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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

‘A’ FOR EFFORT: Tier’s teachers change lives outside the classroom

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After an indoor track practice on a recent Wednesday evening, students gathered in John Heath’s Owego Middle School classroom. They perched on desks, lean legs swinging, and talked about the impact Heath, a seventh-grade science teacher, had on their lives.

Outside the classroom, that is.

Like many educators, Heath, 41, isn’t a teacher just between school bells. He’s head of the Blue Horizons science club. He’s a respected track, indoor track and cross country coach. He’s even spearheading a new youth running program for the Boys & Girls Club of Western Broome County.

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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

Making Science Teaching More Than ‘A Backup Plan’

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Amelia Westerdale works with physics students during a tutorial session at the University of Colorado Boulder. Westerdale is part of the Learning Assistant Program, tasked with helping to coach and tutor students.

Theo Stroomer for NPR

“Squat! Squat! Squat! Higher! Faster!”

In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on, but it looks more like a vaudeville act.

One by one, students balance precariously on a rotating platform. Then they are handed what looks like a spinning bicycle wheel, holding it by two handles that stick out from either side of what would be the hub of the wheel. When you flip the wheel over, like a pizza, your body starts rotating in the opposite direction.

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Education

A ‘No-Nonsense’ Classroom Where Teachers Don’t Say ‘Please’

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Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Any classroom can get out of control from time to time. But one unique teaching method empowers teachers to stop behavior problems before they begin.

You can see No-Nonsense Nurturing, as it’s called, firsthand at Druid Hills Academy in Charlotte, N.C.

“Your pencil is in your hand. Your voice is on zero. If you got the problem correct, you’re following along and checking off the answer. If you got the problem incorrect, you are erasing it and correcting it on your paper.”

Math teacher Jonnecia Alford has it down pat. She then describes to her sixth-graders what their peers are doing.

“Vonetia’s looking at me. Denario put her pencil down — good indicator. Monica put hers down and she’s looking at me.”

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