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2. Widening Horizons

Herman B Wells Indiana University Press ePub

ONE OF my high school teachers had sold me on the idea of going to a business school. Business schools were in their first flush of popularity then; they were new. As the University of Illinois had the outstanding one in the Midwest at that time, I chose to go to Champaign. Other considerations such as fees and transportation did not loom large. Out-of-state fees were low enough to be of little comparative consequence in those days, and I could go by train to Champaign from either Crawfordsville or Jamestown.

The summer before I left for college I had traveled to Whites-town daily to run a little country bank that had been organized there in opposition to the established bank. My income was rather good for a teenager, and in four months I had saved quite a bit of money for college. Later, at the end of my sophomore year in college, the bank offered me a permanent job at two-hundred dollars a month, which to me seemed like so much money that I tried to persuade my father to let me leave college to accept the job. In those days even college graduates were not being paid as much as that on their first jobs. My father was unyielding.

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History of PASS

Ban, John R. Solution Tree Press ePub

PASS stands for Parents Assuring Student Success. The word itself means an opening or road through rough terrain, marking the way to a certain destination. PASS shows parents the passageway to improving their children’s education.

PASS resulted from three years of discussion with parents and educators. It was used in an urban school system in Northwest Indiana with a large number of families who were in need of extra help. This district had an abiding belief in the value of parent education and was willing to commit resources to a program that addresses the source, not just the symptoms, of poor student learning in school—the home.

I approached the school superintendent about working with families in his district, training them to teach their children study skills. He arranged a meeting with elementary principals and central office administrators to examine PASS. After considerable discussion, they enthusiastically backed this program.

The next step was the presentation of PASS to a diverse parent review group brought together by the school administration. Throughout the winter and spring, this parent group studied and reviewed PASS. With their endorsement, the members of this Parent PASS Committee developed many details of the program: publicity; selection of workshop sites, times, and days; parent attendance; transportation; baby-sitting; hospitality; and budget.

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Chapter 3 The World Across Classrooms

William Kist Solution Tree Press ePub

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Dr. Seuss

In the previous chapter, we discussed taking the first steps toward globalizing a classroom. In this chapter, we will look at strategies for taking the next steps and beginning to reach out to classrooms both down the hall and across the world. Perhaps inspired by the popular books published on the topic (Friedman, 2005; Pink, 2005) or the increasing prevalence of broadband Internet connectivity, teachers are showing an increasing interest in reaching beyond the classroom walls and connecting with those a half a world away. And, as you will see by looking at the work of teachers described in this chapter, it is quite easy to do. You will hear teachers describe the powerful results such communications and collaborations have for their students.

There are several ways to connect with faraway schools. Some teachers use email (Borsheim, 2004), but most use various online discussion forums such as message boards, wikis, and Nings (Beeghly, 2005; Hathaway, 2011; Larson, 2009; Richard, 2011; Scharber, 2009). A Ning is a social network that one may create at a specific website (www.ning.com). Ning started in 2005 as a free resource but now is fee-based. Regardless of the platform, a trend in global collaborations is setting up common virtual work spaces for students to work together on various projects (Hull, Stornaiuolo, & Sahni, 2010; Maltese & Naughter, 2010; Paris, 2010) or to foster intercultural critical literacy (Myers & Eberfors, 2010). In this chapter, teachers who have worked to set up these kinds of international collaborations will share specific examples in detail, complete with depictions of all the challenges, logistics, and payoffs involved.

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Chapter 2: The 6 Cs in Action

Meg Ormiston Solution Tree Press ePub

Collaboration is important not just because it’s a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem solving, innovation and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy.

—Don Tapscott

A few weeks after the Special Ops meeting, I met one of the middle school boys in the hallway between passing periods, and he said, “Thanks for introducing us to coding during our session.” He shared what he had been doing with technology: “During vacation I taught my friends and my cousins how to code, and now it is getting pretty competitive. We challenge each other, but we also help each other when we get stuck. We started by working alone, but we like to get together to work. Sometimes, my mom tries to limit my coding time, but once I showed her what I was doing, she realized it was really deep thinking, and she left me alone.”

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Section Six: Working With Difficult Students

Lee Canter Solution Tree Press ePub

There is no question that if you, the teacher, want a disruption-free classroom, you need to go out of your way to build positive relationships with all of your students, especially those who are difficult. Ask any teacher who demonstrates a high level of proficiency in motivating students to be successful, and they will validate this point—and so does the literature.

Establishing positive relationships with students can reduce disruptive behavior by up to 50 percent. A positive relationship with students reduces disruptive behavior at all grade levels (Marzano, Marzano, & Pickering, 2003).

For numerous reasons, too many teachers are not taking the steps needed to convince their students that they are on their side. One recent study sums up the current perceptions of many of our students.

Forty-eight percent of students report they don’t believe teachers care about them (Quaglia, 2008).

Let’s examine why so many teachers have such difficulty building the positive relationships with their students that are critical to everyone’s success.

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