Tag: teaching

Education Research: What to Know for the New Year

Educators and those within the education industry are well aware of the constant changes and innovations that occur on a yearly basis. New studies may be released promoting certain teaching strategies as opposed to others, or detailing the types of environments children seem to thrive in that contradict a traditional setting. Regardless, professionals with years of experience their belts understand the most important aspects, and those that are the most truthful. Below are a few findings Chalkbeat has compiled that all educators should take with them heading into 2018.


Teacher Certifications Come with Ramifications


Vetting teachers before hiring is obviously a crucial aspect of the employment process in education. However, overly strict rules often limit adequate, trustworthy teachers from joining, and thus benefiting the school they wish to work at. Similarly, certifications exclude teachers of color, which is often extremely detrimental in the sense that students of color have been shown to benefit more from educators of the same ethnicity.


Another downside of certifications is that they are often state-regulated, which means teachers are very limited in terms of where they want to teach. While it may be rare for an educator to move across states, the option should always exist. Certifications effectively render that impractical.


Unions may not be beneficial


Steven Virgadamo, with 35 plus years involved in implementing school improvement programs in nearly all 50 states, believes that having a group of educators more interested in protecting their jobs can sometimes be counterproductive to student performance, unless of course job security is tied directly to student test performance. The needs of the students and their families should never be placed secondary to the needs of the teachers.


State Tests Show Results


Mandatory statewide testing has always been seen as a somewhat controversial practice, but they have been shown to provide results. The University of Chicago found that students who took state tests later showed improved grades, a higher acceptance rate among colleges, and a consistent college tenure. But, with more testing came more displeased students, suggesting that teachers who may be great at improving test scores may lack in providing a happier educational environment.


Staying ahead of the curve in educational trends can be difficult, but knowing what works best, and what has worked in the past can equip teachers with the necessary tools to help their students succeed, as well as improve their personal teaching methods.

8 Ways Early Childhood Teachers Can Help Ensure a Smooth Transition for Students from Home to the First Few Days of a New School Year

teachersIn the south, Midwest and west coast the new school year is already in full swing. The new school year in the northeast corridor is just beginning this week. Transitions are exciting opportunities for children to learn and grow. Parents and early childhood professionals share a role in making children feel safe and secure as they move to new educational settings. Of course, such milestones in children’s lives can cause anxiety, too. Strengthening the ties between educational professionals and families will help create smooth transitions for both adults and children. Making a smooth transition between home and school requires teachers and early childhood professionals to help children feel good about themselves and learn to trust other adults and children. Helping children adapt to new situations can ease parents’ minds and give them a chance to become involved in their children’s education.

Over the past several weeks, Steve Virgadamo offered suggestions for parents as to how to ease the transition from the lazy, hazy days of summer to a more rigorous and structured day in an academic setting. Below, Steven offers practical advice as to early childhood professionals can do their part to help each student transition smoothly from summer to the first few days of school.

8 Ways Early Childhood Teachers Can Help Ensure a Smooth Transition for Students from Home to the First Few Days of a New School Year.

  1. Set up an area for photos of parents and family members that children may “visit” throughout the day. Also, include items that reflect the cultural experiences of the children to help promote a sense of mutual respect and understanding. Children, just like adults, need time to adjust to new people and situations.
  2. Hold an orientation for children and parents. Small groups encourage children to get to know each other.
  3. Experience helps to ease transitions but change can still be stressful. Patience and understanding on the part of parents, caregivers, and teachers help children learn how to approach new situations with confidence—a skill that helps them make successful transitions throughout their lives.
  4. Show children around the new school or program, introducing them to other adults who are there to help them become acclimated.
  5. Make an effort to get to know each individual child as quickly as possible. Parents can provide information about children’s likes, dislikes, and special interests.
  6. Welcome suggestions from families, particularly those of children with special needs. Parents can offer specific suggestions they have found useful for their child and advice on classroom setup and modifications.
  7. Make sure activities are developmentally appropriate for children. Activities that are interesting, challenging, and doable will help children feel comfortable in their new setting.
  8. Work with your administrator to have a cry area for parents – remember the first day of school can be as hard or harder time of separation anxiety on some parents than their child. Allowing parents to gather for awhile proves to be an opportunity for the school administrator to befriend new parents.

Thank you for reading!

Steve Virgadamo