“Relationships matter,” says Free Spirit author and executive director/CEO of ASCD Deb Delisle. Students, especially disadvantaged students, face great challenges these days. What adults can do is listen, offer support, and make the learning environment a safe one. You’ll be touched by some of the stories of teachers maintaining connections with students for years after they’ve left their classrooms.
Same chorus, different song: Edutopia names “3 Things Students Desire to Hear From Teachers.”
Research and a multitude of success stories show that mentors and other adult role models can have profound positive effects on the lives of disadvantaged teens. As David Shapiro, the CEO of The National Mentoring Partnership, said, “Just as the federal government can see something like health care as a basic need, mentoring should be that, too.”
You may remember reading about Buddy Benches not too long ago. A Buddy Bench is a place on a school playground where kids can go sit if they’re feeling lonely or want someone to play with or talk to. When other kids see someone on the Buddy Bench, they know that person needs a buddy—so they fill the role. Well, Buddy Benches are still going strong, as this story on Teaching Tolerance points out: There are now at least 1,000 Buddy Benches on playgrounds worldwide. It’s a great way to encourage an inclusive school environment, as you’ll see from the stories at the link.
From 2E Educator, here are tips for managing the “often puzzling and sometimes disruptive behavior” of twice-exceptional kids.
If you have a child with LD who’s in or approaching middle school, it’s important for her to begin learning to advocate for herself. The first step is to help her accept her learning differences. Smart Kids with LD provides tips for helping your child accept LD.
Also from Smart Kids with LD: Parents of kids with LD need to be able share their child’s learning profile with other adults in his life, from teachers and healthcare providers to friends and family. Here’s help with “Educating Others About Your Child’s LD.”
Educator Jeremy Knoll tells of an encounter with hate speech at his school mere minutes after winter break ended. His approach with the two students involved—as well as a personal story he tells from his own past—illustrate just how pervasive and powerful this kind of language can be. (Warning: post contains a homophobic slur.)
A few Ed Tech notes:
Here are four ways to make good use of the cloud.
Teen-founded nonprofit Project CODEt hopes to close the gender gap in computer coding.
Parents dread them, kids love them: snow days. But, some districts are passing measures to reduce snow days by moving learning online when the weather prevents students from getting to school.
Special Ed accommodations are supposed to help kids, but sometimes the technology designed to help them works against them.
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