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Study Finds Students Of All Races Prefer Teachers Of Color

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“Do you speak English?”

When Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng walked into his summer school classroom for the first time as a brand-new teacher, a student greeted him with this question. Nothing in his training had prepared him to address race and identity. But he was game, answering the student lightly, “Yes, I do, but this is a math class, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

“Oh my gosh, was that racist?” he says the girl asked, and quickly checked her own assumption: “‘That’s exactly like when I go into a store and people follow me around because I’m black.'”

During the time that Cherng, who is of Chinese descent, taught in an 85 percent African-American middle school in San Francisco, he enjoyed a good rapport with his students, and he wondered what role his own identity played in that.

Now Cherng is a sociologist at New York University and he’s just published a paper with colleague Peter Halpin that addresses this question. It seems that students of all races — white, black, Latino, and Asian — have more positive perceptions of their black and Latino teachers than they do of their white teachers.

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Education

7 tips for having that difficult teacher conversation?

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Schools, despite being the most wonderful places to work,  can also be frustrating and painful places to be at times.

School leaders are charged with the responsibility of instilling the highest level of professionalism in their colleagues. Unfortunately, it is a undeniable fact that some teachers do a better job than others. The differences that one can see between teachers is wide-ranging. Some teachers are great at collaborating whilst others are reluctant to share and engage with others. Many teachers are great at giving students valuable feedback for learning while others are far less effective. A good number of teachers ensure that they act in the highest professional manner, however, we would be naive not to think that some teachers cut corners falling well short of their professional obligations.

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Education

Does learning in your school take place more by design or chance?

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This notion of careful curriculum design and planning is something that I believe is vital to improving student learning in a school. This is particularly true given teacher differences with a school and between schools.

In the context of this post, learning by ‘chance’ is to mean that learning happens completely randomly; it will largely depend on the student’s teacher and what they do and do not do in the classroom.

I have seen it from both sides now. I have seen parents and students come and see me to request that they avoid a particular teacher or be placed in a particular teacher’s classroom. As a relatively new parent myself, I have thought about the chances that this year will be a good or not so good learning year for my son.

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Education

How To Help Kids In Poverty Adjust To The Stability Of School After Break

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The first day back from winter break can be restless.

Many children are still coming down from the excitement of the holidays. Two unstructured weeks away from school — with strange food, rituals and relatives — can be overwhelming for many children, especially when it grinds to a halt after the new year and normality resumes.

But for students whose families are struggling in poverty, time away from school isn’t an exciting blip on an otherwise calm school year. For them, it can be a crippling time of insecurity when it comes to food and shelter.

And teachers can tell.

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Education

The 70/20/10 rule and considerations for teacher growth and development

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How do we most effectively promote the professional growth of our teachers so that it has a high impact on student learning?

While significant efforts are made in so many schools to improve teacher professional growth and learning, I continue to question how can we do this better?

Essentially, how can we ensure greater application of our own learning to ensure that it benefits our schools, teachers and students?

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Education

The Lesson Plan For A New School: Teaching ‘Joyous Service’

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Taylor Delhagen is one of the founding teachers at Brooklyn Ascend High School.

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The two births that would change everything for Taylor Delhagen were due to occur 24 hours apart. If all went according to plan, his school would come into being one day, and his first child would arrive the next.

The baby boy’s impending arrival had Delhagen contemplating the gravity of his role as a teacher opening a charter high school in one of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods: Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Four of the five founding teachers, the 31-year-old Delhagen among them, came together from a nearby charter, where they’d had success producing high test scores among low-income students. But they had felt stifled in what they see as a more vital task: developing human beings.

Now comes the chance for Delhagen to more freely offer an education he would want for his own son. He’s teaching in a community that’s four miles away — but in many ways a world apart — from Brooklyn’s gentrified Fort Greene, where rent on his family’s two-bedroom apartment just spiked 18 percent.

 

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