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New Teacher Training: Resources and Practical Advice



K12 Back to School Ideas for September

Welcome Back First Day of School




End of the School Year




Teachers purchase significant classroom supplies
"Teacher Buying Behavior, 2006-2007" takes a look at what types of materials and products educators are purchasing and with what funds. On average, teachers report spending a total of $475 of their own money on classroom materials and supplies. 44 % of respondents spend over $500 on their classrooms, with 20 % spending over $1,000. 85 % of teachers surveyed use their own money to buy student rewards. 75% use their own money for classroom decorations. 59 & dig into their own pockets to purchase professional materials.
Congress passed a tax bill that temporarily extends three popular tax breaks for classroom teachers.
The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006
, awaiting President Bush's signature, allows teachers to deduct up to $250 in out-of-pocket classroom expenses, even if they don't itemize deductions.

Teachers Tax Deduction: Congress has extended the $250 tax deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses incurred by teachers and paraprofessionals for the 2004 and 2005 tax years. In 2002, Congress passed legislation giving teachers and paraprofessional's a $250 federal tax deduction for teacher and paraprofessional out-of-pocket expenses for instructional materials and classroom supplies. The legislation represented an acknowledgment for the first time that teachers and paraprofessionals are spending their own money to equip their classrooms. This modest tax break expired at the end 2003. NEA and some lawmakers worked throughout the year to reinstate the deduction and will continue to work to make the deduction permanent and to expand eligible expenses to include professional development. NEA continues to push for a permanent deduction, an increase to $400, and an extension to cover professional development expenses.


Parental Factors that Do and Don't Matter

What does Matter:
The child has highly educated parents. The child's mother was 30 or older at time of the child's birth.
The child's parents are involved in the PTA, and have high income, and speaks English in the home.

What Doesn't Matter
The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten. The child's parents regularly take him to museums. The child attended Head Start, regularly watches TV at home, is regularly spanked at home.
Homework {1} - too much homework brings diminishing returns. Cooper's analysis of dozens of studies found that kids who do some homework in middle and high school score somewhat better on standardized tests, but doing more than 60 to 90 min. a night in middle school and more than 2 hr. in high school is associated with lower scores.

Research done by US military schools has shown success depends on parental involvement.
You can model their success by simply inviting your parents into your school and ask them to be active in the classroom. Make parents feel welcomed anytime they can come, and call their employers asking them to give parents time to come. Parents who are supported by the work place and encouraged to actively participate in the classroom will improve test scores more than any other single activity. Study after study shows that students with involved parents make better grades, enroll in higher-level programs, attend school regularly, have better social skills and go on to college. But involvement by parents often turns on whether they are encouraged, and few developments are more encouraging than the Community Report Card for Parents. The report card is not about making judgments or finding fault. It's all about giving parents the facts and encouraging them to find out how they can be a positive force for quality schools.


FIRST DAY Back from Summer Vacation Welcome Back

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, conducted by Harris Interactive each year since 1984, explores teachers' opinions and brings them to the attention of the American public and policymakers. The 2006 survey examines what teachers, principals and deans of schools of education each consider most critical to prepare teachers to meet classroom demands, as well as the expectations and experiences of prospective and former teachers. Major findings include: (1) Teacher career satisfaction is at a 20-year high; (2) Principals and education leaders disagree on what new teachers should expect on-the-job; (3) Teachers are driven to leave by unmet expectations, lack of preparation and lack of support by colleagues and principal; (4) Many teachers say they lack the basics to get the job done; (5) Many teachers feel shut out of decision-making at school, but having a say in school policies is a key determinant of teacher satisfaction; (6) Professional prestige is on the rise, but teachers still lack parental support; (7) Teacher shortages are expected to be greatest in secondary schools and in schools with predominantly low-income and minority students; (8) Veteran teachers are more likely than newcomers to opt out, and teachers who plan to leave are twice as likely to be African American as are those who intend to stay in the profession; and (9) Teachers and principals share common views on recruitment and retention strategies. Three of the four top strategies for teacher recruitment and retention recommended by teachers are similar to those of principals, including providing a decent salary, providing increased financial support for the school system, and providing more respect for teachers in todays society.

Looking at Learning
An eight-part interactive workshop series for K-12 math and science educators.


$100 million Teacher Incentive Fund to encourage more experienced teachers to go to high-poverty schools and reward them for results.

Statistics on UnQualifed Teachers in America



RETENTION - Who will benefit?

How a child will fare in school?
Harvard researcher Ron Ferguson found teacher quality, as measured by scores on licensing exams and level of education, to be the single strongest predictor.

K-12 Testing, Evaluation, Assessment, State Standards, Drop Out Rates, and Retention.



LEAD & LEARNING: The Hidden Handicap: Lead, Brain Chemistry, & Education Failure

The year in which IQ is tested can make the difference between the eligibility of children for special services, because IQ scores tend to rise 5 to 25 points in a single generation. This so-called "Flynn effect" is corrected by toughening up the test every 15 to 20 years to reset the mean score to 100. A score from a test taken at the end of one cycle can vary widely from a score derived from a test taken at the beginning of the next cycle, when the test is more difficult, says Stephen J. Ceci, professor of human development at Cornell. " Our findings imply that some borderline death row inmates or capital murder defendants who were not classified as mentally retarded in childhood because they took an older version of an IQ test might have qualified as retarded if they had taken a more recent test," Ceci says. "That's the difference between being sentenced to life imprisonment versus lethal injection."

Antisocial Personality Disorder
What lurks within murderous minds? The neural roots of murder






Constructivism defined:
According to Thomas A. Schwandt in the Handbook of Qualitative Research edited by Denzin & Lincoln (1994) constructivism is synonomous with interpretivism, constructivist, and interpretivist. A loosely coupled family of methodological and philosophical persuasions, these terms are best regarded as sensitizing concepts. Proponents of these approaches share the goal of understanding the complex world of lived experience from the point of view of those who live it.

Brooks & Brooks (1993) define constructivism not as a theory about teaching but more as a theory about knowledge and learning. Drawing on a synthesis of current work in cognitive psychology, philosophy, and anthropology, the theory defines knowledge as temporary, developmental, socially and culturally mediated, and thus, non-objective.
Jonassen (1995) defines constructivism, from the educational perspective, as learners producing and constructing their own personal knowledge. He distinguishes this from instructivism whereby the learner is the passive receiver of knowledge, as in the traditional educational model. The learning environment changes completely in the new paradigm to one that is more student centered. The teacher becomes facilitator, coach, motivator not demagogue or the gate-keeper of all knowledge.

Conventional Objectivist Pedagogy
The objectivist paradigm sees learning as simply the transfer of content from the knowledge bearer to the knowledge seeker. This paradigm is found in classrooms where the teacher is all-powerful, the student is passive and the form and context of the content is less important. This paradigm is fatal to e-learning. Educators who don't consider the structuring of the learning experience and merely treat e-learners as if they were sitting in just another classroom, are setting themselves up for failure. A constructivist approach is more suitable to e-learning. Quality of learning is enhanced when students are allowed to collaborate, use resources beyond the classroom, put their knowledge in context and are actively involved in the gaining and creation of knowledge. This is what e-learning excels at. E-learning will always fail within an objectivist educational approach.


The Cost Of Teacher Turnover
What does it cost school districts to replace teachers leaving the profession? A new study of teacher turnover in Texas estimates that once all the elements of wages, benefits, organizational costs related to termination, recruitment and hiring, substitute salaries, learning curve loss, and training are added up, it costs $56,115 to replace a teacher who leaves the system. Statewide, the authors estimated that teacher turnover costs Texas schools from $329 million per year to $1.59 billion -- and recommended addressing the issue by implementing strategies designed to increase teacher retention, including induction and mentoring programs.

2004 TEACHER SALARY SURVEY --- in 2013
For the first time since the 1999-2000 school year, the average teacher salary failed to keep up with inflation, according to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) latest salary survey. The AFT teacher salary survey found that the average teacher salary in the 2003-04 school year was $46,597, a 2.2 percent increase from the year before. This falls short of the rate of inflation for 2004, which was 2.7 percent. In addition, many states are attempting to drastically reduce or eliminate pension and healthcare benefits, which were negotiated as part of their compensation.

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued: "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?