Here’s the thing…when we dismiss something because of our fear of the unknown as educators, we don’t just lose out ourselves, but those that we serve lose out as well. Teachers impact students, principals impact teachers and students, and superintendents can impact everyone. When our fear holds us back, it often holds others back as well. Fear often has the power to kill innovation.

What Our Fear Actually Inhibits

Students Riding on Coattails during Group Work? Five Simple Ideas to Try
Design a group project in which the students work in phases.
Develop an element of the project that allows group members to make their own choices.
Within a group project, include a component requiring individual students to submit non-onerous individual work.
Devote a segment (30 minutes or so) during class before all group projects begin to implement two important steps.
Prepare students to expect the unexpected.
High-res

Students Riding on Coattails during Group Work? Five Simple Ideas to Try

  1. Design a group project in which the students work in phases.
  2. Develop an element of the project that allows group members to make their own choices.
  3. Within a group project, include a component requiring individual students to submit non-onerous individual work.
  4. Devote a segment (30 minutes or so) during class before all group projects begin to implement two important steps.
  5. Prepare students to expect the unexpected.
Helping Students to Be Comfortable with NOT Knowing [ACTIVITY]

If we aren’t “comfortable with not knowing”, there’s no chance that we will ever truly embrace questioning because questioning is an inherently vulnerable act — particularly in environments where being successful is synonymous with “having the right answer.” So I whipped up a handout that I plan to use whenever we are studying a new topic.

Keep reading about how to try this activity! High-res

Helping Students to Be Comfortable with NOT Knowing [ACTIVITY]

If we aren’t “comfortable with not knowing”, there’s no chance that we will ever truly embrace questioning because questioning is an inherently vulnerable act — particularly in environments where being successful is synonymous with “having the right answer.” So I whipped up a handout that I plan to use whenever we are studying a new topic.

Keep reading about how to try this activity!

Most teachers will say that there’s very little time in the day for reflecting, and I agree with them. But I still make sure that I find time to reflect because it’s too important to put by the wayside. All educators need time in their day to reflect and think about the different ways they can be better. We ask this of our students, so why shouldn’t we do the same?

The Reflective Teacher: Taking a Long Look

The Power of “I Don’t Know”

Adopting a comfortable “I don’t know” attitude is far more accurate for what we need to do as educators then pretending we know it all. It sounds counterintuitive, I know. After all, in many job interviews, “I don’t know” stereotypically shows a lack of experience in the field, right? (I would argue that this is also starting to evolve, however.) 
But in school where every client is a work in progress, we need to cultivate a certain excitement in not knowing something. Modeling an excited “I don’t know” attitude is the brass doorknob that opens the portal to finding answers together.

image via flickr:CC | cowbite
How does your classroom honor “I don’t know?” What strategies do you use to help them find their own answers? High-res

The Power of “I Don’t Know”

Adopting a comfortable “I don’t know” attitude is far more accurate for what we need to do as educators then pretending we know it all. It sounds counterintuitive, I know. After all, in many job interviews, “I don’t know” stereotypically shows a lack of experience in the field, right? (I would argue that this is also starting to evolve, however.)

But in school where every client is a work in progress, we need to cultivate a certain excitement in not knowing something. Modeling an excited “I don’t know” attitude is the brass doorknob that opens the portal to finding answers together.

image via flickr:CC | cowbite

How does your classroom honor “I don’t know?” What strategies do you use to help them find their own answers?

Colleges Make It Easier for Students to Show, Not Tell, in Their Applications

Robert J. Sternberg, a professor of human development at Cornell and an author of books on teaching and intelligence, said, “A video can measure creativity, initiative and practical skills in a way a typical standardized assessment does not,” but it is not “a substitute for a high school transcript.”

“The video is also susceptible to bias in scoring,” he added, “for example, with regard to the attractiveness, ethnicity, weight or other perceived physical features of the video maker.”

A New Conversation Conversation

Teens who crossed US border alone enter schools 

U.S. schools are now dealing with the fallout from the dramatic spike in the number of children and teenagers who crossed into the United States unaccompanied by family; the Supreme Court has ruled that they have an obligation to educate all students regardless of their immigration status.
The district’s goal is to get them assimilated, and after a semester or more, if necessary, back into a regular high school. There, they can earn a high diploma, even if that means participating in adult education programs and going to school until they are 21.
"They just crave it, and they will come and ask questions," said Lori Ott, their English language teacher, after her students cheerfully waved goodbye for the day. "How do you say this? And, how do you say that? They just participate and you can’t say enough about them."
High-res

Teens who crossed US border alone enter schools

U.S. schools are now dealing with the fallout from the dramatic spike in the number of children and teenagers who crossed into the United States unaccompanied by family; the Supreme Court has ruled that they have an obligation to educate all students regardless of their immigration status.

The district’s goal is to get them assimilated, and after a semester or more, if necessary, back into a regular high school. There, they can earn a high diploma, even if that means participating in adult education programs and going to school until they are 21.

"They just crave it, and they will come and ask questions," said Lori Ott, their English language teacher, after her students cheerfully waved goodbye for the day. "How do you say this? And, how do you say that? They just participate and you can’t say enough about them."