Social media is a powerful communications tool, and educators explain how they've used Twitter and other platforms to build professional learning networks.
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Many educators have latched on to social media as a way to share information with colleagues, parents and community members. But becoming truly connected means much greater engagement—using social media to find and share resources, glean advice on tough dilemmas and build professional learning communities with other colleagues around the country.
October is Connected Educators Month, and LFA has queried social media-savvy educators on how they’re using social media professionally and which platforms they find most useful.
“The biggest misnomer I've noticed is that educators think of social media strictly as a tool,” says Brad Gustafson, principal of Greenwood Elementary School in Plymouth, Minn. “I think we need to recognize that social media also creates a space. The space can be a place where dedicated educators come together to collaborate, ask questions, learn new ideas and push each other to do more than any individual could do alone.” ...
LFA’s member organizations and partners have many examples of schools that have adopted innovative practices or have taken risks that have paid off in their students’ academic achievement. As we head back to school, here are five of our favorite success stories from 2016 that we hope will give inspiration and ideas for your work.
District officials in the Tacoma, Wash. district have designed a system of supports to help students transition from prekindergarten through high school, and they work with local universities to ensure their curriculum is aligned and students have access to financial aid. High school graduation rates have dramatically increased under the strategic plan, two Tacoma administrators write in this article for School Administrator magazine. ...
Learning First Alliance Executive Director Richard M. Long will join Education Talk Radio on Thursday, July 21 to chat about the importance of involving the local stakeholders in the age of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
LFA released a paper last month that proposes principles for stakeholder engagement for the law, which calls for significantly more input from local school leaders. The new law, the latest version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, requires states and localities to bring together educators, parents, and other leaders to determine policies and practices.
Join the discussion at 9 a.m. EDT with host Larry Jacobs at Education Talk Radio. ...
For the first time, the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the expertise that educators can bring to the policymaking process and calls for collaboration by practitioners and policymakers – but it gives few details on how those groups should work together. To facilitate that process, Learning First Alliance (LFA) today proposes principles to guide stakeholder engagement.
ESSA requires states and localities to bring together educators, parents, and other leaders to determine policies and practices under the new law. ...
Communication is complex, and tricky these days. And as important to our lives as the air we breathe. Let's look at air for a moment --it is all around us, 24/7, no matter where we are or what we are doing. It is essential for our survival and for our success. In addition air must be of the highest quality - have the right combination of oxygen and hydrogen and little or no pollutants - in order to be most beneficial to us. Polluted air renders us unable to function properly. ...
Teachers are an undeniably important factor for ensuring students receive a good education. But they are frustrated--they often feel that their voices are often lost in the ongoing debates about education policy and issues related to student learning, a new survey has found.
Earlier this year the Center on Education Policy surveyed more than 3,000 teachers—from elementary to high school, in rural, suburban and urban school districts--and found that they most value planning time, collaboration with colleagues, and smaller class sizes. Salaries and benefits ranked fourth in the survey.
The survey seeks to inform policymakers as some states are paying more attention to recruiting and retaining new teachers as shortages persist, enrollments in teacher preparation programs have dropped, and as many as half of new teachers leave the field during their first five years in the classroom. The survey also debunked several widespread assumptions about workplace conditions and teacher viewpoints. ...
As an educator, I love that my professional life revolves around a school calendar, brand new school supplies each year, and the daily promise of children’s hugs. How very gratifying it is to know that what we do has the power to change a child’s trajectory in life! Teachers are in a unique position to accomplish what so few other occupations can: immortality. They live on forever in the stories shared between generations, the unforgettable memories, and the differences they made in their students’ lives. ...
Celebrate your assistant principals’ successes during National Assistant Principals Week, April 11–15! This week recognizes the contributions of assistant principals to the success of students, teachers, parents, and school communities across the United States.
While the roles and responsibilities may depend on the individual school settings, assistant principals are essential to establishing a positive learning environment that ensures each student and adult is known and valued. ...
What if I do more than share grades with parents?
I recently met with two parents and their son. It was a conference to discuss how he was doing in class and what they could do at home to help. If that kind of interpersonal communication is the "Gold Standard" of analog communications, we have to concede it's not the only way we can communicate with families, nor is it the most sustainable. But let's start with the conference and the tools for opening communication. Then on to other options.
Unlike years past, my year-round calendar does not allocate minimum days for conferencing anymore. My single conferences lasted one hour and fifteen minutes after school. To replicate this for my class of 28 students would require 35 hours. Quality communication? Yes. Replicable on a frequent basis? No.
While the recent conference was enlightening for the parents, student, and myself, I came away with two big wonderings: ...
Have you ever wished that you had more hours in the day? If you have, you’re certainly not alone. Teachers have a lot to do and only so much time to do it. At the 71st ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show in Atlanta, I will be presenting a session called “Time to Teach: Getting Organized and Working Smarter” (session #1161 on Saturday, April 2, 8:00–9:00 a.m.) To get you started, here are 15 of my favorite tips for saving time!