global warming. Given the importance of the challenge, I'd like to see a National Environmental Education Year -- setting aside a week seems like a drop in the bucket. But since we have this week, National Environmental Education Week, let’s make the most of it.