by Sherry Posnick-Goodwin
Teaching is time-consuming!
When you look at the time teachers actually spend working, you can see that it's not a cakewalk. According to www.busyteacher.org, the real teaching day is 12 to 16 hours a day. Most teachers come to school an hour early or stay an hour late to assist students who need extra help. They spend several hours per week planning, grading papers, answering emails and making phone calls to parents and attending meetings required by the school district. What about having summers off? Most teachers spend two to four weeks during the summer taking workshops, three weeks planning curriculum, and a few weeks preparing themselves in other ways to begin the new school year.
Three time-saving tips:
1. Stay organized with paperwork and materials. It saves time in the long run.
2. Keep a planner with a daily to-do list. Save big tasks for when you have energy, not when you are tired.
3. Don’t spend the first few minutes of class taking attendance. Wait until students begin working.
In what might be a new trend, the Glendale Unified School District is paying $40,500 to a private firm to monitor social media postings of students, searching for possible violence, drug use, bullying and suicide threats. Two students in the district have committed suicide in the past two years. Critics say the Big Brother policy violates the privacy of students and is cyberstalking, while proponents say student safety comes first and anything online is already public.
If your students are smiling, it doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention; perhaps they are just on the verge of discovery, says David L. Hough, professor at the College of Education, Missouri State University, who concludes that if students feel valued, safe and happy at school, they are more likely to attend class and learn. “My research team discovered classrooms could be new, old, high-tech, low-tech, large, small, near the principal’s office or far away. It didn’t matter. What mattered was the teacher and the teacher’s attitude accounted for most of the variance in students’ perceptions of safety, enjoyment and happiness.”
California could save as much as $2.4 billion in annual crime costs if its high school male graduation rate increased by just 5 percent, according to a report by the Alliance for Excellent Education. The annual savings could reach as much as $18.5 billion nationally, reports “Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings.”
Taking students to an art museum improves critical thinking skills and tolerance, note researchers from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. Professors surveyed 10,912 students and nearly 500 teachers who toured the museum, and found students had “demonstrably” stronger abilities to think critically about art than the control group and displayed more tolerance and “historical empathy” about diverse groups. Benefits were “larger” for students from low-income families. Researchers noted that culturally enriching field trips are on the decline, while field trips to amusement parks, sporting events and movie theaters are on the rise, to reward students for improved test scores.
According to a new NEA poll, the Common Core State Standards have strong support from educators. More than 75 percent of NEA members support the standards, either wholeheartedly or with reservations. While they are ready to step up to the plate, many have concerns that they won’t have the support they need from their districts and states.
Back to Main Page