We are smart, hard working, kind, creative and talented. We are the generators of future greatness. We are the salt of the earth, the cherry on top, the cream of the crop. We are teachers! Therefore, as the end of the school year arrives, we get just as excited about summer vacation as our students. […]
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I’d like to thank you for the positive feedback and interesting comments about my recent blog, “School Dress Codes-Needed Rules or Society Gone Crazy?”. One reader asked an important question; Do school dress codes and uniforms actually make a difference concerning behavior and school performance? Feeling that this question was compelling, I spent a significant […]
Raised by a working mother, buying school lunch in the school cafeteria was a given. I am pretty sure that my mother never knew nor cared that I ate peanut butter and jelly on white bread every day throughout my 6 years of elementary school, except on Thursdays. Thursday was pizza day which couldn’t hold a candle to peanut butter and jelly. She didn’t care because a. nutrition was much less a topic of discussion in the 70’s and b. we had a relatively nutritious sit-down family dinner every night. In addition, thinking about my High School graduation class of 250 students, only about 5 were thought of as “fat” and by today’s standards would be considered “average”. We were getting plenty of outside play and ate very little processed or fast food short of the occasional TV dinner.
As a conservative minded mother, I will say from the start that I appreciate school dress codes. My own children attended schools where uniforms were a requirement. Instead of the morning routine becoming a tug of war between a child’s will and the parent’s desire for what to wear, there might only be a discussion about what is for breakfast. Power struggles concerning clothing disappear along with student competition regarding who got the latest, greatest, name-brand garment on the market.
The news that the SAT’s will be modified to more appropriately accord with today’s high school academic experience has been met with both strong approval and fierce criticism. Hertz School Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler presents the two sides of this issue. What are your thoughts on the new SAT format? Is this a progressive […]
I was pleased to join Minnesota Congressman John Kline, chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, as he announced new federal charter schools legislation at Global Academy in Columbia Heights on March 31. Rep. Kline was joined by Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana), chair of the House School Choice Caucus, Greg Richmond, President and CEO […]
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Just one month ago, the United States celebrated Black History Month. The nation has much […]
Should teachers serve primarily as presenters of predetermined material or facilitators of student-initiated learning? Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler compares the strengths and weaknesses of inquiry-based learning and direct learning; watch the video to learn more about this fundamental pedagogical issue. What has been your experience with these two modes of classroom learning? […]
Guest Blogger: Ember Reichgott Junge The new numbers on growth of charter schools over the last year exceeded even my expectations. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (www.publiccharters.org) recently released these numbers: 600 new public charter schools opened their doors in September, 2013, for 7% growth in the number of operating public charter schools […]
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – Mark Twain Do grades matter anymore? According to one of the most influential companies on the planet today: not really. In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman interviews the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google Inc., Laszlo Bock. […]
America is in a state of crisis. It isn’t what you think. Yes, the country is polarized politically, and congress is earning some of the lowest approval ratings in history. Sure, the economy has seen better days and our debt is astronomical. Crime and poverty continue to plague many of our cities and towns. But […]
You can feel it the moment you walk into the building. Every school exudes a certain aura, an overall mood: it is the school’s culture. Some schools are warm and welcoming, while others are more rigid and formal. Either way, the school culture wafts through the hallways like a cloud of smoke, enveloping everything and everybody in its path. You can sense it in the way students walk down the hallways, in the nature of the conversation between a teacher and his students, and in the presence of the principal as she walks into the cafeteria. The school culture is created by a combination of factors: the administrators, the teachers, the students, the physical environment, and the dynamic between them all. But the issue that most powerfully reflects, but also determines, the school culture is the faculty room door policy.
Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler discusses the debate for an extended school day. Many argue that we should be focusing on improving the quality of classrooms and teaching rather than paying teachers more for extra hours. Watch the video and learn more about the debate for en extended school day. What do […]
This is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s not the winter snow that has me excited; it’s football. Over the next two glorious weeks, football’s four best teams will battle it out on the gridiron to determine this season’s champion. It recently dawned upon me that are some striking parallels between football and education. True, the salaries of a starting running back and a seventh grade math teacher aren’t exactly identical, or – ok, let’s be honest – anywhere near each other. However, I think we educators have much to learn from the game of football. Here are the five lessons that football teaches teachers:
Picture the scene: It’s Final Exams Week in a local high school. Students are scampering down the hallway, rushing from their lockers to their classrooms. Amid the bustling, nervously looking at his watch, one student complains to another: “Great. I have forty-five minutes to perform my five hours of community service.” The panicked student is referring to the hours of volunteering that the school has included in its high school curriculum. Each student is obligated to fulfill these five hours of volunteer service any way he sees fit, at any time, before the end of the semester. In fact, students are only admitted to their final exams after submitting their community service form, which lists the time and location of their community service. Apparently one student has neglected to serve his community for five hours that semester. This is a true story I recently heard, one that touches upon some fundamental questions about how we educate our students in the moral and civic realms.