The University of Massachusetts Boston Job Posting: Associate Early Childhood Teacher
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Please forward this error screen to 72. It’s tempting to assume that bigger budgets will directly benefit kids. While programs to improve student wellness have been in schools for years, some districts now are focusing on staff health as well. Teachers in Batesville, Indiana, have participated in fitness competitions and this year some are training for a mini-marathon. Everyone knows the transition to high school can be a challenging one. Thats why high schools have initiated summer camps for incoming freshman and special programs that track and support students who experience difficulty during the first months in their new surroundings. On a mission to improve student performance, some schools are starting boot camp-like programs to motivate kids before state tests.
Student recruits march, chant, do sit ups, and pull for their battle buddies. Included: Tips for setting up a boot camp. When funding became available for staff book clubs, educators in Hamilton County, Tennessee, jumped at the chance to read professional literature. Teachers continue to read and discuss books about instructional and professional development strategies. Every school experiences its share of challenges, but an invisible were-all-in-this-together spirit can go a long way toward carrying a school community through the highs and lows of a year. Included: Principals share their favorite spirit-building activities.
Two administrators named the 2009 Outstanding Young Educators by ASCD are successfully using data, technology, project-based learning, and parent involvement to help transform their schools and inspire their students and teachers. One district recently challenged school leaders and other staff 93 identify ways to reduce energy consumption and help cut the districts electric bill. In return, schools that reduced consumption the most got to share in the savings. Could this idea work in your district? Principals try to cultivate traits that improve communication, demonstrate respect, and inspire vision. They say the key to whether those traits take hold school-wide lies in their modeling of them.
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Included: Principals share the principal traits that matter most. Whether they launched their podcasts at the suggestion of a parent or the gentle prodding of a tech-loving staff member, principals who have tried podcasting repeat the same refrain — it is easy, inexpensive, and effective. Included: Learn about the free podcasting tools. Administrators at the school and district level are finding that inviting parents and community members to chat over brown-bag lunches gains them allies in the community and helps keep everyone informed.
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Included: Tips and topic ideas for brown-bag lunches. Camping enthusiast and principal Scott Myers initiated a series of campfire chats with students to free up some planning time for teachers and give students a chance to talk with him in an informal setting. Included: Activities that spur discussion with kids. Good schools can be great schools if staff focus on best practices, common elements for instruction, and strategies to help all students learn, says Dr. Westerberg, author of Becoming a Great High School: 6 Strategies and 1 Attitude That Make a Difference. Their mission is to take charge of a failing or struggling school and try to turn it into a model institution. These turnaround principals bring formal training, insight, and instincts to their jobs.
For too long, teacher-to-teacher communication meant exchanging weekend plans in the faculty room. In professional learning community schools, teachers develop interim assessments, common goals, and share best practices. Whether a principal is new to the role or to a school, there is always a lot to learn about a school, its culture, and people. The New Principals Fieldbook offers administrators practical advice on how to process and prioritize all that information. Looking for a way to encourage more collaboration and reflection among his staff, principal Terry Bradley worked with university professors to implement peer walk-throughs.
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The observations and discussions have changed the way teachers teach. To reduce the number of teachers lost to other schools or professions, administrators at two schools initiated programs to acclimate teachers new to the profession and the school to help them feel part of the family. Included: Tips for helping new teachers feel at home. Frustrated by what he considered low expectations and minimal structure at American Indian Public Charter School, Dr. Ben Chavis set out to reform the school instituting no-nonsense policies regarding attendance, appearance, and instruction. Gerald Gary knew his students could do better — he just had to convince them and their families. He improved student achievement and changed the schools culture by setting high expectations for everyone in the building.
Hard-to-reach students are a vexing problem at any age. Some schools are seeing success with reluctant learners by combining personal attention, high expectations, personal technology use, and flexible schedules. Included: A school for reluctant learners. The documentary film The War on Kids argues that public schools have become overly restrictive and ineffective due in part to an irrational fear of young peoples potential for violence.
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The films creator said he is not certain the existing system can be reformed. When principal Stephen King decided that struggling readers needed earlier and better intervention, he plunged in with his staff to revamp instruction, assessment, and the curriculum. Test scores rose and the number of special education students declined. Rather than lamenting the lack of parent involvement, one Florida elementary school principal decided to reach out to parents and offer them a degree in how to be active parents. The schools Parent University graduated its first class of eager volunteers. Seeking new and motivating approaches to encourage students to excel on standardized tests, some administrators are borrowing the format of the program Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Here I was, thinking that I was in charge of the instruction occurring within our walls.
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I found myself simultaneously astonished and inspired at the lessons that were delivered to me by the very students to whom Ive pledged to deliver lessons. Weve got district initiatives, government regulations, grant stipulations, contracted obligations, state mandates Heck, our plates are full! Lets remove some of the clutter from our plates by removing some of the clutter from our teachers plates. Three schools have used a powerful process that mirrors the presidential electoral process to choose candidates and vote for a school mascot — a representative symbol that will encourage, inspire, and sometimes entertain them for years to come.
As you prepare to interview for that next school leadership position, Education Worlds Principal Files team offers questions you might ask when the interviewers invite your participation. Included: Ten principals offer the questions they wished theyd asked. At the state gymnastics championships, my daughter learned a valuable lesson about the power of positive phrasing. From her experience we educators might learn the power of framing challenges we face by using words that are uplifting and inspiring.
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Students pledge to read thousands of pages. First- and fifth-graders buddy up for reading. Those events and others are part of school-wide reading programs at two Minnesota schools. Included: Additional activities to help make reading a school-wide goal. In an effort to improve school bus behavior, two elementary schools started the Bus of the Month program, honoring the bus with the most thumbs up for good behavior in one month. Included: A description of a unique bus behavior program. Most schools have a staff member or two who stand out for their negative attitudes.
Allowed to fester, that attitude could infect others and eventually an entire school community. Included: Principal Files team members share how they handle negativity. As a noun, hope is a beautiful thing. Its what we all hold onto when we think about the future, about our children, our country, and our favorite baseball teams.
Hope is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. But hope aint a strategy for improving schools. Teachers at one Rhode Island elementary school are spearheading school-wide improvement, and the results have been positive. Principal Victor Ventura guides the improvements, but the teachers energy and commitment are making it happen. Many schools use rewards as one part of their school-wide effort to boost student achievement and test scores. So there I was, walking my pup down the snowy streets as I trained him to sit, stay, and get the neighbors cat, and then it came to me. A few years ago, my colleagues discussed ways in which we might improve behavior, academics, and retention rates for the boys we taught.
A library media specialist thought posters showing real men reading and men talking about the benefits of reading could be just the thing to encourage more boys to pick up books. The Real Men Read program is so successful that it has spread to other schools. Purchasing more computers and implementing the most recent save-the-world boxed programs are two ways to raise achievement. But neither of them can trump the one thing we all know makes the biggest difference in education. When Constance Burnes saw her efforts to improve student behavior and performance at Wilkerson Middle School pay off, she listened to the students when it came to deciding on a reward.
She invested in a high-tech game room that is a powerful student motivator. Are you a principal who is looking for a special way to promote and model reading for fun? You can share your love of reading and set a great example for students by reading aloud the five books that are nominated for the 2009 Principal’s Read Aloud Award. Despite the pressures on schools to focus more on academics, Dr.
Shannon Vincent is convinced it’s her job as principal to teach students the value of service. She began a year-long, school-wide service program that engages students and their parents. Many principals have the training and desire to work on curriculum and instructional strategies, but are buried under administrative tasks. For “they” who say it can’t be beat, Pete Hall says Hogwash! That “can’t” attitude is the only thing holding back many schools from breaking achievement records too. But remember: the principal sets the mood. If youre feeling down or overwhelmed, it might be HULA time!
Is your schools main office set up to be a truly welcoming place? Is its layout conducive to conducting business? Are there tools in your office that you couldnt live without? Our Principal Files team answers those questions and offers tips for improving the office environment. A few years ago parent groups were angered by news that recess was being eliminated at many schools.
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A new report shows that most elementary schools continue to offer recess, although children may get less time to play. Chances are the stars on your staff dont expect or require recognition, but you want to recognize and support them in any way you can. So just how do you reward their above-and-beyond efforts? Members of our Principal Files team share what they do. Are you a principal with charisma?
While it is good to caution against blindly following charismatic leaders, Pete Hall issues a word of defense for all our charismatic colleagues out there: charisma is not a personality deficit. By relying on concise rules and frequent rewards, principals say the PBIS approach to school-wide behavior management drastically reduces discipline problems and improves academic performance among all students. Logic approach to behavior management has fans among teachers and parents. The Discipline with Dignity approach teaches educators to create positive motivators for kids so they take responsibility for their own behavior. Included: Examples of Discipline with Dignity in action.
Weve all experienced them — the student or parent who not only pushes your buttons but leans on them until relief seems impossible. Building relationships with students and keeping yourself calm when issues arise can mean fewer conflicts. In a proactive attempt to squelch “bullying” behavior before it even emerges, one school district embraced an anti-bullying theme. Students were encouraged across the ages and the curriculum to avoid bullying behaviors and to help the victims.
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Principals usually work in isolation, with few opportunities to share ideas. But since the Newport News Public Schools started pairing up elementary schools, more principals are sharing ideas, resources, talents, and strategies to make all schools successful. Making time in the school day to emphasize academics, tutor students who need help, schedule planning times for teams, or meet many other needs is a challenge all principals face. Our Principal Files team shares how they make time for these things and more.
Big Test Pep Rallies: 2, 4, 6, 8 — Taking Tests and Feeling Great! A little stress over tests can keep kids on their toes, but too much will knock them off their feet. Lowering test stress is why many schools are using the popular “pep rally” to get students excited and motivated to do their best. Education fluctuates more than a rattlesnakes temperature. We cannot wait two years, then emerge and ask, What did I miss? Education moves much too fast for that.