Recent major news stories have been pretty depressing. To mention just a few: the National Security Agency leaks scandal, concerns about the use of drones, self-serving congressional obstructionists, a mayor in Philadelphia supporting the building of a prison and then closing over twenty public schools to save money.
This post stems from New Journalism on Latino Children, translating new research for activists, journalists and policy analysts. The project is based at the Institute of Human Development at UC Berkeley, in collaboration with the Education Writers Association and the Latino Policy Forum, and funded largely by the McCormick Foundation.
When it comes to at-risk students in our urban schools we still seem to be looking for the right answers. I thought it would be instructive to look back at wisdom from about 50 years ago, around 1963, to be exact. Our guide is Lois Weiner, who, in 1993, published a book that was looking back then at 30 years of school reform (Preparing Teachers for Urban Schools).
This is a follow up to a May 2013 blog about The Five Dimensions of Engaged Teaching (Solution Tree, 2013), by Laura Weaver and Mark Wilding -- a book that offers SEL and Common Core-compatible approaches to instruction. As co-executive directors of the Passageworks Institute in Boulder, Colorado, Laura and Mark share with us practical examples of how educators of all grade levels might "Do Now" in classrooms some of their suggestions.
It is all too rare for discussions of school culture and climate and SEL to focus explicitly on students with disabilities. A shining exception is the Inclusive Schools Climate Initiative (ISCI), a pilot project at Rutgers University, developed through a partnership with the Office of Special Education Programs at the NJ Department of Education.
We're excited to present this final post of the nine-part series from the Project Happiness elementary school curriculum. Within this series, we've taught important factors that have been proven to enhance the happiness and social and emotional learning of elementary school age children, giving them a significant advantage for life. Each blog has featured one letter of the acronym HAPPINESS:
As our previous post highlighted, most teachers interact daily with grieving students. A recent poll we conducted in conjunction with the American Federation of Teachers found that the vast majority of teachers would like to help the grieving children in their midst but feel that they lack the proper training. The good news is that teachers don't require extensive training to prepare them for making a positive difference in the lives of their grieving students. This post is intended to introduce some of the basic information.
The end of the school year can be a nervous time for students, especially those that will be making the jump into elementary school, middle school, high school or college next fall. These transitioning students are left with a variety of questions -- from curiosities about academic rigor to managing a social life and coursework, to worries about using a combination lock. (It took me more than a couple tries.)
In the months since the horrific Newtown school shooting, a media spotlight has glared on the nearly 450 surviving students at Sandy Hook Elementary who are grieving for their friends, teachers, classmates, school staff and, in some cases, their siblings. Their stories serve as an enduring reminder of the overpowering grief and loss left in the Newtown tragedy's wake.
In the aftermath of the testing regimen, or just the headlong rush to the end of school, educators are loosening their collars, breathing heavy sighs of relief (or resignation), and contemplating whether there is a little time in the remaining weeks to return to their first love: being an educator of young people.