During the first ten years or so of my teaching career, I gave a test at the end of every book unit. What I was looking for in students’ answers was for them to repeat back to me my own ideas on the text. These tests were easy to grade, and students often did well on them if they paid attention in class. I liked being reassured that they were understanding the ideas that I wanted them to, and I admit that it felt good to read my ideas in their essays.
Differentiating instruction for students based on readiness, interest, and learning style is a powerful way to make learning personal and effective. Research shows that giving students options in how they engage with content and skill practice often results in an overall increase in engagement and growth.
Over the past decade, substitute placement software has transformed the landscape of substitute teaching. Rarely is a substitute teacher roused from bed with early morning calls. It’s now common for subs to be notified of open jobs, which they can accept, reject, or cancel via smartphone app or computer. Substitute teaching is in high demand and jobs are plentiful. Subs who work in multiple districts have access to enough jobs to choose from a wide variety of subjects and grade levels.
Every three years, fifteen-year-old students around the world participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This assessment tests students’ skills and knowledge in science, math, reading, collaborative problem solving, and financial literacy. The 2015 PISA tested 28 million students in 72 countries and economies (these include various regions that may not be officially recognized as an independent). The results of the 2015 PISA were released in December 2016.
President Trump has already caused somewhat of a stir among the educational community, with his recommendation for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, considered a controversial pick, by many due to her relative lack of experience in public education. But what does the rest of his educational plan for the country look like?