Topics in Education

No More School Bells

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SDepositphotos 4758042 s 2015 300x199 No More School Bellsince it opened in 2013, Rancho Mirage High School, near Palm Springs, California, has never used bells. An audio recording of a rattlesnake, which is the school mascot, can be heard in the hallways at the beginning of the school day, the end of lunch, and when school is over. The rest of the day, students rely on their personal cell phones and watches to keep track of time. Indeed, getting rid of school bells is a growing trend that has been sweeping American schools. But just because it sounds trendy and new, doesn’t mean it is the right choice for everyone.

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Teacher of the Year Infographic

Meet the teachers who truly stand out as some of the most effective and inspiring educators from across the country in our Teacher of the Year Infographic – 2017!

Don’t miss our Teacher Of The Year 2017 Blog post! Get more details about these 6 educators plus one outstanding principal!

Teachers of the Year 2017 Infographic Teacher of the Year Infographic


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Teachers Of The Year – 2017

It takes a lot of creativity, dedication and love to be chosen as a teacher of the year. In a sense, every teacher that has inspired students, made them feel that they matter every day, and helped them attain some real academic progress, is worthy of this title. It was not an easy task, given all of the exceptional candidates, but these teachers of the year -2017 really stand out as some of the most effective and inspiring educators from across the country.

Don’t Miss Our Teacher Of The Year Infographic!

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Say No To Peanut Free Schools

Depositphotos 88034422 s 2015 150x150 Say No To Peanut Free Schools When I was growing up, there was no such thing as a “peanut free school”, at least as far as I knew. I had a few friends who carried around Epipens, and I remember learning how to use one at the staff orientation for a camp that I worked at. Things have certainly changed in the past two decades. Now the country is full of peanut free schools, camps and play areas. It’s great that public spaces are trying to accommodate the needs of all children. However, the real question is whether any of this makes a real difference in the lives of children with severe allergies.

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The Day the Principal Banned Tag

tag Depositphotos 78712954 s 2015 300x199 The Day the Principal Banned TagDo you have nostalgic memories of running around the school yard, chasing after friends? Well, it looks like kids from Gold Ridge Elementary school in Folsom, California won’t be sharing those experiences. On a Friday in March, Principal David Frankel sent a message to parents stating that “students were instructed that physical contact during tag games, touch football, etc. were not allowed on the yard.” The ban on tag and other games involving physical contact raises a very important question. While the question is a complicated one, banning tag does seem a bit extreme.

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Cheating in the Age of the Internet

Depositphotos 129318460 s 2015 300x201 Cheating in the Age of the InternetWhile browsing a local website dedicated to job listings, I recently came across an ad recruiting high-quality, college-level writing. When I clicked on the link, I found myself on a website dedicated to “helping” college students write academic papers. At first glance, the original posting looked like a legitimate job, but when I followed the links, it became all too clear that the website was dedicated to recruiting people who would write college-level papers for other people, rather than really tutoring and helping students write on their own. My experience is just one of a myriad of examples of how cheating is evolving in the age of the internet.

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Information Literacy: How to Combat Fake News

Fake News and Information Literacy For Students

Depositphotos 135157494 s 2015 300x300 Information Literacy: How to Combat Fake NewsIn a world where click-bait rules supreme and anyone can publish what they want, it is downright difficult to separate the truth from fiction. The internet is full of people manipulating the truth to serve their own agendas, at best. At worst, there are those who are deliberately lying to sensationalize people or events. If, as adults, it is difficult for us to know where to get reliable information, and when stories are blown out of proportion, how can we possibly expect our students to beat these challenges? If educators don’t make information literacy a priority, we run the risk of allowing precious minds to be contaminated unknowingly with all manner of falsehood and lies.

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7 Tips for The Successful Principal

Successful School Principal Tips

principalDepositphotos 59345033 s 2015 300x199 7 Tips for The Successful PrincipalWhether you are in your first year as an administrator or you have decades of experience, it’s always a good idea to periodically take a few moments and reflect on the effectiveness of your performance. These 7 tips for the successful school principal will help you stay focused, set goals and create a manageable workload so you can serve your students, parents and faculty in the best way possible.

1. Delegate and Trust Your Staff.

Don’t be the go-to person every time a student is late for class or misses a homework assignment. Do be present and available when serious discipline and safety issues arise. Empower teachers to manage their relationships with parents and students, and to approach other support staff such as department chairs, the school psychologist and the vice principal(s) when they are in need of a consultation or assistance. Teachers need support and people to bounce ideas off of, but you don’t need to be the one they reach out to on a daily basis. 

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The Ideal Classroom Designed by Today’s Educators. What Would It Look Like?

designing the ideal classroom conflict copy 13 1 The Ideal Classroom Designed by Todays Educators. What Would It Look Like?

 

Hertz Furniture is proud to present the Designing The Ideal Classroom Infographic detailing what today’s educators think our classrooms should and should not look like.  We surveyed a cross- section of educators including school principals, ed tech specialists, consultants, designers, and administrators.  They responded to questions about the most important components of a classroom, what ideal classrooms should and should not look like, what color scheme the ideal classroom would incorporate and more.

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A Dream Come True? Mark Zuckerberg’s 100 Million Dollar Donation

Depositphotos 58855779 s 2015 1 300x300 A Dream Come True? Mark Zuckerberg’s 100 Million Dollar DonationMark Zuckerberg’s Donation to Schools in Newark, N.J.

A failing school district gets tens of millions of dollars from a popular tech tycoon. It sounds like the opening scene of a Cinderella story blockbuster movie. But for the Newark school district, it was a dream come true in 2010 when Mark Zuckerberg, owner and founder of Facebook, announced that he was donating 100 million dollars to save the city’s failing schools. What could be bad about poor neighborhoods improving their public education system with the help of some generous funds? Well, money isn’t everything. Making sure that money is used in the best way possible is much more complicated than it sounds.

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Who Profits From Online Lesson Plans?

Depositphotos 84424746 s 2015 300x199 Who Profits From Online Lesson Plans? From administrators to department heads to teachers, we can all benefit from sharing digital resources. The abundance of online lesson plans and classroom resources available is revolutionizing the lesson preparation process. It’s no secret that good teachers spend many hours out of school grading papers, preparing lessons, speaking to parents and more. So why shouldn’t the global teaching community come together to share resources, thus saving valuable time and letting students all over the world benefit from great ideas? Maybe because things aren’t as simple as they sound. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

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Changes Ahead for the SAT, Students and Standardized Test Preparation

Depositphotos 60470681 s 2015 300x199 Changes Ahead for the SAT, Students and Standardized Test PreparationAs 2016 edges closer so does a change of seismic proportions for many high school students and parents. Rippling through lives of not only students and their parents, but also education professionals across the country, this change, of course, is the redesigned SAT that will be given for the first time this spring.

The SAT has gone through many changes in its time as the benchmark for entrance to colleges and universities.  However it’s popularity has been waning, and it’s mission blurred.  The SAT was initially developed to provide information about a student’s potential, or aptitude, as in the name Scholastic Aptitude Test.  Over the years, however, as scores reflect expensive test preparation and privilege, rather than natural abilities or educational background, many oppose the use of standardized tests as a bloated system requiring months of memorizing tricks and tips to get top scores.

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Gender Fluidity in Schools

Depositphotos 11246107 s 2015 300x225 Gender Fluidity in SchoolsBefore the ‘80’s, it was the rare family that openly discussed sexual orientation. I remember universal shock when it was discovered that “The Village People” singers, best known for their hit song which is still sung today at baseball games, “At the YMCA”, were all homosexual. Even Liberace was never openly recognized as homosexual.

In my elementary school in the early ‘70’s, there was one girl who kept a very short haircut and had rough and tough interests. It never occurred to any of us that she might be a lesbian-the term was not known. Rather, she was a “tomboy”-a girl who was boyish.

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Transforming the Classroom for Today’s Techy Students

Depositphotos 1968052 s 2015 300x199 Transforming the Classroom for Today’s Techy StudentsLet’s face it. Even the youngest children can search their pressing questions on a computer. Good ol’ Google has made knowledge acquisition as easy as click, click, click. In today’s digital and technological environment, with our techy students, the future of the teacher-run classroom might be on its way to becoming obsolete. Or is it?

Student behavior is notoriously more challenging for the educator. Students quickly bore in the traditional classroom where the teacher is the lead and disseminator of information. For students used to quick changing, full color images flying at them from their iPads, frontal teaching no longer flies for their acquirement of knowledge.

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15 Steps to Take to be a Great Principal

Depositphotos 59345563 s 2015 300x199 15 Steps to Take to be a Great PrincipalA recent discussion with a friend shed light on the importance of a good school principal. Deciding where to live, she and her husband went to visit a potential school for their child. Her husband was interested in the curriculum. She, on the other hand, paid close attention to the principal’s relationship to the students.

Was there a healthy balance of warmth and respect? Did students feel that the principal was there to help or just discipline? Were students clear about how they should behave and what they should be doing at any given time? The mother rightfully felt that the best curriculum without the structure and warmth in place would not lead to student achievement.

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