Category Archives: ‘A’ for Achievement

Some Teachers, schools, Districts and states are doing it RIGHT!

What a Wonder…

There are days in this insane world when one is completely uplifted with the gift of life. This marvelous teacher will be a beacon of light across the years for her students. She will be remembered. ~ Ed.

It’s the second year in a row I’ve brought a white dress to school and my students have filled it with their artwork. This is one of my favorite things to do in my class! #thewearyteacher

This is something I’d seen on Pinterest a few years ago and I fell in love with the idea. I think every teacher should do this! It’s a great project and an even better keepsake.

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New Teacher Academy provides some relief in teacher shortage

Publisher’s NOTE: The following column relates to the High school that my wife teaches for. She has not stopped working since retirement six years ago – or is it seven now? She ris more than familiar with the subject a matter and personal at the heart of what you are about to read. Arizona has a tremendous shortage of teachers – for reasons we have stated here before – maybe the following is part of the answer. ~ J.B.

Adrianne Penullar, photo by Derek Hall

As students file in to Adrianne Penullar’s general chemistry class at Westview High School, their first task is relinquishing their phones. Continue reading

5 Ways Adults Can Develop Children With Strong Social and Emotional Skills

I’m a math teacher, not a counselor. I’m here to teach math,” one teacher recently told a principal I was working with in an afterschool program. The principal recounted this story while reflecting on an effort to infuse more social-emotional learning into her school.

The concept of having to “add one more thing” to overburdened teachers is nothing new. To overcome this resistance, the education field must not view SEL as a separate curriculum but instead as what it is at its core: a set of skills, competencies, and principles that inform and guide how to interact with students. That is, rather than SEL being what educators teach, it is how they teach. Continue reading

Florida School Ditches Common Core! Soars To Number One in State!

Mason Classical Academy dumped the Common Core program in favor of traditional teaching methods and has since jumped to the number one position in the Florida’s top schools list, according to government statistics.

The charter school in Naples, Florida, decided against forcing kids to learn the Obama endorsed Common Core method of teaching.

They were not happy with the way it deliberately dumbs down children and created unnecessary and complicated methods for working out relatively simple problems. Continue reading

Teacher Discovers that Young Students Really Can Be Taught to Think for Themselves

The ability to critically think does not develop in children until around age 12. It begins after the child’s fundamentals are drilled into them. We used to understand this basic principle of education. This is why classical education was so effective. It was also why prior generations of Americans were so successful in life. The educational ‘Elites’ decided that a population that was able to critically think was too difficult to control. They changed our education system to remove critical thinking. Our children have suffered for their arrogance. It is time to take an active role in the education of your children. ~ Rosemary Stein, MD

By now it’s old news that many Americans can no longer think for themselves. True, they have strong opinions, but often those opinions are influenced by prominent leaders and can turn around as quickly as the winds of political favor.

Unfortunately, such a state is likely driven by the education system. Although schools purport to be fans of “critical thinking,” many schools no longer teach the philosophy or logic classes which were once a prominent part of high school education. Continue reading

Parents: More Vital to Education Than We Realize?

If there are no studies that demonstrate that preschool benefits children after third grade, why is the government pushing for all children to be taken out of the home and be in it. The answer is to destroy the maternal child bond. If they accomplish this, it is much easier for the ‘Village’ to place it’s values into your children. Parents, not the ‘Village’, must decide what is best for your child. To save America we must save one child at a time. Join the cause. ~ Rosemary Stein M.D.

Sometimes it seems that America is on a never-ending quest to boost achievement and make education better. One year, classroom technology is the answer to the problems. The next year, the answer is universal preschool. The year after, test abolishment is believed to be the solution. And on it goes.

But what if we’ve had a major answer to these educational woes under our noses the whole time, but have simply chosen to ignore it? Continue reading

Why Teachers Need Their Freedom

Educators must remain engaged and autonomous in order to do their jobs well and avoid burnout.

My co-teacher and I met in the parking lot before school and stared into my car trunk at the costumes and props we had gathered over the weekend. We were giddy with excitement and nervous because neither of us had tried anything like this before. We also taught in the kind of school where one wrong move in the classroom could lead to disastrous results because of our students’ intense behavioral and learning needs.

The co-teacher, Alice Gnau, had found a book called Teaching Content Outrageously by Stanley Pogrow, which explained how secondary classrooms can incorporate drama into any content to engage students in learning—incorporating the element of surprise, for example, or developing role-play or simulation experiences to teach content and standards. The book inspired us to change how we taught our seventh-grade language-arts students in a high-poverty school that struggled with test scores, especially reading and math. Continue reading

Teddy Stoddard ~ A Touching Story

There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big F at the top of his papers. Continue reading

How Classic Cartoons Created a Culturally Literate Generation

I recently picked up Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court for the first time. Finding the plot rather amusing, I began relaying it to my father over the weekend. Because he had never read the book, I was rather surprised when he began asking informed questions about the story. In no time at all, he was the one schooling me on plot elements I had not yet reached.

“Wait a minute,” I asked. “Are you sure you’ve never read this book?”

“No, never have,” he replied, “but I saw a cartoon version of the story when I was younger and everything I know comes from that.”
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Florida school dumps common core then skyrockets to number one in English Language Arts, with 90 percent scoring proficient

There is a reason that people have learned reading, writing and arithmetic in generally the same way over the years, and that’s because the tried-and-true traditional methods work. That’s why many people wondered what the real agenda of the Common Core national standards were when the Obama administration started pushing for it so relentlessly. This ridiculous set of educational standards has left many students and parents baffled and frustrated, and it’s believed to be a key reason that American kids are lagging behind other nations in academic performance. What would happen if we got rid of it entirely? If the results gained by one Florida school are any indication, we would likely all be much better off.

Mason Classical Academy, a charter school in Naples, Florida, prides itself on providing a classical education, which it believes brings about “superior educational results” – and leading the county in English Language Arts is proof they’re on the right track. Continue reading

High School Principal Suspends 500 Students

A high school principal in Pennsylvania has suspended nearly half of the student population after an alarming number of unexcused absences.

About 500 students at Harrisburg High School have received suspension notices as the school’s principal has begun cracking down on the issue of unexcused absences among students.

According to PennLive, at least 100 of the students issued suspension notices have served one-day suspensions following Principal Lisa Love’s effort to crackdown on the problem. Continue reading

When Schools Meet Trauma With Understanding, Not Discipline

If you know anything about New Orleans public schools, you probably know this: Hurricane Katrina wiped them out and almost all the schools became privately run charters.


Young children play outside in the fog at Crocker College Prep, an elementary school in New Orleans. ~ Clarence Williams/WWNO

Many of those schools subscribed to the no excuses discipline model — the idea that if you crack down on slight misbehavior, you can prevent bigger issues from erupting.

That was also true of Crocker College Prep, an elementary school in New Orleans. It had strict rules about everything. Students had to sit up straight at their desks, eyes tracking the speaker. They had to walk the halls in silence and even wear the right kind of socks. Students who broke these rules, or acted out in other ways, were punished.

The thing is, students across New Orleans face high rates of exposure to trauma, but school discipline policies have rarely accounted for that.
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Charter Schools Prove Even Slight Separation from Government Yields Better Results

Seems it’s not how much you spend per pupil but how you spend it. ~ Tennessee Gal

(During the week of May 5, 2017) It was National Charter Schools Week, and parents, students, teachers, and community members across the nation are celebrating the success of their independent schools.

Charters are technically public schools, since they’re publicly funded, tuition-free, and open to all students, but they’re privately managed and held to higher accountability standards than traditional public schools in exchange for increased flexibility in other areas. Continue reading

Kids Write the Darndest Things…

Hilariously literal test answers prove that children are a LOT more intelligent than they appear (and their creative responses will make you laugh out loud)

Every adult will recall that sinking feeling that came with turning over a test paper at school and realising you don’t know the answer to the question.

But as these laugh-out-loud pictures prove, children can sometimes come up with the most genius responses when left stumped.

Diply has shared a collection of the cheeky, imaginative and downright comical wrong answers given by clueless students when faced with a tricky question.
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