Extra Credit: Teaching After A Hurricane

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Extra Credit: Teaching After A Hurricane

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, many people had more existential problems than sending their kids to school. But in the immediate aftermath, some educators volunteered to continue teaching classes at shelters around Huston. This is a story from one of those teachers.

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes;  all have been edited.

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#27: The "DACA" Lesson

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#27: The "DACA" Lesson

Trump's DACA decision is a big one for students and schools. You may have questions as teachers, we have some answers. Plus, we talk about Chance The Rappers new award show for teachers, and another edition of the Betsy Breakdown.

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; Back Stairs by Podington Bear; and The Big Ten by Blue Dot Sessions; all have been edited.

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#26: The "How Far Is Too Far" Lesson

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#26: The "How Far Is Too Far" Lesson

A video of high school cheerleaders being forced to do the splits goes viral. Our teachers ask, how do you know when you're truly pushing kids and when you're going to far? Plus, research shows that kids with a few close friends may do better later in life than popular kids. And another round of Ask A Teacher. 

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes also Tiny Putty and The Big Ten by Blue Dot Sessions; all have been edited.

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#25 The "Grade Inflation" Lesson

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#25 The "Grade Inflation" Lesson

Some are saying Charlottesville was a turning point. Do our teachers feel the same way? Plus, new research suggests grade inflation is the newest form of the achievement gap. And, a new segment: Ask A Teacher.

Please join the conversation about this episode and the education landscape on our Community Forum page! And, help us shape this show into what you want it to be:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DO8OEJszFtsV2Nohe0W7Rg_xbH9RkjTxjfT0wLuVwOw/edit

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes also Sunday Lights and The Big Ten by Blue Dot Sessions; all have been edited.

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#24 The "Charlottesville" Lesson

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#24 The "Charlottesville" Lesson

On this episode: our teachers discuss strategies for addressing Charlottesville with teachers and students in school. Plus, how much say should parents have over the classroom, and it's back...The Betsy Breakdown.

Please join the conversation about this episode and the education landscape on our Community Forum page! And, help us shape this show into what you want it to be:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DO8OEJszFtsV2Nohe0W7Rg_xbH9RkjTxjfT0wLuVwOw/edit

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes also Waterbourne by Blue Dot Sessions and All Hot Lights by Poddington Bear

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#23: The "Dress Code Discrimination" Lesson

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#23: The "Dress Code Discrimination" Lesson

Many schools include hair in their dress codes, and that's gotten some black students in trouble. Our teachers discuss whether dress codes can be racist. And confidence in police is up overall in America, but dropping among young people. What's it like to teach about law enforcement in this age of police shootings and protests?

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes also all have been edited.

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REBROADCAST: White Privilege In Schools

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REBROADCAST: White Privilege In Schools

This episode is a rebroadcast while our teachers are on summer break: The term white privilege has hit a new level of cultural significance in recent years. Our teachers say that white privilege is as pervasive in school as the rest of society. 

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; all have been edited.

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REBROADCAST: Teachers Paying Teachers

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REBROADCAST: Teachers Paying Teachers

This episode is a rebroadcast while our teachers are on summer break: Teachers are buying and selling lesson plans and materials on line, in a growing digital marketplace. (Teachers have reportedly raked in more than $1 million in a single year selling their plans.) But some worry this “monetizing” of a key teacher skill creates literal paywalls to organic collaboration. Our teachers’ verdict? In a phrase: “Respect the hustle.”

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REBROADCAST: Fake News

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REBROADCAST: Fake News

This episode is a rebroadcast while our teachers are on summer break: Take a breath! News events have come quick and often this year, and some of that news has been called "fake". The teachers had a lot to say about dealing with "fake news" in their classrooms. How do teachers teach critical reasoning skills in an era of “alternative facts.” It reminded our panel this week of George Orwell’s 1984.

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; all have been edited.

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Extra Credit: The Best City For Teachers

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Extra Credit: The Best City For Teachers

What makes a city a good place to live for teachers?

Data analytics firm GoodCall has its answers. It recently created a list of best cities for teachers--689 cities total--rating some obvious factors like job availability, cost of living, average teacher pay relative to other salaries in the area. It also gathers data on things like local amenities, number of restaurants per capita, and violent crime rates.

A clear pattern emerges in GoodCall’s study. All cities in its top ten are small to mid-size suburbs or exurbs, most of them in the Midwest. Five of them are suburbs of Chicago. But the top city to live in if you’re a teacher in 2017, according to GoodCall, is Bentonville, Arkansas.

Bentonville is a town of roughly 50,000 in northwest Arkansas, just south of the Missouri border. It’s most well-known for being the birthplace and now global headquarters of the Wal Mart Corporation.

Though you may be surprised at it’s place as ‘Best City for Teachers 2017’, Jayna Moffit isn’t. She’s a standout math teacher at Lincoln Junior High in Bentonville. She’s not a Bentonville native, she moved there only after completing a stint as a Teach For America teacher in the Mississippi Delta in the early 2000s. (No Wrong Answers, incidentally, is sponsored by Teach For America Kansas City, which has no association with Jayna.)

She’s lived in Bentonville now more than 15 years. Her husband is a police officer in the town, and her daughter just graduated from Bentonville High. Who better than to get an insight into what’s apparently the best city for teachers than Jayna Moffit? Here’s our conversation.

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; all have been edited.

 

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#20: The "Good Teacher/Bad Teacher" Lesson

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#20: The "Good Teacher/Bad Teacher" Lesson

Teachers: LuAnn Fox (high school Advanced Placement Literature); Elaine Jardon (middle school math); David Muhammad (high school international relations.

Two stories of social media pitfalls--one involving teenagers, the other involving a teacher--caught our eye this week. First, a much-discussed story about Harvard rescinding admission for at least 10 incoming freshmen because of offensive memes they posted in a private Facebook group. Our teachers are saddened but not surprised at that kind of behavior. They’re a bit more surprised at our second social media story: a middle school teacher who posted a picture to Facebook of himself flipping off the White House. Should he be punished in some way?

Also, what makes a “good” or “bad” teacher? Reddit users have their ideas. A new study compiles them into an interesting (if incomplete) picture. Our teachers respond and also ask: is labeling “good” and “bad” teaching even helpful?

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; all have been edited.

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#19: The "Secession" Lesson

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#19: The "Secession" Lesson

Teachers: Maddie Burkemper (who now teaches 5th grade); Maria Kennedy (high school humanities); David Muhammad (high school government).

Secession is back and not just in American History class. Our teachers this week tackle the story of mostly white Alabama city seeking to secede from a largely black county-run school district. Our teachers have a problem with the district’s stated reasons for seceding and a problem with what they say it means for public education writ large.

Plus, should character traits like “responsibility” and “optimism” on students’ grade reports? Our teachers talk about the uses and abuses of such so-called “soft skills” assessments.

Finally, there’s no Kids These Days this week because our teachers our out of school. (They haven’t been around kids.) But we’re trying something new: a pop culture roundup. This week: a fat-shaming movie poster, Wonder Woman storms America, and “covfefe.”

Links

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; all have been edited.

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Extra Credit: Vocational Education In The Trump Era

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Extra Credit: Vocational Education In The Trump Era

Few education writers (with the possible exception of Jonathan Kozol) are more widely respected and more widely read than Mike Rose. In a career that’s spanned more than 35 years, Rose has produced eleven books on education and learning, ranging in topic from effective literacy strategies to the cognitive complexity of blue-collar work.

His most well-known book may be the semi-autobiographical Lives On the Boundary. It’s now generally considered a classic of the field, often read in education schools and teacher-prep programs. The book details different ways to reach so-called “problem” students, while at the same time mining the deep vein of Rose’s own personal experiences growing up in a working class household that often felt shut out of the educational establishment.

Mike Rose was born in Pennsylvania, the son of Italian immigrants and grew up in Los Angeles. He’s said one of the most impactful things to happen to him growing up was being moved out of his high school’s vocational track into its college prep track. In the college prep track, he had a teacher who advised him on applying to college.

Rose, who now teaches at UCLA, has tended to focus his writing on class divisions he experienced as a student and that still often plague our education system. He’s written passionately about vocational education--what’s now termed Career and Technical Education--and how it can and should be integrated into a more well-rounded education that also includes STEM learning and instruction in subjects like classic literature. He says votech subjects like auto mechanics and shop class are often looked at with snobbery and elitism and are undervalued by the education system as a whole.

Rose has been revisiting these themes on his blog in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as president. He’s not a fan of the president. He makes no bones about his disappointment in Trump’s election, swept to the White House with the support of millions of white, working class voters like people he says he grew up around. We wanted to speak to Rose about how his career’s focus--his lifelong passion for looking at issues of class in education--now may seem more relevant than ever.

Music used in this episode is Inspiring Corporate and Scottish Indie by Scott Holmes; all have been edited.

 

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