Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Rethinking Thanksgiving, Part 1 - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM

Rethinking Thanksgiving, Part 1 - SF PUBLIC SCHOOL MOM

Rethinking Thanksgiving, Part 1

As we begin the holiday break, many of us take time to reflect on all that we are thankful for. During this time, we can also reflect on the true history of our country, and the ongoing legacy of settler-colonialism on Native peoples and the land we have come to call America.

It’s complicated.

Thanksgiving is an American traditional holiday that is based on a mythical origin story. Our country’s true origin story didn’t start with Columbus (he never set foot on the continental United States) or Plymouth Rock (there was no rock). Similarly, Thanksgiving celebrations didn’t start with “Pilgrims and Indians” breaking bread at a cross-cultural potluck.
Many of us know that what we were taught in school isn’t true. Nonetheless, myths about the holiday are everywhere. As this article in the New York Times points out:
“Thanksgiving facts and Thanksgiving myths have blended together for years like so much gravy and mashed potatoes, and separating them is just as complicated.”
Maya Salam — New York Times
To be fair, Thanksgiving’s history is complicated because it seems to be based on more than one event. Harvest celebrations are prevalent all over the world and predate European contact with North America. Giving thanks is a daily practice in many Native cultures. English colonizers who landed on New England’s’ shores also celebrated days of thanksgiving, marked by religious services. During colonial times “thanksgiving” feasts also occurred after successful military attacks, including those against Indigenous nations.


Even official records tell a confusing story about Thanksgiving:

How to Teach Diversity in an Inclusive Classroom - Teacher Habits

How to Teach Diversity in an Inclusive Classroom - Teacher Habits

How to Teach Diversity in an Inclusive Classroom

By Aimee Laurence
More and more schools, colleges, and universities are committing themselves to promoting inclusion and diversity issue awareness to both students and faculty members. Regardless of the subject of the course being taught, there are certain things that teachers can do to the classroom and their approach to be more welcoming and inclusive to their students. Here is a basic guide to start taking necessary steps to creating an inclusive classroom and teaching diversity. 
  • What is diversity?
Diversity means a lot of different things. In the classroom, diversity means understanding that each student has a different experience, ideas and strengths, and respecting and encouraging those viewpoints. The differences stem from dimensions of sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, age, ability, or political beliefs. Diversity is understanding these differences, exploring them with respect, and incorporating them into the classroom to have a richer learning experience. 
  • Why does it matter in the classroom?
Students go to school with varied experiences and backgrounds. Educators and teachers are responsible for making sure that students can work in diverse workplaces and collaborate and respect others that have different and new perspectives. When these are CONTINUE READING: How to Teach Diversity in an Inclusive Classroom - Teacher Habits

Why teacher morale appears to be dropping

Why teacher morale appears to be dropping

Why teacher morale appears to be dropping
Salary increases can boost job satisfaction, but operational funds must also rise, administrators say


Teachers feel less optimistic about their profession than they did a year ago, according Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s annual “Educator Confidence Report.”
In a survey of more than 1,300 educators, 34% of teachers expressed optimism, compared with 50% in 2018, according the report. Teacher confidence declined in many areas, such as building students’ critical thinking skills, using data to inform instruction and applying instruction to the real world.
Also, nearly all administrators and teachers surveyed said students need more social and emotional support. Teachers told Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that they want their schools’ SEL initiatives to focus on self-discipline, self-motivation and self-regulation.
However, more teachers are feeling confident in their abilities to use ed tech, according the report.


The drop in morale is being noticed in districts’ central offices. When interim Superintendent Kristen McNeill took the lead role at Washoe County School District this summer, she said boosting teacher morale would be a priority, the Reno Gazette Journal reported.
McNeill told the newspaper that workload, pay and benefits are teachers’ top concerns.
Oklahoma’s minimum $5,000 pay increase for teachers, enacted in 2018, has improved morale in many districts, the Tulsa World reported. But Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Janet Dunlop told the newspaper that operational funding also has to increase to sustain morale in the long term.
“The teacher pay raises were fantastic,” Dunlop told the newspaper. “But I don’t want anyone to be misled in thinking they take the place of also having some additional operational funding, CONTINUE READING: Why teacher morale appears to be dropping



DID YOU MISS DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG TODAY? | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all





DID YOU MISS DIANE RAVITCH'S BLOG TODAY? 
A site to discuss better education for all




Reader Defines “Grit”
Reader C.H. Rubinstein eases into the debate about GRIT. Oy, where have we heard this song & dance before? Grit is something your mom used to yell about, such as when you were playing outside, “Wipe your feet before you come in the house, or take your shoes off! Don’t get that grit all over my kitchen floor!” Or, as my sister would presently yell, “Who got the sink all grit-ty?! Clean it up NOW!!
Paul Waldman Remembers When Republicans Thought Trump Was a Charlatan and a Kook
Paul Waldman of the Washington Post went down memory lane with prominent Republicans who called out Trump as a phony before he was elected. On Friday, the president of the United States called in to the daily festival of idiocy that is “Fox & Friends,” where he blathered and rambled for an entire hour. He slandered people, repeated ludicrous conspiracy theories, told numerous lies, and devolved i
Audrey Watters: No Plan in Place to Protect Our Democracy
Audrey Watters begins each of her posts at HEWN with a description of a bird. Then she gets into the story, the story in this one being an “epistemic crisis,” a society where truth itself is doubted, experts are dismissed, and everyone is entitled to not only their own opinions but their own facts. I particularly recommend her links. I enjoyed the one about Mr. Rogers. It compels to think about o
Jan Resseger: The Tragedy of “Portfolio Districts”
Jan Resseger writes here about the damage that “portfolio districts” do to students, schools, and communities. The original concept for “portfolio districts” was developed by Paul Hill of the Gates-funded Center for Reinventing Public Educatuon at the University of Washington. The fundamental idea was that the school board would act like a stock portfolio manager, closing low-performing schools,
News: Big REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Exits the Charter Real Estate Sector
Carol Burris writes about the latest news from the charter industry. This is the same company that Valerie Strauss wrote about, called “Entertainment Properties Trust.” It’s CEO, Dennis Brain, told an interviewer that charter schools were a sound investment, had long waiting lists, and were guaranteed government revenues. But that rosy picture has dimmed. The long waiting lists are fictional. Cha

YESTERDAY

Tennessee: “Achievement School District” Continues to Show Very Low Test Scores
Back in 2012, Tennessee introduced its “Achievement School District” and hired YES Prep charter founder Chris Barbic to run it. The ASD was funded with $100 million from the state’s Race to the Top grant. Barbic said he would take the state’s lowest-performing public schools, hand them off to charter operators, and catapult them into the top 25% in the state within five years. Year after year, th
Steven Singer: White Billionaires Should Not Buy the Charter Debate
Teacher Steven Singer writes here about the protest at an Elizabeth Warren debate in Atlanta. He notes that a reporter for The Intercept, Ryan Grim, attended the rally and wrote that the protestors were funded by the Waltons, who have never shown any support for civil rights issues and are actively hostile to unions, which lift low-income workers out of poverty. He also quotes Intercept journalis
The Curious Case of The Century Foundation and Its Charter Advocacy
The Century Foundation is supposed to be a liberal foundation. I had numerous contacts with it when it was previously known as The Twentieth Century Fund. My most memorable experience involved my membership on a task force in 1983 or so, which prepared a critique of American education and the need for reform. For that era, our task force report was fairly run-of-the-mill. What was remarkable was
Dana Milbank on the Irony of the Impeachment Hearings
This story is probably behind a paywall . If it is not, you will enjoy reading it in full. Dana Milbank is one of my favorite opinion writers. He begins: But his emails! Gordon Sondland, Trump donor and Trump-picked U.S. ambassador to the European Union, apologized to impeachment investigators this week for failing to provide a more complete account of the president’s quids and quos with Ukraine:
California Democratic Party: Charters Should Have Elected Boards
Here is an excellent idea from the California Democratic Party: Charter schools should be governed by elected boards, just like real public schools. California is a bellwether for the nation. This strong stance shows that teachers are reclaiming their profession from billionaires and hedge fund managers. Edsource reports: Taking aim at the majority of charter schools in the state, the California
“Grit” and “Resilience” Are Buzzwords that Blame the Victim for Not Pulling Him/Herself by Bootstraps
The Boston Globe published this opinion piece questioning the validity of concepts like grit and resilience. Author Alissa Quart interviews Christine White, a woman who grew up in extreme poverty yet managed to build a successful career helping people who struggled as she did. But not by coaching them to 


Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007


It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY | The latest news and resources in education since 2007





Most Popular Posts Of The Week
I’m making a change in the content of the regular feature. In addition to sharing the top five posts that have received the most “hits” in the preceding seven days (though they may have originally been published on an earlier date), I will also include the top five posts that have actually appeared in the past week. Often, these are different posts. You might also be interested in IT’S THE TWELFT
Ed Tech Digest
Six years ago, in another somewhat futile attempt to reduce the backlog of resources I want to share, I began this occasional “” post where I share three or four links I think are particularly useful and related to…ed tech, including some Web 2.0 apps. You might also be interested in THE BEST ED TECH RESOURCES OF 2019 – PART TWO , as well as checking out all my edtech resources . Here are this we
“How Can Instructional Coaches & Teachers Work Best Together?”
How Can Instructional Coaches & Teachers Work Best Together? is the new question-of-the-week at my Ed Week Teacher column. Feel free to leave responses in the comments sections there or here…

YESTERDAY

Video: How big is the Solar System?
Comfreak / Pixabay I’m adding this video to The Best Web Tools That Show You Objects To Scale :
A Look Back: Who Should Teachers Take Seriously When They Give Advice About Classroom Instruction?
I’m beginning to republish posts that made it onto my A LOOK BACK: 2019’S BEST POSTS FROM THIS BLOG – PART TWO list. GDJ / Pixabay This is a question I’ve been thinking about for awhile, and I’m eager to hear answers from readers. Lots of people give advice about classroom instruction, but who should we really take seriously? There seems to me some fairly obvious people who go on the list, like o
“It’s a Great Lesson When Students ‘Want to Continue Their Own Learning'”
It’s a Great Lesson When Students ‘Want to Continue Their Own Learning’ is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. This two-part series on best social studies lessons is “wrapped up” today by commentaries from Rachel Johnson, Dawn Mitchell, Julie Stern, Cynthia W. Resor, Andrew Sharos, Lori Oczkus, and Keisha Rembert. Here are some excerpts:
Three New Resources For Teaching About Thanksgiving
ulleo / Pixabay Here are new additions to The Best Sites To Teach and Learn About Thanksgiving : Teaching Thanksgiving is from NPR. The Year Abraham Lincoln Declared Thanksgiving is from Slate. Lesson plan: After helping Pilgrims, today’s Wampanoags fight for their ancestral lands is from The PBS NewsHour.
We’ve Just Begun Work On The Second Edition Of “The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide”
Katie Hull and I have just begun work on the second edition of our popular The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide . We’re about a year behind our original timetable for revising it because we spent the past twelve months editing three books in our Toolbox series (see The Math, Science & Social Studies Books We’re Editing Are Now Available For Pre-Order! ). The second edition of The Survival Guide w
New Study Questions Use Of VAM In Teacher Evaluation
There are a lots of questions about the use of “Value-Added Measurements” in teacher evaluations (see The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation ). Now, another study questions its use in hiring and firing decisions. Check out Teacher Effects on Student Achievement and Height: A Cautionary Tale (it’s not behind a paywall).
“World AIDS Day” Is On December 1st – Here Are Teaching & Learning Resources
GDJ / Pixabay The United Nations has declared December 1st to be World AIDS Day . You might be interested in The Best Web Resources For Learning About HIV & AIDS .


Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007