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Director of Katherine Smith Elementary, Aaron Brengard, works with a Kindergarten class to develop crucial communications skills at an early age. The school populations is predominantly English Language Learners, yet these two ambassadors are teaching visitors about project-based learning through presentation.
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Director of Katherine Smith Elementary, Aaron Brengard, works with a Kindergarten class to develop crucial communications skills at an early age. The school populations is predominantly English Language Learners, yet these two ambassadors are teaching visitors about project-based learning through presentation.

PD Payoff

One of my colleagues, who is admittedly not very tech-savvy, attended my professional development class on using iPads in the content areas. After learning how to create a QR code scavenger hunt, she was so excited to actually set one up all by herself, and was beaming when it actually worked and her students were all thoroughly engaged in the activity! She loved hearing them discussing the problems and working collaboratively!

Holden Caulfield for the #eduWin!

These are the moments literature teachers live for.

 
"Mr. Reyes! I have to tell you about my epiphany," declared Johnny (name changed to protect the awesome). 
 
This year I rolled out a Reader’s Workshop modeled after what I found in Penny Kittle's Book Love. Lots of free choice reading, in-class reading, mini-lessons, conferences, goal-setting, book talks, celebration. It’s been a ton of fun and a ton of work. But almost all my less-than-avid readers are telling me they’ve read more this quarter than they ever thought they would. And Kittle is right: It’s all about having the right book on hand for the readers who don’t know how to find that next read.
 
For Johnny, it was an oldie-but-a-goodie: The Catcher in the Rye (from which he went on to Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Mist, and Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes).
 
Johnny is a sharp kid. He’s in all the smartie-pants classes, and he does good work…when he does his work. I had him as a freshman, a junior, and now as a senior, and the story has been much the same the whole time.
 
When he started telling me about his epiphany, he looked terrible. As it turns out, he was up crazy late finishing every missing assignment he had for all of his classes. 
 
"Literature really does teach you a lot about life," he told me. “So I was sitting there filling out college applications, and I was looking at how good my SAT scores were and how bad my grades are. And I started thinking about how all through high school, I haven’t really done the work I should have. And I start thinking about The Catcher in the Rye and how you could say something similar about Holden. He was smart, but he was never willing to play by everyone else’s rules. And I don’t want to end up like him.”
 
This is why I do what I do. 
 
Or maybe why I don’t do what I don’t do.
 
I didn’t “teach” this novel. I gave no lectures on theme or antiheroes or narrative reliability. I just let the power of the novel reach Johnny where he was. I handed him the book and let Holden do all the heavy lifting.
 
Thanks to everyone who has helped me craft meaningful learning experiences for my students, especially Penny KittleJoy KirrAllison Peterson, and Megan Ellis.
 
Thank you, J.D. Salinger, and thank you, Johnny.
 
This was a good day.

School Teachers News

There is no news like school teachers news because it is business that affects your school-aged-children directly or indirectly. Some teacher news information is quintessentially interesting and one of the most interesting is the news that teachers are finally looking out for each other in a most creative way.

For decades teachers have looked to Corporations and large national companies for school related ideas, materials, and everyday classroom needs. But, more and more teachers are looking to each other for those things …

http://www.streetarticles.com/reference-and-education/school-teachers-news

For Teachers Only

For your information, this article is for teachers only. If you are not a teacher you are welcome to stick around for an inside scoop on teacher business. Teachers are a special breed of beings with special interests. Interests like supplementing meager wages and making ends meet.

Also for your information, teachers are not exactly paupers. They just live on very modest incomes … enough for a roof over the head and for food on the table. It is not an income worthy of the important job they do….

http://www.streetarticles.com/reference-and-education/for-teachers-only

The First Day Of School

Until you have stood at a classroom door and watched 35 unruly middle school students march into your classroom for the first time, you don’t really know what utter devastation is all about.

These students roar into your classroom in groups of ‘best-friends’ and as far as they are concerned you hardly exist. You are an annoyance and they have important business to discuss amongst themselves …  http://www.streetarticles.com/teaching/the-first-day-of-school