Thursday, July 9

Teacher

How NYC Students and Teachers are Making Sense of George Floyd’s Killing
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

How NYC Students and Teachers are Making Sense of George Floyd’s Killing

Many students and educators across the five boroughs were already dealing with the trauma of illness ravaging their communities and the isolation of being forced out of school buildings due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, while apart from their school communities, they’re trying to make sense of Floyd’s death and other recent police killings of black people that have sparked protests and an 8 p.m. curfew in New York City through June 7. New York City’s protests have largely been peaceful but have also resulted in some violent clashes between police and protestors, hundreds of arrests, and incidents of looting. Students and educators alike are struggling with how to reckon with what’s happening and have important, but difficult conversations about race and violence. Not only is it a chal...
Beyond Protests: 5 More Ways To Channel Anger Into Action To Fight Racism
Education, Teacher

Beyond Protests: 5 More Ways To Channel Anger Into Action To Fight Racism

"I think it's important for everyone, regardless of race, to ask, 'What is my role in this system?' " she says. Ask yourself, 'Have I been a passive bystander, and how can I change that?' "Perhaps it's simply speaking up in situations where you may have been disinclined to speak up before," Burnett-Zeigler says. These tragic events of recent weeks can also create an opportunity, because people are fired up. Given all the anger and frustration, experts say there are strategies to channel these emotions into action. 1. Listen To People Closest To You, And To People Of Other Races Whether it's your work colleagues, teammates, your children or extended family, one way to change hearts and minds is to listen. When we stop talking and start listening, we validate others' feelings and emotions. ...
How Teachers Want Emergency Distance Learning Improved
Education, eLearning, Learning, Student, Teacher

How Teachers Want Emergency Distance Learning Improved

On teaching in one of the country’s coronavirus epicenters: “The whole first two months and change, we were hearing about 10 sirens a day. And obviously New York City is a very special place in that respect because of the density of the population, surely. But it can really rack on the brain in a way when you have so many sirens going off and so many things happening around you and the (few) degrees of separation between you and someone who's passed away. ... For me, living in Harlem, which is not too different from Washington Heights, that's kept me closer to the kids than they can imagine. Even though I can't see them every day, I know … what they're going through. I have students whose parents have passed away, whose family members have passed away, whose families also many of them are...
Reflections On A Lost Senior Year With Hope For The Future
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

Reflections On A Lost Senior Year With Hope For The Future

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many high school graduations to be replaced with virtual, drive-in and other alternative ceremonies. And so, the tradition of valedictorians and salutatorians addressing their classmates at this huge moment in their young lives is a little different this year. NPR spoke with a few student leaders about their speeches and how a not-so-typical senior year inspired their words for the class of 2020. Emma Cockrum Valedictorian, East Ascension High School, Gonzales, La. East Ascension High School Valedictorian Emma Cockrum with her dog Hercules in front of her old play house at her home in Prairieville, La. (Emily Kask for NPR)Aside from her bike rides, Cockrum was also inspired by a few words from Sol Rexius, a pastor at The Salt Company Church of Ames in I...
Four Ways Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

Four Ways Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren

Black students are more likely to be arrested at school. In the 2013-2014 school year, black students accounted for 16% of students enrolled in U.S. public schools, but 33% of arrests in those schools. That's according to a 2017 analysis of federal data by the Education Week Research Center. Meanwhile, white students accounted for 50% of enrollment and 34% of arrests, and Hispanic students accounted for 25% enrollment and 25% of arrests. "If you've got a kid who is black, there's a decent amount of research that shows that good, well-intentioned and not overtly racist people will look at that situation and judge it to be more threatening," said Josh Gupta-Kagan, a law professor at the University of South Carolina. Gupta-Kagan spoke to NPR's Kat Chow in 2017, two years after a troubling v...
How Elementary Teachers are Marking the End of School Amid Grief for Lost Time with Students
Education, Student, Teacher

How Elementary Teachers are Marking the End of School Amid Grief for Lost Time with Students

For LaNesha Tabb, the arc of the school year is a bit like a joke being played on kindergarten teachers: “You work all year long to get these kids awesome. By April and May, you're like, ‘Yes!’ And then they leave and you get a whole new batch of brand new babies that need your help.” This year, the punch line came early for Tabb, who teaches near Indianapolis, Indiana. With school closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, her class missed out on what she called the “golden months” of teaching — when all the hard work pays off and student growth becomes visible. “That is so hard to not have been able to witness this particular group of children get to that threshold,” she said. The disappointment is not exclusive to kindergarten teachers. Across grades levels, educators mourned ...
A Preschool Teacher Ponders Risk Of Returning To Work While Being Paid Less Than Unemployment
Education, Teacher

A Preschool Teacher Ponders Risk Of Returning To Work While Being Paid Less Than Unemployment

Morse has considered working temporarily as a nanny, where at least she could limit her exposure to a single family. For now, she's staying home, grateful for the extra $600 a week in unemployment insurance that the federal government is offering during the pandemic. "Without that, our family would not be making it right now," she says. Because preschool teachers are "chronically underpaid," Morse says, unemployment benefits add up to about $500 a month more than she made when she was working. "That's two weeks of groceries," she says. And that complicates the idea of going back to work in close quarters with small children. "Part of your job as a preschool teacher is love and affection," Morse says. "It's hard to think about going back to work in this pandemic and getting paid less than ...
5 Radical Schooling Ideas For An Uncertain Fall And Beyond
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

5 Radical Schooling Ideas For An Uncertain Fall And Beyond

"Never in the modern history of our education system has the importance of family engagement been more apparent," says Alejandro Gibes de Gac, the founder of Springboard Collaborative. Springboard is a social enterprise that looks at families as the "single greatest resource" for helping struggling readers. In pre-pandemic times, it offered a series of hourlong workshops to family members, mostly in low-income communities, coaching them to set goals and practice specific reading concepts with elementary school-age children. In just five weeks, on average, 3 out of 4 of their participants get to the next reading level or even further. And these strategies work even though one-third of Springboard's parents, grandparents and other relatives are unable to access the text their child is holdi...
Coronavirus, Racism And Kindness: How NYC Middle-Schoolers Built A Winning Podcast
Education, Student, Teacher

Coronavirus, Racism And Kindness: How NYC Middle-Schoolers Built A Winning Podcast

The pod starts gently, interweaving innocent, COVID-inspired vocabulary lessons in Mandarin — think "mask" and "sneeze" — with safety tips that needed repeating back in February and March, when the students were writing and recording: Wash your hands with soap and water "and remember to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze into your elbow. The Mandarin word for sneeze is ... " You get the idea. One of our favorite moments comes when the student narrators (they all take turns) drop a bit of COVID-poetry — a famous saying in Mandarin that means, 'Sickness comes in like a landslide but goes out as slow as spinning silk.'" Our judges found the format both innovative and informative. "I was impressed that these students took on the story of the century in such a thoughtful and c...
‘I’m Willing To Fight For America’: 5 Student Activists On Protesting For Change
Education, Learning, Student, Teacher

‘I’m Willing To Fight For America’: 5 Student Activists On Protesting For Change

Julian Dowell, 20, Washington, D.C. When he was growing up, Julian Dowell says, his mom was a big advocate for reading up on racism in American history. "In the eighth grade I was reading Cornel West. Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow had just come out," he says. "So when Trayvon Martin occurred, I was actually kind of in my school mobilizing people around me, like, yo, we're gonna do a day where we're all going to wear our hood up." Today Dowell is a junior Georgetown University, studying African-American studies and thinking about adding economics. But his biggest interest is understanding augmented reality technology — and finding a way to use it as a tool to protest and speak out. Julian Dowell, 20, says he's wrestling with the idea of what it means to be an activist right now, an...