August 2015 Blog Posts (21)

Do your students use essay-writing services?

Although my profile subject is computer science I also had to write at least a dozen of essays. And although it was difficult for me, it allowed me to broaden my skills in writing.

Preparing to another long year of teaching at school I made a thorough research about essays. Apparently most of our students don’t like them the same way as I did. But conversely to my experience, they don’t see it as a chance to improve their writing skills, they see it as useless waste of time.…


Added by Paula Thompson on August 27, 2015 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

Back-to-school Rule #1: get reading right

One of my favorite intellectual activities is trying to explain sight-words so that the ordinary doctor, lawyer, or politician  understands what I'm saying.

This has turned out to be extremely difficult. Rudolf Flesch thought, in 1955, that he had said the final word on why phonics is essential, and why Whole Word will inevitably destroy children by the millions. Unfortunately, he didn't  make his case well enough. So we do have more than 40 million functional…


Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on August 24, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Governor Kasich: 'Teachers' Lounges' Are Hubs of Connectivity and Collaboration

On a national stage with an audience invested in learning about all the candidates, left and right, Democrat and Republican...with everyone listening, the announcement that schools are filled with teachers who gather in "teachers' lounges" to complain to one another is ludicrous.  Read more...

Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 23, 2015 at 6:57am — No Comments

Head Off Stress: Set Goals That Include Work, Home, Community, and Self

Successful change begins within the leader. Sustainable improvement and motivation of others calls for the ability to form and articulate the vision, build a culture of trust, reflect on decisions, coach, encourage, reinforce, take risks, and celebrate just to name a few. All of these abilities spring from the integration within the "mind-body-spirit" domain.  Yet, typical annual goals exclude the personal well-being as they focus on professional skills and knowledge …


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 20, 2015 at 7:32am — No Comments

Will Public Education Survive?

There are schools and districts that have stepped outside of the fray and, within the design context that remains our framework, have made inroads toward something new. But no matter the measure, we keep getting the same results. Challenges remain as achievement gaps, schools that struggle to raise mastery and graduation levels, issues presented by poverty and race, students whose poor attendance prevents successful learning, and now a …


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 18, 2015 at 7:05am — No Comments

Bill Ayers and Social Justice???

This little article  explores the big paradox of the 20th century. Social reformers (particularly, socialists, communists, totalitarians of all types) always make very big claims about what they will do for the People. Finally, we are told, the People will have fairness, equality, and justice.

 Almost inevitably, the People get more misery than they had before. That is really the underlying theme of George Orwell's 1984. The various power-seeking groups fight among themselves;…


Added by Bruce Deitrick Price on August 17, 2015 at 7:18pm — No Comments

Listening, Not Feedback: A Powerful Way to Improve Wellbeing and Performance

The ability to listen influences trust, work productivity, job commitment, safety, student achievement and can even reduce burnout. Here, Dr. Kluger shares his findings from a meta- analysis done on the value of listening and its positive effects on behavior of both the listener and the listened to, and his own life experience.

The recognition that I needed to improve my listening skills changed both my personal life and my…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 16, 2015 at 7:27am — No Comments

Sesame Street

I was saddened to read that new episodes of Sesame Street will air first on HBO, a paid cable network.  There are so many levels of genius behind Sesame Street, but perhaps the most significant is the gap it filled for underprivileged children.  Any educator knows that all children do not start kindergarten with the same foundation.  All children are not immersed in print-rich homes with books on the shelves and magazine and newspaper subscriptions.  All children don't see…


Added by Christine Brower-Cohen on August 15, 2015 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Leading Change While Attending to Culture

Teachers and their leaders all, as human beings, naturally repeat behaviors and decisions out of habit. There is a comfort in doing the same thing over and over, a security and assurance that comes with habit. A successful implementation of a new student information system, or schedule, for example, offers feedback to the one leading the change that the method "worked." A successful lesson in a classroom, one that yielded high scores for the students, offers feedback to the teacher…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 13, 2015 at 9:03am — No Comments

Summer Work With Extraordinary Passion Fueled Educators

Recently, we were invited to address a group of educators in central New York. It was mid-summer. Eighteen school districts were represented.  About 200 teacher, school and district leaders were attending the Second Annual Collaborative Educators Summit hosted by the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District and their business and higher ed partners. These educators had come together to both learn and share how they are changing the way teaching and learning is…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 11, 2015 at 7:02am — No Comments

Leading 21st Century Schools: Pushing Against Jurassic Values

A challenge for schools is the divide that exists between the culture within our schools and the culture that exists outside of our schools.  What we teach and model is not what they see and experience when students walk out of our doors. Schools face the challenge of helping children learn and become, hopefully, empathetic, compassionate, and courageous, and contributing adults. Schools, in preparing students for work and life in this century, fight gender stereotypes and all other…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 9, 2015 at 6:30am — No Comments

Teacher: Why education needs more leaders who are female

"Fellow" Female NYC Teacherpreneurs

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting, in person, Starr Sackstein, a fellow NYC teacher leader, blogger, and author, thanks to CTQ’s …


Added by Michael Keany on August 8, 2015 at 1:01pm — No Comments

Do We Really Have High Expectations for All? By Barbara Blackburn

Do We Really Have High Expectations for All?

bblackburn By Barbara Blackburn

Do you have high expectations for your students? I’ve never met a teacher who said, “I have low expectations for my students.” The challenge is that we…


Added by Michael Keany on August 7, 2015 at 9:37am — No Comments

The Healing Power of Love: Reconnecting With Our Higher Purpose

On my way in to the John A. Coleman School in Yonkers, NY, I noticed a small framed statement of mission hanging on the wall.  Very unobtrusive, it read "In the tradition of Elizabeth Seton, we cherish all children and believe in the healing power of loving relationships..."  That simple statement summed up clearly what I saw over the next few hours, and was moved to share in this piece.  It was so unlike the "Mission and Vision" statements I have seen in…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 6, 2015 at 6:54am — No Comments

Leading to Reduce Stressors in the System

Any number of things can cause an educator to experience stress: challenged students, discipline, time pressures and workload, coping with change, being evaluated by everyone, self-esteem and status, everyday issues of administration and management, role conflict and ambiguity and often poor working conditions (Myers & Berkowicz).  A Google search reveals…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 4, 2015 at 6:32am — No Comments

Why the Best Teachers Won't Ditch the Lecture by Guido Kovalskys

Why the Best Teachers Won't Ditch the Lecture


Added by Michael Keany on August 3, 2015 at 4:10pm — No Comments

Leaders Need Strength and Soul

The morning newscasters around the world were reporting that a piece of an airplane wing has washed ashore on Reunion Island, it was big news, as it might be the first piece of an airliner that disappeared 15 months ago. One foreign correspondent reported that there had been "162 souls on board." The phrase caught us. It is not how an American would likely characterize the human lives that might be lost. Juxtapose that to a recent Time Magazine article "A jailbreak shows…


Added by Jill Berkowicz & Ann Myers on August 2, 2015 at 6:59am — No Comments

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