Top 10 Gifts for Teachers

At the end of the year, many parents and students wish to give teachers a token of their thanks, but they're not sure what's appropriate. The best advice I have is: know thy teacher. So, for example, if you're not certain the teacher drinks alcohol, don't offer a bottle of wine, and don't give gift certificates to a big, corporate bookstore like Borders or Barnes & Noble to someone who was petitioning the city council not to allow any more big box stores into your town because they drive out local businesses. If you're planning to bake something for your teacher, it's also important to know if your school or school district allows teachers to accept and eat home baked gifts. ...more
Loved the New Yorker cartoon idea and the personalized stationery!  I usually wait until the ...more

(VIDEO) Whooping Cough Is Back: How to Spot It, How to Prevent It

In some cases, pertussis is deadly. The CDC reports that 18 people died in the U.S. as a result of the disease in 2008, and already two babies have died from pertussis in California this year. ...more

I'm sorry to hear you got it twice. My father got it and it was terrible and lasted for so ...more

Arizona Says Adiós to Ethnic Studies

On Thursday, the Arizona State Legislature passed House Bill 2281, a measure that prohibits public school districts from offering classes that "are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group," "promote the overthrow of the United States government," "promote resentment toward a race or class of people," or "advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals." I'm worried less about the specific language and provisions of the bill than about the motivations of the people who authored it and voted to pass it. ...more

As a parent, grandparent and in my work with students and their parents I have always pushed ...more

Sex Ed: Are U.S. District Attorneys Seeking Justice or Re-election?

So, say you're a teacher. And state law requires you to teach about contraception if you teach sex ed. But then your county's district attorney proclaims that if you teach about contraception, he'll press criminal charges. Excuse the expression, but you're screwed -- stuck between the law and a lawyer. ...more

This is so frustrating! As an OB in a state where sex education is piss-poor, I can't tell you ...more

Obama Thinks Too Narrowly in Overhauling No Child Left Behind

Over the past few years, I have noticed in my undergraduates -— and even in a few of my younger graduate students -— a shift away from critical and creative thought and a greater desire for black-and-white answers, for lectures instead of discussion and for assignments that feature short answers rather than sustained argument. There are undoubtedly many reasons for this shift, but one of them is likely the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) educational reforms implemented during the Bush administration. ...more

I think the first thing we have to do is stop firing teachers.  And I hope, in light of ...more

Higher Education Protests Were Inspiring, Disappointing

On Thursday morning, I knew it was going to be a long day when the first fire alarm went off in the classroom building where I work. As the fire engine pulled up to the building, my eye followed its length and landed on a single word chalked on the back of the building: STRKE. Yes, without the i, because apparently there is no "I" in "strike." ...more

It's very difficult for people outside of academia to understand what we do as it is, and ...more

School District Sued for Spying on Students via Webcam

Most U.S. school officials and teachers warn students about the dangers of sharing too much information online and teach young people ways to maintain relative privacy while connected to the Internet.  In Pennsylvania's Lower Merion School District, however, school officials allegedly took another approach: they surveilled students and their families by using the webcams built into laptops issued to students by their high schools....more

Lollipopsocial,

 

Students use computers for much more than reading e-texts, ...more

Amy Bishop, Tenure Denial, and the University of Alabama Shootings

There is so much to say about Amy Bishop shooting six of her fellow faculty members during a meeting last week, killing three of them. (If you're not familiar with the incident, the National Public Radio news blog has a good summary, including information from from a faculty member present at the meeting.) Indeed, much has already been said about the incident--and most of what's been said is just plain asinine. ...more

Awesome writingmore

After 20 Years, What Have We Learned from Teach for America?

Teach For America, an organization that puts its recruits through fast-track training to teach in U.S. regions where students have fallen behind in academic achievement, is now recruiting for its 20th cohort of new teachers.  It's not surprising, then, that TFA recently has received extra scrutiny in the U.S. press. The verdict is still out on the effectiveness of the program—it depends, really, on how you measure effectiveness—yet it's still sending thousands of teachers into U.S. schools each year....more

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Middle School Should (Still) Give You the Heebie Jeebies

A few years ago, a family member (I'll call her Wanda) was principal of a middle school. "Jane," a sixth-grader, asked her to mediate a conversation between her and her best friend, "Maria." Wanda thought this was a very mature suggestion, so she brought both girls into her office. "Maria," Wanda said, "Jane tells me she would like to discuss a recent misunderstanding." Jane nodded, then said, "I didn't really go down on your boyfriend." ...more

I loved your post about this topic....I am a school administrator and I deal with these ...more