Sunday, April 6, 2014

Education Matters Online Radio by IISCommission BlogTalk Radio

Brandon Wallace
Brandon Wallace just signed on to host our NABSE Instruction & Instructional Support Commission's Education Matters Blog Talk Radio shows focused on urban education and specialized instruction. He will host the shows twice a month on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. EST.
Mr. Wallace has taught at every level of secondary education (6-12), community college, undergraduate, and graduate school. Even after receiving a 4.0 in his first semester as a doctoral student in North Carolina, Brandon decided to return back to Maryland to pursue his passion for helping minority students in need of additional academic supports. After a successful six months of a private consultancy, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education in Washington, D.C. appointed Brandon to become and educational specialist—working his passion on the state-level in the nation’s capital.  Here's our link:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Educational Issues: Two Major Problems

Chassity Beads, 5th grade teacher
It is my belief that the two major problems facing education today lay in the urban public schools; the lack of technical resources and preparation for higher learning. They both play a huge role in the achievement gap of our students. Let's start with technical resources. There are gaps in resources between many of the jurisdictions and many of the poorer jurisdictions are deplorable, even within districts.  I remember training in Howard County, MD a few years ago, and I found out that each teacher received a new apple laptop to aide in teaching their students, plan lessons, analyze data, and test their students.  The students received new desktop computers as well.  At the time I had access to a laptop, but not one that would allow me the opportunity to truly be successful in my planning and implementation of instruction.  The point is Howard County has its own district with its own budget, and was able to afford to purchase laptops for each teacher, computers for the students, and to try to assure that each child is able to have access to a computer outside of school. This is an important thing to mention because it shows how forward they are in allowing their students to be prepared for their future careers.  On the other hand, Baltimore City, MD has computers for the students to use, but they are outdated, broken or sometimes non-existent. As a result, I do my best to incorporate as much technology as possible into my instruction; furthermore, I also plan and co-teach with the resource technology teacher to assist with projects for students as well as learning basic skills like typing. Also, it would be helpful to have interactive smart boards in each classroom to assist with the learning, use of graphic organizers, and engagement of students.  The use of updated technology is very beneficial to students, but is lacking in everyday classrooms. If we are preparing students to be college and career ready, we must be able to equip them fully with the tools needed for these institutions, especially living in an era now where everything is become more electronically based with learning and submissions of assignments. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

In My Role As A Teacher, I Truly Believe...

Nathaniel Larimore is a high school teacher.

I truly believe that all children are unique and have the capacity to learn. As an educator it is my responsibility to help every student reach their fullest potential. There are two crucial components to my educational philosophy. In order to take on the intricate task of teaching, I must have an understanding of how students process information and behavior.

The manner in which a student processes information is crucial in the process of teaching. My role as a teacher is to provide information. It is important for me to understand that not all students process information in the same manner. I must deliver instruction in a manner that allows for all students under my instruction to learn regardless of their skill level. It is important that I recognize the fact that what may work for one student may not work for the other students. It is my duty to provide each student with the information and skills necessary to achieve academic success. 

Behavior is another major component of the learning process. I share the belief that learning takes place when there is a change in behavior. I believe that a student has greater respect for their teachers, as well as fellow students, and the lessons presented when they feel safe and know what is expected of them. However, it is important that I take into account the numerous psychological factors that impact the process of learning. As a teacher, I must have an understanding of behavior beyond classroom management in order to further develop and enhance the process of learning.  

A display of a wide range of cognitive abilities and behaviors are common in the classroom. Unlike those in the medical profession, I do not get the opportunity to teach my students one at a time (individually). I must teach sometimes up to thirty students at once (in the same room) with different cognitive abilities and behaviors. In order to be effective I must be able to employ the techniques and strategies that will provide for academic growth and success for all of my students.

As I continue to put forth great effort in the classroom, I must continue to further develop and enhance my teaching skills. The opportunity to grow and learn new strategies through professional development is paramount in the area of teaching.  The various conferences and workshops have allowed me to gain valuable information to help me improve my delivery of instruction.

Nathaniel Larimore is a high school teacher and has taught American Government and Theory of Knowledge for Baltimore City Public Schools for over 14 years. 

Austin, TX: Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative

The Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative seeks to provide a quality arts-rich education for each and every child in Austin ISD, as well as professional development and ongoing support for teachers in arts-based instruction strategies through the collaborative support between Austin ISD, the City of Austin, MINDPOP, local artists, businesses and philanthropic organizations. The Fine Arts Department of Austin ISD serves students and faculty in Art, Dance, Music (Elementary/General, Band, Choir, Orchestra), and Theatre curricular content areas, grades kindergarten through twelve. Austin is the fifth largest school district in the state of Texas.  READ MORE

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pharrell Williams - Happy (Official Music Video)

Pharrell Williams was born on April 5, 1973, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  He was the oldest of three sons of Carolyn, a teacher, and Pharaoh Williams, a handyman.  He met Chad Hugo in a seventh-grade summer band camp where Williams played the keyboards and drums and Hugo played tenor saxophone. They were also both members of a marching band; Williams played the snare drum while Hugo was student conductor. Williams attended Princess Anne High School where he played in the school band; there he got the name Skateboard P. Hugo attended Kempsville High School.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Congratulations! Dr. Greg Thornton Has A New Job!

NABSE NEPI Member, Dr. Greg Thornton is leaving his job as superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools to become the new CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools in the state of Maryland. View More.

New Reading Law For Third Graders In Arizona

Karen Crawford, KomputerED Tools, llc
Author, Solve Every Problem
By Karen Crawford
Arizona has become one of 14 states that have instituted laws to hold back third-grade students who have not learned to read. Proponents of this policy argue that teachers of the higher grades do not know how to teach reading so if it is to occur, it must be done at the lower grades and thus the retention. Will repeating the 3rd grade make better readers?
The issue of holding back third-graders who have not learned to read is punitive.  Will punishing children for not learning to read motivate them to read?  No.  For the students that are falling behind, schools can offer a variety of inspiring interventions to close the learning gap: 
  •     Small group instruction 
  •     A dedicated daily reading block, which includes having the students write in their own words a summary of what they read
  •     Small group discussions where students recreate the story and act it out for the class
  •     Make available reading classes for slower students offering from pre-k through 2nd  grade
  •     Provide reading classes at each elementary school level.
  •     Provide a reading reward system that includes parents helping to stimulate their children to read vs. watching television
  •      Parents – read to your children or have your children read to you
Is it the child’s fault they did not learn this most important skill?  No.

 I believe teachers who take responsibility for and make sure that every child in their class learns, will do whatever is necessary to make sure that every student learns to read.  Which simply means that the instructor must make sure that each student understands all of the concepts being taught.  Part of the problem as stated above is that 4th – 12th grade teachers are not taught how to teach reading.  One remedy would be to augment the teacher education curriculum for 4-12 grade instructors with reading comprehension classes. Another possibility would be to add a reading methods class to the curriculum demonstrating how to implement instruction in a way that promotes independent students who go out of their way to read just because they want to.