Month: August 2017

By Tom Rademacher Our school year is upon us, and many of us are scrambling to set up our classrooms, get those first few weeks planned, and convince ourselves that, yes, we have to wear real, actual, big-kid pants to open house. The beginning of the year is an especially important time to connect with families, but we often use it for some of our least important communication. Now isn't the time for reminders... read more
By Nate Bowling “Mr. Bowling, I think I want to be a mujahid and go fight in Syria.” You really don’t forget a conversation that starts like that. Following the recent act of white-supremacist racial terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia, a local newspaper reporter reached out to me via Twitter. He wanted to know how I would handle a student who’d shown signs of radicalization. Specifically, he was... read more
By Lee-Ann Stephens and Katherine Bassett The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) recently published a free Social Justice Book List to help teachers and parents teach a variety of current social justice concepts. Recommended by State and National Teachers of the Year and Finalists, the list includes more 200 titles for students, from pre-K to adult. Below, two members of our network... read more
By Allison Riddle The statistics are not just alarming. They’re downright ugly. An estimated 8% of teachers leave American classrooms within the first year, and even worse, 40 to 50% leave by their fifth year. It’s not surprising, really. Truth is, we’ve made it too easy for them. Too easy to quit. We cast our newest teachers into the most challenging classrooms and expect them to ‘sink or... read more
By Anna E. Baldwin As a rural teacher in a large frontier state, I know firsthand the limitations of small schools: reduced class offerings and extracurricular opportunities, huge travel distances for field trips and athletic events, limited funding for needed resources, and extreme difficulty recruiting teachers. Many Americans outside rural areas do not understand the dynamic of these regions, but one would... read more

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