Paraprofessionals are critical to a student’s success—I think any teacher, principal, or student would attest to this. A great para can make a difference in a classroom in a lot of ways, but they are often forgotten about. Even though they are important cogs in the educational wheel of a student’s life, they might not always be treated as such. They may not have the keys they need, the desk they need, or the training they need.
With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day occurring today, along with Black History Month approaching in February, now is a great time to teach your students about Dr. King. A leader in the civil rights movement, Dr. King inspired his followers with his nonviolent approach to activism. Most of us have heard his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, but there is so much more about Dr. King for you to teach your students.
As the new year begins, we’re gearing up for the 39th National Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), which will be taking place from January 27–30. The four-day event offers educators a chance to catch up with colleagues, collaborate on new ideas, and discover the latest and greatest in K-20 education technology.
The conference will be held in warm and sunny Orlando, Florida, making for a brief mid-winter getaway for those who live up north. Between the sights of the city and the countless presentations, seminars, workshops, and expo booths FETC has to offer, here’s what to expect at the conference this year:
There are initiatives all across the country in the field of education and in industry that encourage girls to consider joining STEM-related occupations as adults. This is a great idea as a female perspective is highly valuable in these areas. The question is, how do we support young girls to make this happen?
In the previous century, computer science and computer coding was left to a few highly trained individuals. There was a level of expertise and skill needed to “speak the language” of computer science—for most people, it was a foreign language.
As we embark deeper into the technological age, we are finding that the language of computer coding is not a “foreign language” anymore. K-12 schools have worked to introduce coding earlier and earlier into the curriculum. Education organizations like www.code.org provide amazing resources for teachers to be able to cover this subject matter.
At the top of the new year, a new season of EdTech trade shows is about to begin, starting with Bett 2019 from January 23–26 in London. Bett is the first industry show of the year and will showcase 850 leading EdTech companies and over 100 startups, all focused on transforming education with technology.
The conference will bring together nearly 35,000 educators, offering many opportunities for networking and collaboration with colleagues. Between the countless options for professional development and the exciting things to do in the city, here’s what you won’t want to miss at Bett 2019:
Mentors play a critical role in the success of teachers. Even following a quality student teaching experience, new teachers still have a lot to learn. There are so many nuances to the profession, to the grade level, and to each particular school. Plus, there is much to be learned even after the teacher has graduated.
“At what point do you feel like you have ‘learned’ this concept?” This question that triggers a student’s metacognition can be a hard one to answer. As we reflect on the question, we may not be able to answer it easily ourselves. Have we learned something, like a fact, if we can recall it? Is learning the same as remembering? Have we learned something when we can use the information in a specific way—is learning the same as applying? Or does it have to be an even deeper level? Have we truly learned something when we can explain it to other people? Is learning the same as teaching?
I’m a sucker for new beginnings—the chance to be a better me at home and at work. I love the sense of starting over, improving, and making changes that a new year offers. Each January, I try to write out personal and professional goals, usually things like “be more organized” or “keep my desk clean.” (If you saw my desk, you’d see why this is a yearly goal!)
The professional goals I want to make this year are more resolutions of the heart, in how I engage with the students I teach and how I approach my vocation. Here are my new beginnings for 2019—I hope they also help you as you begin your new year of teaching!
As humans, we tend to become comfortable doing something and like to do it the same way over and over again. It’s easy for our brain to become more “automatic” so we don’t have to think as much about each specific task. But for some things, as they have become more and more automatic, we may have forgotten about the original purpose for doing them in the first place.
I would contend that giving letter grades to students is one of these “things.” It has become automatic—so automatic that most educators don’t really stop to think much about the original purpose behind giving them.