Saturday, May 4, 2019

Educational Links 5/5/19

Types of Strengths in Kids


How To Not Quit Teaching


The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans

How this district is preparing students for 2030–and beyond

It's a Tough Time for Teachers. Here's Why I'm Joining the Profession.

You've probably seen the worrying headlines about the state of the teaching profession. States like Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and California, which are struggling with acute teacher shortages, have also seen massive teacher strikes in the past year. Nationally, enrollment in teacher-preparation programs has fallen 35 percent over the past five years. The rate of teachers who quit the profession is the highest it's been since the U.S. Department of Labor began tracking those figures in 2001.

Feel Lost At Sea With Ed Tech?

I won't say the 'average' teacher has issues with the rapidly changing ed tech classroom. I would say 'normal' teachers do. The complexities of the nano-second ed tech progress confuses even the techies. Now the Common Core requires testing online soon and very soon K-12.

Try not to panic, 92% of teachers that are floundering with these all pervasive, complex, overwhelming classroom changes. Don't cry. You are not alone. Not really.
  • Where can I find help? We're going to Chromebook.  I'm a teacher with not much tech expertise.  
Google Chromebook is a good deal for many districts. And the students can really learn to write with it. I have an affiliation with a district that I feel represents the complexities of rural, poor, and tech challenged students and their teachers. They have just acquired 1:1 Chromebooks in the classroom for grades 2-12 . Just weeks ago. The only required training for teachers was the very first level for Google Certified Teachers, and they are walked through it district assistance. Is that enough? For the great number of average teachers who only go online maybe for Facebook, no. What should I do if I'm a teacher in this category? Here are some resources: 

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Understanding Google Certification 

Chrome: Getting started

This is a quote from this page. DON'T YOU FEEL BADLY after reading it. If you are a teacher, such as myself, who has actually spent 24-7 planning and teaching and not sitting in your computer chair--this isn't that simple to you. So here is the smug quote:

It’s easy to get started with a Chrome device, whether you are an IT administrator, a teacher or a student. There’s no steep learning curve standing in the way of learning, teaching, and sharing, and the web-based management console makes it easy to administer a fleet of Chrome devices.

I really despise the stuck-up attitude given by some of the ed tech community. We are not stupid, and we have legitimate questions. Don't you tell me, sonny, there's no steep learning curve. Anywho, ask for help, from your grade level, from the tech person, from family. You could pray about it. Don't give up. Some teachers I spoke to said they were retiring because of the changes with ed tech. Retire if you are ready, not to avoid learning something new.

  • I'm a Principal and my teaching staff has the deer-in-the-headlights-look when we talk about ed tech at staff meetings. Its just about an emergency. What to do?
Be reassuring. Remember teaching? Evaluate your students (staff) and differentiate instruction. Organize trainings lead by compassionate ed tech savvy staff that won't embarrass or leave the teachers behind. Maybe there's a Special Ed. teacher who knows ed tech and could do this for you. I'm actually not joking about that. Don't take the teachers' word that they understand ed tech, (their jobs depend on this, they'll smile and nod just like a student), check for understanding through walk-throughs, demonstrations, asking the right questions in a non-threatening environment. Just like a good teacher. Grade level reports with evidence of success. Remember teaching? Check for understanding and, as we all know, teachers (and everyone else) don't do what you expect, they do what you inspect. Ed leadership has to actively support ed tech learning with your staff. Your future test scores depend on your teachers knowing ed tech. Here are some resources:

Office of Education Technology 

Why Teachers Hate Tech Training ... and What to Do About It 

Training Teachers to Integrate Technology
  • I want to use ed tech in my class, but we are not getting the ed tech equipment. I teach Special Education, and also need time for training in ed tech.

Red flag here. By my informal observation, special education classes are not receiving current ed tech. In the past, special education classes customarily received out-dated textbooks, inadequate or inferior classrooms, no equipment or it was shoddy, and somehow funding earmarked special education did not make it to the student even when in an IEP. I'm not naming names, or stating it happened under my watch (it didn't because I'm kind of a watchdog about that.) I have recently been in a Special Education for the Severely Handicapped/Autism Classroom that very effectively used iPads with the students. I would be very interested to see how Chromebooks with the simplified writing opportunities work with this student community. Do Special Education students have a right to ed tech like the other students? How about the teachers?

This is a Special Education legal website. Don't tell anyone I sent you.

Technology and Assistive Teachnology 

Chromebooks for Special Education and Assistive Technology 

What does edtech look like in the special ed classroom?

  •   Ed tech looks so exciting online. Why does seem so dull in a real classroom?

News from Skype in the Classroom
Ed tech is absolutely, mind-boggingly exciting. We have lived to see the future! And the kids are launched exponentially, literally launched into a future of success, productivity, equity, and fascination no one can even dream about. Some teachers are like the explorers of the 'New' World, the New Digital World. What are they reporting back? How can all teachers get in on it? First, all teachers need to board the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and launch into the unknown. Shake up those lesson plans from 1989 (or even 2011) and incorporate the communication values of the internet. Skype. Email. Virtual tours. TED talks. Research using curiosity. Poetry Slams. Virtual Art Shows between schools. Dance Festivals. School Gardening Shows. Sing offs. Pen pals--an online community for your class from anywhere your district will let you skype. IMAGINATION will drive the best teachers to learn ed tech. Truth be told, not all teachers need to be ed tech experts. Collaborate with ideas for educational experiences within your PLN--how exciting to have all that enthusiasm and expertise united for learning fun. The best part is no one is bored, not the kids, not the teachers. The Common Core is reinforced with teachers reaching the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy. Principals can arrange for collaboration time. Go beyond CoolMath and Accelerated Reader. The teachers that don't want any change? Let them retire or find another profession.

Exciting Ideas for the Implementation of Educational Technology in the Classroom 

Learn the Ins and Outs of Google Classroom from an Expert 

Cool Ways to Use Skype in the Classroom

Teaching Is Learning Ed Tech 
Teaching Is...Learning Ed Tech

Teaching Is...Learning Ed Tech II


Is Teaching Good For Your Health? Yes and No.

Is teaching good for your health? Yes and no. Mostly no. Why? Too much to do, too little time, too little support. So, take care of yourself, Teach, and you can reap the good side of teaching.


Your lifestyle on teaching can create illness. Stress, sedentary classrooms, few bathroom breaks, ignoring healthy eating, limited sleep--you're writing a lesson plan for illness.

Germs! Germs! Go Away! 

Taking Care of Teacher 


Teaching is a full-on contact sport without time-outs. A teacher must deal with her/his personal life or the pushed-down emotions and thoughts will react. Although no one talks about it, going to counseling and getting help really works. Don't be too proud to get help.

Depression in Teachers Impacts Classroom Learning 

Workplace Stress 

What Motivates Teachers?

Long Hours

 A teacher doesn't have to be a perfectionist to get sucked into a 70 hour work week. A teacher is a teacher 24-7 just by definition of working with students--maybe we should be paid a consulting fee for using our expertise on problem solving; thinking about the kids away from school.  We do that even in our sleep. Ever dream about class? Be realistic, demand a life for yourself and your family.

American Teachers Spend More Time In The Classroom Than World Peers, Says Report 

Job Insecurity 

Without tenure, I doubt I would have managed to keep teaching long enough to retire from a public school district. Why? When teaching in a district with the most challenged demographic (high poverty, violence, ELLs and Special Education high counts) all educational stratas are stressed from security staff to superintendent meaning it takes very remarkable administrators to keep everything going peacefully--just among the staff. At times, I was privileged to work under such administrators. 
My work was appreciated, other times,  it was completed under difficult circumstances. As a Special Education teacher, we were expected to complete services for twice the legal caseload. One time, the Union rep at my school told me with great disappointment, that a Grade 5 teacher would be RIFd rather than me because I was Special Ed. 
At times, the students and I had nowhere to test, and  not much room to meet for IEPs. But I prefer to recall the outstanding professionals I learned from, when we worked together as a team, students and families were helped. Many of those team members were General Education, and many brilliant professionals from the Special Education field. That was good for me, but when there was tenuous support from admin, lack of collaboration from colleagues--only tenure kept me going, watching the calendar until I could retire and start something new.

Job Insecurity: The False Dilemma of Teacher Tenure


She's Not My Real Mother, But...

Mother Teresa

she loves me just the same.
You have someone like that in your life?
Mother's Day, May12.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Educational Links 5/4/19

Why The Obamas' Inclusion Of 'Crip Camp' In Their Netflix Film Lineup Means So Much

I Just Found Out My Child Has Sensory Processing Issues. Now What?

Integrating humanities education everywhere

Disruptive Behavior: Why It’s Often Misdiagnosed

Empower students to be future ready with these top 5 tools

16 Early Signs of Autism by 16 Months

How to spot if you work at a toxic school

No time to eat? Constantly undermined by colleagues? Spend your weekend working? Be warned, says Tom Rogers, your school is toxic

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Educational Links 5/3/19

Why the High-Achievers Have Moved to 'Shop' Class

Ensuring That Teachers Don’t Run Out of Gas

A controversial design strategy is helping sixth graders do better in school

The Importance of Early Intervention

Here Is A Great Tool to Enhance Students Digital Literacy Skills

A Framework for Lesson Planning

Using learning intentions and success criteria can help teachers ensure that their activities align with what they want students to know.

Who Bathed Your Chubby Little Self?

Jules Being Dried by His Mother (above, from 1900), Cassatt
Be glad, very glad, I didn't ask, 'Who changed your pungent little diapers?'

Mother's Day is May 12.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Educational Links 5/2/19

Lessons From Star Wars to Inspire Your Students

5 Ways Auditory Processing Disorder Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

For Teachers of Children Living in Poverty, The End of the Year Brings Mixed Emotions

These High Schoolers Have A Passion For 'Poetry Out Loud'

Special Education Teachers: A Guide for Parents

How Anxiety Leads to Disruptive Behavior

Singing as a Tool to Facilitate Transitions

Transitions are, by their nature, challenging for young kids. Whether it’s a big change—making a new friend or changing grades—or something much smaller, like lining up at the end of recess, a transitional time inherently creates weak points.

Teaching Is Trying New Activities

Improve Learning with Hands-On Classroom Games, Activities 

Engaging Classroom Games for All Grades 

STEM/STEAM Lessons, Activities and Ideas 

Greta's Game Station 


10 simple activities to encourage physical
activity in the classroom 

Classroom Activities 

Activity Ideas for Middle School Students 

Games We Can Play in Middle School 

Kagan Professional Development 

MzTeachuh's List of the Top Four Educational Websites

How wonderful to conveniently learn, comment, and participate with fellow teachers around the world.  Powerful and validating. Here is my list of top four websites for you to ponder expanding your ePLN.

Edutopia helps teachers with learning theory as well as practical suggestions for the classroom. The site spotlights the best educators in the world blogging just for the individual teacher out in the field. Thorough diversity of resources covering all educational topics is updated daily while there is a well-curated, organized catalog of past posts. There is an honesty and clarity in this site, and if I could only have one online educational resource, I would choose Edutopia.

TeachThought is strong on learning theory and philosophy of teaching. Teacher motivation and collaboration are frequent topics on this site. There are some really beautiful graphic organizers, too, covering important topics for professional development.

MindShift is higher level thinking for educators. This site has provocative, invigorating educational topics as well as articles highlighting innovative educational practices in the real world. I particularly appreciate the topics in support of educational equity.

This site is clear, concise, and simplifies complex dynamics of learning and attention issues.  It is invaluable as a tool to clarify how best to serve a student and explains procedures for Special Education interventions. is a tremendous benefit for teacher and parent. It is just a beautiful, thoughtful website.

Please get the RSS feed or email for MzTeachuh's daily Educational Links--these sites are just some of the resources I use for your update on what's happening this day in education.

Who Told You Stories and Sang You Songs?

Grandmother Storyteller by Ada Suina, Cochiti New Mexico

I'm giving this one to Grandma.

Mother's Day. May 12. Don't forget Granny.

Check out the pottery from New Mexico:

Pueblo Storytellers


This is a little ceramic piece I found at Furnace Springs, Death Valley, CAL. I wish I could hear what Grandma was singing.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

National Poetry Month: Poem #30

I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260)

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –  
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –  
To an admiring Bog!