Graphic novels can engage middle-school readers and offer deep, visual-rich text that can be analyzed in class, doctoral student and former middle-grades teacher Jason DeHart writes in this blog post. He describes three graphic novels that focus on identity and provide material for student discussions in deeper issues.
Common symptoms of a career stall include not feeling challenged at your job every day or you've lost an interest in learning new skills. Taking the initiative to bring your own value-add project to the table or helping a co-worker on theirs can be the catalyst necessary to relaunch your career growth and development, J.R. Duren suggests.
English teacher Dahlia Rinck uses technology tools from laptops to video cameras to create a digital story to improve school culture and help struggling students at a California middle school. Rinck received a $5,000 grant from the AT&T Digital Storytelling Challenge to purchase additional equipment that students will use to interview district and school leaders for the project.
Low pay and job stress may be factors in a bus driver shortage in some Arizona school districts, industry experts say. The Scottsdale school district has authorized an 11% pay increase for drivers as well as a stipend for those who stay in the job.
A Nebraska school district plans to issue Chromebooks to all eighth-graders this year to better prepare them for high school, which already has a one-to-one laptop program. The program will allow middle-school teachers to integrate more technology into lessons and replace some textbooks with digital learning materials.
Jen Schneider, a middle-school language arts teacher in Nebraska, uses a "genius hour" to help students find the connection between academic lessons and their prospective career paths. In this commentary, she shares how this strategy is helping students explore possible careers and gain experience, including one student who learned more about photography and eventually started her own business.
Technology can enhance the college experience for students, but leaders also should focus on "high touch" strategies that build face-to-face community on campus, writes George Hagerty, president of Beacon College in Leesburg, Fla. In this commentary, he cites studies that show the effectiveness of low-tech strategies such as mentoring and extracurricular activities that keep students physically connected.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst will use a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to advance equity for women and men of color working in the school's science, technology, engineering and math fields. Under the ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, the school will focus on research collaboration, mentoring and shared governance to promote diversity and equity.
Massachusetts middle-school principal Brian Raposo says principals should be a presence in classrooms and be ready to "partner with teachers in doing the work." Raposo, who began his career in the district as a substitute teacher, says he will look at his school's data and work with teachers and state officials to come up with strategies to improve the school's performance.
One Texas district has approved a pilot program to hire virtual teachers for American Sign Language classes at two high schools. ASL is considered the third most popular foreign language in the district, where it is accommodating 74 of 174 students seeking ASL instruction because of a lack of teachers.