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By Anastasia P. Samaras Dr. Samaras is author of the article “Letter to a New Academic: In and Out of the Ravine,” published in The Educational Forum, Volume 87, Issue 1. When was the last time you stepped back to take stock of your professional journey? Do you ever ask yourself, “What am I actually doing in my professional work?” “Do I love what I do?” “Does my work matter and for whom?” Whether we work in a school or university, sometimes we might find ourselves just getting carried along a slow winding path or even on a roaring stream. That is why I wrote this article to share what I have learned about taking time to retrospectively consider if ...
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By Shanyce L. Campbell Dr. Campbell is the author of “Shifting Teacher Evaluation Systems to Community Answerability Systems: (Re)Imagining How We Assess Black Women Teachers” in the latest edition of The Educational Forum . Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now, imagine that there are no Black women educators in classrooms teaching our children. Not a single one. What are you feeling? What are you thinking? This imagining is a breath of fresh air for some, who may think that America is finally being made great. Others may feel a numbness rooted in their lack of surprise, thinking, “I knew this was eventually going to happen.” Others ...
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By Lucijan Jović Rigorous learning standards in schools hold students to high academic standards, which ensures that they are well-prepared to enter the workforce. As educators, our goal is to provide the highest quality instruction that not only engages our students but places them on the path toward personal and academic success. In order to ensure students are successful, educators must strengthen students’ critical thinking, reading, writing, and communicative proficiency. By doing so, we not only meet the needs of the diverse learning community, we’re also molding students into individuals who will create a more sustainable world for years to come. It ...
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By Helen Hoffner and Jack Mills After teaching for a few years, Madeline Church enrolled in an online graduate program to earn a master’s degree and certification as a reading specialist. The tuition was steep, and the assignments were challenging, but she persevered. Her dreams were dashed, however, when she completed the graduate program with A’s but could not be certified as a reading specialist in her home state. Although the program’s website stated that it met national standards, it did not fulfill the certification requirements of her state. In America, each state sets its own policies for certification. Although most states require similar coursework, ...
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By Christine Nganga Dr. Nganga is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at The George Washington University in the U.S. Her teaching and research interests include leadership practice with a social justice and equity focus, narrative inquiry, and mentoring theory and practice. The article “Tapestries of Epistemologies: Intersectional and Transnational Feminist Understandings of Caribbean and African Women Faculty’s Influence as Researchers,” by Christine Nganga, Kimberly Williams Brown, Makini Beck, and Joyanne De Four-Babb, is in the current issue of The Educational Forum , and is available free through the month of November . ...
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Children’s Grief Awareness Day is held each year on the third Thursday in November. In 2022, it will be marked on November 17. The day reminds us that childhood bereavement is all too common. In the United States, one in 13 children will lose a parent or sibling by the time they reach 18 years of age (CBEM). Almost all children-- about 90 percent --will experience the death of a close family member or friend. 2022 has been another challenging year because of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many children have lost loved ones from COVID-19. The nation has experienced excess deaths from other causes as well. Despite these sobering facts, grieving ...
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By Melissa Bittner & Mariya Davis Physical activities give students a break from demanding cognitive tasks and serve to encourage creative development (Skoning, 2008). Offering active breaks during classroom instruction has favorable outcomes for academic achievement (Fedewa & Soyeon, 2011). Research also supports the positive impact of physical activities on student classroom behavior (Barros et al., 2009). In addition, physical activity is especially important for children with disabilities, as they are almost 1.5 times more likely to be overweight or obese compared with their typically developing peers (Healy et al., 2018). When the ...
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By Anh Ngoc Quynh Phan The author’s article in the current issue of The Educational Forum , “In-betweenness, Mother Guilt, and Juggling Roles: The Emotional Experiences of a Vietnamese International Doctoral Student Mother,” is currently available free. Anh Ngoc Quynh Phan is completing her PhD study at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. Anh is familiar with qualitative methodologies such as narrative inquiry, critical (collaborative) autoethnography, and poetic inquiry. Anh is interested in migration, diaspora, international student mobility, space, place, and identity. COVID-19 came like a tornado, causing a worldwide blackout. The earth ...
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By Mubina Schroeder In preparation for the upcoming Climate Change Summit at the United Nations, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated: “We need rapid and deep change in how we do business, generate power, build cities and feed the world.” Climate change and its far-reaching effects on the lives of everyone in the global community represent a unique challenge for society—and a unique opportunity for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. STEM educators often contend with ways to promote scientific literacy. How can we create the next generation of critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and solution engineers? ...
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By Brian Williams and Kristen Wawer Implementing a thematic unit is an effective way to integrate standards, content, and culture into instruction. This type of unit will allow you to organize curriculum around a central theme. Specifically, a thematic unit is a series of lessons and activities that integrate a variety of topics that tie into a main theme (Brodzik et al., 1996). This method of curriculum organization will allow you to discuss important issues, bring together different kinds of materials, and have students work to make connections between course concepts and their own lives (Mitchell & Young, 1997). Introduction to Implementation ...
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By Marla A. Sole According to Carol Dweck (2008), there are two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence is innate and unalterable. A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence can be developed, and we can make gains by being persistent, trying new strategies, and reaching out for support when we need it. Students who have a fixed mindset exert little effort when faced with obstacles, since their belief is that intelligence is fixed and that effort and outreach will be futile. Students with growth mindsets welcome challenges, embrace opportunities to expand their abilities, and are ...
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By Samantha Smith Thermostats set the temperature, do they not? If you want your house to be cool, wouldn’t you set the thermostat to a cooler setting? Likewise, if you’re wanting your classroom to be calm and productive, look to yourself first. It’s crucial to set the tone at the threshold. The first interaction with students each day is likely to set the tone for how class will continue. Imagine you’re a student walking into a classroom. Your teacher hasn’t made copies and is also stressed out from the previous class period. As you find your seat, your teacher begins a rant on how the day is unfolding, then proceeds to spout off expectations ...
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By John W. Krupp Although the teaching profession can change the world for the better, it often comes with a great deal of stress. Struggling to manage this stress can lead to burnout and the loss of teachers (Akin, 2019). Teachers’ daily responsibilities include teaching the curriculum, preparing for high-stakes testing, grading, collaborating, communicating with parents, being a first responder, and leading extra-curricular activities to build school culture (Daniels et al., 2016; Hupe & Stevenson, 2019; Katic et al., 2019; Manuel et al., 2018). When faced with the many demands of the profession, stress is inevitable. New teachers typically ...
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By Shanda Salvant Theriot Do you remember how old you were when you received your first smartphone or personal electronic device to access the world wide web, gaining access to thousands of apps and numerous social media sites? For me, it wasn’t until my junior year in high school; however, according to a survey conducted by Common Sense Media, a little over half (53%) of children in the United States, now own a smartphone by the age of 11 (Kamenetz, 2019). Looking back as an educator and parent, things have definitely changed! Although the Internet has proven to be very beneficial when it comes to communicating information remotely, it also ...
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By Kyle Miller Family engagement is a topic that continues to gain attention in school districts, with a recognition that families are vital to the success of students. However, family engagement typically manifests as mother engagement due to gendered school practices implicitly targeting and supporting mothers (Osborn, 2015; Posey-Maddox, 2017). For that reason, the efforts of fathers often remain unseen or misunderstood by schools and teachers. This was true in my experiences as a teacher and continues to emerge in my research with fathers. Recently, I interviewed 25 fathers about their current engagement with their children and their parenting ...
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By Julia Wilkins Whether or not you have taken a course in how to build relationships and communicate with parents, you might find yourself feeling completely unprepared. Because parental involvement in school is positively associated with student achievement, it is important to know how to build relationships with parents to facilitate their involvement. An important point to remember is that “parents” can mean grandparents, stepparents, foster parents, and more. Before you can effectively communicate with parents, you need to know their preferred method of communication, whether they have Internet access, and what language they primarily speak. ...
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By Blanca E. Vega The article “ ‘When I Would Hurt’: Undocumented Students’ Responses to Obstacles Faced During the College-Choice Process,” by Vega, B.E., Kenny Nienhusser, H., & Carquin-Hamichand, M.S., is in the current edition of The Educational Forum and is available for free during the month of August 2022 . “I asked my mom, ‘I need this number because I need to apply for financial aid.’ She said, “We don’t have that number.” . . . So I spoke to the counselor and I told her that I don’t have that number. That’s when she told me that because I don’t have that number, it means that I’m here illegally. I don’t apply for financial aid. I don’t ...
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By Christopher J. Jackson Congratulations! You’ve made it to your first year as a teacher and your first classroom, your new “home away from home.” A teacher’s perception of their classroom says a lot about how their first year at the school could go. You can set the tone of your classroom from Day One by establishing an atmosphere for each student, no matter their cultural background, race, or ethnicity. This article provides five tips for making your classroom your arena. Feel the Classroom Vibes When you first walk into your classroom, I challenge you to stop, close your eyes, and imagine your room filled with students. Your students come ...
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By Jeremy D. Visone The author’s article (coauthored with Courtney K. Mason and Keri MacLean), “ Teacher Leadership for Equity: Leveraging a Taxonomy for Improved School Experiences,” appears in the July 2022 issue of the Kappa Delta Pi Record. Get free access to the article through the month of August. Imagine you are a student with the following daily school experience. Because your bus picks you up at 5:30 a.m. and your stop is two blocks from your house, you wake up much earlier than most of your classmates. You have a 40-minute bus ride from the urban center where you live to your school in a suburban community. If your bus driver avoids significant ...
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By Micki M. Caskey and Karen Weller Swanson Being completely present means much more in the last 2 years due to COVID-19. After the difficulty of our first full year since the pandemic, it is time to take a breath and reflect. Teaching nudges us to think and rethink our practice, sometimes by choice and sometimes by circumstance. As we remember the challenge to bring our best selves into the classroom, bell hooks (2003) wrote that good teaching comes from whole teachers: “[T]he classroom is one of the most dynamic work settings precisely because we are given such a short amount of time to do so much. To perform with excellence and grace teachers must ...
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