Choosing your tomorrow today. What does this phrase mean to you? Probably your first thought is that it conveys an understanding that what we decide today affects what we become tomorrow. Obviously skills, behaviors, and knowledge learned today increase or decrease the potential for us all to do things in the future. But is there more to this phrase? Can it be parsed out? Take each word one at a time.
The conference will be held in Los Angeles, California, March 15–17, 2014, and will showcase ideas and best-practice strategies that are driving student achievement and unlock ways to boost teacher and leadership effectiveness. Attendees will choose from more than 350 sessions that will enable them to prepare our world's learners to be creative, critically minded, and compassionate citizens. The conference's general session speakers include education luminaries such as Sir Ken Robinson, Daniel Pink, and Russell Quaglia. The conference is generously supported by sponsors including Microsoft, Adobe, and VINCI.
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." —Aristotle
Many at-risk students in schools are crying out for help with their real-life issues, yet many educators respond with an emphasis on academic proficiency skills. With today's stress on academic achievement at all costs with little regard for the mental, social, physical, emotional, or spiritual aspects of the whole student, many teachers teach tests and not students. Students become grade-point averages and not people. And many students tune out and drop out, literally or figuratively. What do our at-risk students need? What can you do to make a difference?
As educators, we are the gatekeepers for society and the nurturers of individuals. We have an obligation to teach all students, but some are really hard to teach. How can we promote safety and success for all, while supporting our challenging students to grow and learn?
In this webinar, Jeffrey Benson, author of the ASCD book Hanging In: Strategies for Teaching the Students Who Challenge Us Most, helps you know what you can do now for a challenging student in your school. From that focus on one student, he explains how you can enrich your team's capacity to hang in with many students. With powerful stories of students he's worked with and a compassionate, empowering mind-set, Benson provides areas to focus on and a graphic organizer to help you identify positive and negative influences on student achievement.
Relationships have not only proven to be good for our physical health, but our spiritual and emotional health as well. It is through relationships with other human beings that we grow and evolve, as well as deepen and expand our love and meaning in life. As many of you are aware, today is Valentine's Day. Whether or not you like this holiday, it comes each year to provide time for each of us to reflect on and grow our personal and professional relationships.
Teacher morale matters. So how can schools improve it? The February 2014 issue of Educational Leadership explores why schools must become happier places for educators and how they can make it happen. Articles in this issue discuss both the reality that educators feel underappreciated and the small—or radical—changes everyone connected to schools can make to give educators reasons for optimism.
In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer notes that it's easy to list problems that contribute to low morale, but what is it that builds high morale? How do we rise above the anger and apathy engendered by simultaneously being treated as objects of distrust and being expected to change the world?
I love to watch Tucker when he is learning. His eyes widen, his face lights up, and he cannot contain himself, shouting out answers—no, not answers but ideas and concepts and "ah has"—and he often gets in trouble for being insensitive to his peers who are still struggling to do their work, for being self-centered, and there are times he is frustrated by the trouble he gets into, and other times he seems to accept it as the price he is paying for his education. He grimaces for a moment and then reinvests his energies into his school work. He is eleven years old.
One of my first mentors believed, and so have I, that education is healing.
ASCD's 2014 Legislative Agenda urges a shift from the overreliance on high-stakes testing in determining student achievement, educator effectiveness, and school quality to a broader, more meaningful vision of success that supports each student from early childhood through graduation. Recently released during ASCD's Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA), the agenda is developed by ASCD's Legislative Committee and establishes the association’s policy priorities.
Often as teachers we follow this movie lawyer cliché in our classrooms: We ask questions that we have seen lead our students through a lesson like a well-rehearsed play. While the actors may change, the roles and the conclusion remain the same. It allows us to avoid surprises and the distractions, disruptions, and conflict that comes with them. The problem with this classroom is that is a poor reflection of how learning actually happens. Learning never proceeds forward like a predictable comedy or drama, it is often surprising, and it is filled with distraction, disruption, and conflict.
Educators throughout the United States convened in Washington, D.C., last week to attend ASCD's legislative conference. Attendees gathered to tell their elected officials that it is time to shift from a narrow reliance on high-stakes testing in determining student and educator proficiency to a broader, more meaningful vision of success that supports each student from early childhood through graduation.