education

Qualities that Make a Teacher Great

Throughout their academic careers, students are going to encounter numerous teachers. Some will be good, some will be bad, and (hopefully) a few will be great.

It’s the great teachers who leave lasting impacts on students. They’re the ones who perhaps challenged what the student thought, or pushed them to work a little differently than they were comfortable with. Maybe they inspired their students to set new goals or work even harder for the ones they already had. Great teachers are the ones students will think about long after they’ve left school. And it turns out; they may all have a few things in common.

greatteacher

 

Rob Jenkins, a faculty member at Georgia Perimeter College, wrote The 4 Properties of Powerful Teachers for the Chronicle of Higher Education, in which he details qualities he believes all great teachers possess, no matter the subject or grade level.

The first quality is he shares is all great teachers seem to have similar personality traits. He writes, “Great teachers tend to be good-natured and approachable, as opposed to sour or foreboding; professional without being aloof.” He also lists several other traits of teachers including being comfortable in their own skin and creativity.

Read the rest of this entry »



What President Obama’s Re-Election Means for Education

The race to the White House came to an end Tuesday night. President Barack Obama will be serving a second term as the President of the United States. During his 2012 election campaign, he promised to help America build a better education system and wanted America to have the highest promotion of university graduates in the world by 2020.

A few months ago, President Obama proposed a one billion dollar effort to help students excel in math and science, known as the Master Teachers Program. A group of elite teachers will be a part of the program and their salaries will increase by $20,000 in an effort to put the best math and science educators in front of our students. “I’m running to make sure that America has the best education system on earth, from pre-K all the way to post-graduate,” said President Obama during a rally in July. Only time will tell if the program will be implemented in schools across the country or not.

As reported by the HuffingtonPost, Jeffrey Henig, a political scientist at Teachers College, Columbia University, said, “It’s clear the Obama administration will continue to make education a priority.” Henig predicts President Obama will look to improve how academic performance is measured, like designing new assessments students take.

Since being elected in 2008, President Obama has stopped student federal loan rates from doubling and increased funding for Pell grants for students that need financial aid. Additionally, he has adjusted the federal student loan system so that repayments are based on income rather the amount a student has borrowed.

Karen White, political director at the National Education Association (NEA), said during President Obama’s second term she will expect him to focus on early education and college affordability.

Imran Apollo, a student at Wichita State University, comments on why he supported President Obama’s education views, telling us, “Obama wanted to increase the budget for Pell grants, which would increase taxes. Romney wanted to decrease taxes by increasing the requirements to qualify for Pell grants, thereby reducing the overall amount of aid. Romney also stated that increasing aid only encourages colleges to increase tuition costs. While this may be true, I still felt that many families, middle class in particular, would have had significant trouble paying for tuition were they denied Pell aid, or if they received reduced aid.”

Another Wichita State University student, Courtney Seddon, weighed in on the re-election and how it will affect education, telling us, “I think Obama’s re-election will give a lot of educational opportunities to the younger generation; programs like “Pay as You Earn” and debt forgiveness make the financial burden of higher education so much easier.”

The Obama administration’s new program, “Pay as You Earn,” will reduce the payment cap on loan payments from 15% of the borrower’s income to 10%, which will accelerate loan forgiveness from 25 years to 20 years.

Education is a big issue for the country. Americans have high hopes for our education system. During the president’s first term in office he had created new policies and programs to better America’s education system. He has made college more affordable for individuals and eased the financial burden for graduated students.

Also Read:

How Your Grad School Selection Impacts Your Future

Obama Highlights Education in Nomination Acceptance Speech

Lack of Education Apparent in Unemployment Rates



President Obama and Mitt Romney to Speak at 2012 Education Nation Summit

Education is a hot topic in the 2012 presidential election. Debates between President Obama and Governor Romney are ongoing and quite heated as the two butt heads on the issue. But before the candidates can implement their respective strategies, they’ll be sharing their views on the U.S. education system at the Education Nation Summit next week.

With a growing number of students and families concerned about America’s future educational system, it’s an issue on high alert for most voters. The annual Education Nation Summit will be held September 23-25 at The New York Public Library.

As reported by MediaBistro, Condoleeza Rice and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will take part in the event, during which a taped interview with President Obama will be presented. The president and his opponent Mitt Romney will also appear in person later in the summit to discuss their views on education and answer questions from summit attendees.

Both presidential candidates will cover such issues as unemployment, educational challenges, and ever-rising college tuition costs.

The opening early session of the Education Summit will begin with NBC News correspondent Tom Brokaw, and followed by an address from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama Waives No Child Left Behind Requirements in 10 States

U.S. Department of Educaiton No Child Left Behind SealWhen No Child Left Behind was first created, everyone thought it would be a great thing and would really accomplish its goal of getting every child in the USA up to par in the fields of math and reading by 2014. However, with the deadline drawing closer and closer, it is becoming obvious that many schools are going to fall short. This is the reason why President Barack Obama recently let 10 states off the hook and freed them from the requirements that the program enforced on schools. The states are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

President Obama said that he took action and released the states from their contracts because Congress has not updated the law, even though many agreed that it desperately needed to be fixed.

“If we’re serious about helping out children reach their potential, the best ideas aren’t going to come from Washington alone,” Obama said. “Our job is to harness those ideas, and to hold states and schools accountable for making them work.”

These 10 states aren’t the only ones who asked for a waiver to free them from No Child Left Behind. There are 28 other states that have plans on seeking waivers. Under the new waivers, the schools no longer have to prove that every student is proficient in reading and math; instead, the school must prepare students for either a higher education or a career, develop evaluation systems for teachers and principals, and establish new target goals for improvement among all students.

Read the rest of this entry »



Are Students Able to Count the Numbers in the Super Bowl?

superbowl xlviHave you ever heard the expression “It’s all Greek to me?” If not, it means that you do not understand something, and this saying might soon become much more common (and literal) among younger generations because many schools are no longer teaching Roman numerals.

Okay, so students aren’t learning Roman numerals. No big deal, right? Most of the time, I’d have to agree with you. However, without learning how to count in Roman numerals, students will be confused when they study European history and are confronted with the monarchs of the XIII century. Or, even worse, when they sit down with their families to watch Super Bowl XLVI, which means Super Bowl 46, in case you didn’t know. So maybe Roman numerals do still have a place in our society.

“I went to Catholic school [and] I still have bruised knuckles from not learning them,” says NFL historian and Spokesman Joe Horrigan about the Roman numerals. He now feels that the Roman numerals add a certain flair to important events, like the Super Bowl. “‘Number 46’ it just kind of sounds like an inventory. ‘Inspected by Joe.’ Those Roman numerals, they’re almost like trophies.”

Read the rest of this entry »



Architecture Majors Hit Hardest by Unemployment

Man working on a computerWant job security? Then you may want to consider the following majors: engineering, science, education and healthcare.

A recent report by Georgetown University revealed that if you want to land a job fresh out of college, you have to major in a field that is linked to these fastest growing industries. The study by Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce also reported which majors are failing degree holders.

Architecture grads, for instance, have the highest unemployment rate of their peers. They’ll have to tackle figures of about 13.9 percent due to the decline in housing construction.

The survey also revealed that grads with non-technical degrees are facing tough unemployment rates. Those who majored in the arts have an 11.1 percent unemployment rate. While those with degrees in the social sciences have a rate of 8.9 percent.

Futures look grim for some of those students who want to study their passions in college. “People keep telling kids to study what they love — but some loves are worth more than others,” said one of the study’s authors, Anthony P. Carnevale.

Read the rest of this entry »



Socioeconomic Standing Impacts Students’ Abilities to Ask for Help in Classrooms

1st or 2nd grade student with his hand raisedFor a long time, we have thought that students from different socioeconomic backgrounds have different levels of success due to the resources available to them in their schools and from their families. However, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania shows an equally important factor in a child’s success is how the study identifies and secures resources for himself.

The study found that the children who came from middle class families are more comfortable and assertive when asking their teachers for help than are the children who come from working class families. Because the students ask more often and more assertively, they often get more attention and assistance from their teachers, which in turn helps them do better in class.

The students who come from middle-class families often directly address the teachers in class and sometimes will even interrupt the teacher in order to make their questions known. The students who came from working-class families were more likely to wait for assistance and rarely sought it out themselves. If they did actually seek out assistance from the teacher, they were passive and waited longer for the teacher to notice them than the students from middle-class families did, on average.

According to Jessica McCrory Calarco, the author of the study, the children who are more comfortable asking for assistance might have learned to do so from their parents. These parents “also deliberately coach children on the language and strategies to use in making these requests [for additional help from the teachers].”

Read the rest of this entry »



19 Arizona High School Students Will Graduate College Before Finishing High School

Graduation paraphernaliaWhen I was in high school, I took a few AP classes in order to earn some college credit. Some of my friends took a few college classes at the local community college. When we graduated high school, we had already earned enough credit to be considered second-semester college freshmen, and we thought we were ahead of the curve. Turns out, when compared to 19 high school students in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, we were way behind.

This year, 19 seniors at Lake Havasu High School will graduate high school will also earning their associate’s degrees. These students all took a test during their sophomore year of high school which allowed them to take dual enrollment classes during their junior and senior years of high school.

“We’ve all had to adapt to teaching ourselves how to study because things have come so easy to us before; so now our teachers expect us to help teach ourselves,” said Savanna Bailey, a senior at the school. “I’ve had a couple of anxiety attacks, but it’s all worth it whenever you really do learn more. You have to bring every single thick textbook home with you and you look, obviously like the nerdiest one in the school carrying all of your books.”

Looking nerdy seems like a small price to pay for two-years worth of free college credit, if you ask me. So how do these students make it through the insane amounts of homework and stress they must encounter while studying for both high school and college classes?

Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama Announces New Improvements for Head Start Program

National Head Start Alphabet Block LogoPresident Obama has been an advocate for improving the quality of education that children in the USA receive for years, and now, he has taken another step in this direction. On Tuesday, he announced some changes that are going to be made to the Head Start program. This program allows children from low-income families to attend preschool.

“This is the first time in history that Head Start programs will truly be held accountable for performance,” Obama said during a speech.

It is somewhat strange that Head Start has not been held accountable to the same standards as other  education programs, such as No Child Left Behind and other reform efforts. Under the current rules, preschools can continue to receive funding from Head Start even if they are not revising and improving their programs.

Read the rest of this entry »



Avenues: The World School Aims to Make Students More Internationally Aware

There a lot of private schools out there. Some are labeled as being preparatory schools, where a huge emphasis is placed on preparing the students for admission to a top-notch college. However, in September 2012, a new school might be opening in Chelsea, NY, that would put all of these other private schools to shame. The only problem is that the school does not yet exist.

Chris Whittle, an educational entrepreneur, is planning to build a school called Avenues: The World School, which will be a for-profit private school for students ages nursery through ninth grade. The school is already in great demand, even though it is still being constructed, because many parents in this area are desperate to enroll their children in a private school, and there just are not enough seats available to fulfill the demand in the older private schools.

The curriculum at Avenues will allow students to learn bilingually in English and either Spanish or Mandarin. The bilingual classes will take place from nursery school until fourth grade. The need for bilingual adults in the future will be incredibly high, so by instilling these skills in students now, Avenues would be creating future employees who would be in higher demand in the international workplace in the future. Avenues will also be part of a network of international schools that have the same curriculum. So, if a student wanted to spend a semester in London or Shanghai or any other exotic location, his or her education would not have to suffer because he or she could study the same curriculum and stay on track while living in a foreign country.

“Schools need to do a better job preparing children for international lives,” Whittle said.

Read the rest of this entry »