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What Inspired Me to Study Parent and Community Engagement As is true for many teachers, I have fond and not-so-fond memories of my first year teaching. It was a year both of trial and error, of extreme joy and disappointment--that led to self-doubting about my effectiveness as a teacher. The first couple months were, at times, terrifying and discouraging.
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Overpaid? A Teacher's Perspective on Compensation For many Americans who have never worked in a classroom, teaching could look like a cushy profession: days that end at three; long holidays; a work year that's significantly shorter than that in other fields.
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Understanding Diversity: What’s a Parent to Do? There is no question that U.S. society is becoming increasingly diverse. This diversity spans race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, geography, educational background, ability (cognitive, social, physical), religion, and language. Schools across the country are not exempt; they are also increasingly diverse. What is the role of parents in helping students understand diversity in order to live meaningful lives?
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Flipping for Beginners: Inside the New Classroom Craze Since she began ‘flipping’ lectures and homework assignments, high school science teacher Shelley Wright has noticed something: the number of students failing her course has dropped from the usual three to zero. Departmental exam scores are higher, too.
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What Inspired Me to Launch the Comic Book Project Open any children's book--Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, take your pick--and you'll experience rich visual imagery combined with literary text. We present these books to young children, knowing that they will adore the pictures, engage in the narratives, seek more books, eventually learn to read, and hopefully love to read. Yet as children get older and enter school systems, the pictures quickly fall by the wayside. We expect students to become "serious" readers, working toward paragraph-based chapter books and the accepted canon of classic literature. For those students, like me, who loved to read at an early age, this entrenched method was a non-issue. For countless others, however, reading was, and still is, a struggle and seemingly insurmountable barrier to success in school.
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“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”: the Deeper Legacy of Steve Jobs It barely registers, if at all, that one can start, and operate, an automobile without knowing the physics and chemistry that run its combustion engine. And it is equally true, and perhaps more significant, that you do not need the car's technical specifications to drive it to your own personal choice of a destination. If that choice turns out to be mistaken, you can potentially drive it elsewhere.
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Ethnicity Matters—and So Do Contexts Since 1970, the United States has admitted more than thirty-million immigrants from around the world. While the vast majority of newcomers are of Latin American and Asian origins, they hail from heterogeneous socioeconomic backgrounds, ranging from investors and entrepreneurs to low-skilled laborers and undocumented migrants. As foreign-born populations continue to grow at the turn of the twenty-first century, the new second generation, born and raised in America, has come of age, making an indelible mark in cities across the United States.
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What Inspired Me to Study Social Networks I grew up in Boston, the first born in a working-class family with Irish roots. My family had all the stereotyped traits of the Irish working class in America: hardworking, gregarious, a commitment to "celebrating" with spirits at a moment's notice, and a dedication to family in the broadest sense of the word.
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Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions Students in Hayley Dupuy’s sixth-grade science class at the Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto, Calif., are beginning a unit on plate tectonics. In small groups, they are producing their own questions, quickly, one after another: What are plate tectonics? How fast do plates move? Why do plates move? Do plates affect temperature? What animals can sense the plates moving? They raise questions “that we never would have thought of if we started to answer the first question we asked,” says one of the students. “And just when you think you already know the question you want to focus on, you realize: ‘Oh, wow, here’s this other question that is so much better, and that’s really what you need to think about.’”
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Eight Tools for Charter School Entrepreneurs Charter school quality varies substantially from state to state, school to school. Nevertheless, the charter approach continues to hold promise as a potent catalyst for innovation, including empowering parents and teachers and catalyzing district school reform.
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