Our Teachers Are Leaving — What Now? — from medium.com by Amanda Beaudoin
A look at the problem and potential solutions

Excerpt:

As a result, teacher shortages have persisted. After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shortage became larger and more urgent. Now, nearly half of public schools across all 50 states report teaching vacancies, up from 30% pre-pandemic and over half of educators are thinking of leaving the profession earlier than they had planned. The vacancies include educators across ages, years in the profession, and roles within schools. Made worse, a disproportionate percent of Black (62%) and Latinx (59%) educators are looking to leave, a population already underrepresented in the field. Today’s shortages create a vicious circle; according to a National Education Association survey, 80% of educators report that unfilled job openings have led to more work obligations for the educators who remain and 90% of educators say they are experiencing burnout, perpetuating a cycle of overwhelm and attrition. Not only are teachers leaving and thinking of leaving in record numbers, but enrollment in education preparation programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level are declining.

 

 

New Directory of Innovative School Models Aims to Encourage Experimentation — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

A new online library called the “Innovative Models Exchange,” unveiled Monday, hopes to give educators an easy place to quickly consider some possibilities. The exchange—developed by the nonprofit Transcend Education with funding from the Gates Foundation—allows schools to search through a database of “innovative” models that Transcend says are ready to be adopted by schools.

The nonprofit hopes that the database will shake up the education system.

 

Teachers Are Ready for Systemic Change. Are Schools? — from edweek.org by Madeline Will
Schools need effective, transformative change. Leaders must be ready to take it on

Excerpt:

So many people in education—from teachers to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona—have called this moment, as schools emerge from the darkest shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, our chance for a “reset in education.”

It’s a sentiment that repeatedly comes up in my interviews with teachers. They wonder if the pandemic’s disruption of schools was a once-in-a-generation chance to transform the education system, which is riddled with inequities and pedagogical practices that date back decades.

Some educators also wonder if we’re on the verge of squandering such a chance. That may be; in the rush to get students back on track, we’re at risk for overlooking many of the lessons learned from the last couple years.

“The teachers know what works,” Kelly said. “We need more people to not only listen to teachers, but we also need them to implement the things that teachers say.”

From DSC:
If the K12 learning ecosystems out there don’t change, students, families — and teachers — may let their feet do the walking. We’re seeing a similar situation within higher education, with mostly students’ feet who are starting to do the walking (to alternatives). Some employers’ feet are getting itchy to walk as well.

If you were going to weigh the power that each area holds, what would you put on the weight employers have to effect change these days? Institutions of higher education? Students and their families? Hmmm…change needs to be in the air. The status quo hasn’t been working well within K-12 or within higher education.

Also relevant within K-12, see:

Exit Interview: Why This Veteran Teacher is Leaving the Profession — from edsurge.com by Jennifer Yoo-Brannon

Excerpt:

It’s a frank and sometimes emotional conversation between Jennifer Yoo-Brannon, an instructional coach at El Monte Union High School District in California, and Diana Bell, a veteran teacher of more than 18 years who recently decided to leave the profession. They talk about what led to that departure and how teaching could change to better support educators.

Many Eyes Are on the Teachers Who Leave. What About the Ones Who Stay? — from edsurge.com by Patrick Harris II

Excerpt:

My own experience sits among countless narratives from other teachers, including teachers of the year, revealing the difficulty and the emotion behind the decision to leave a school—and for some, the choice to part ways with a system that never had their best interest at heart.

A lesser told story is the plight of the teachers who stay behind. The emotional narratives about their experiences, their feelings and the pressures they carry.

 

From DSC:
I post this with great hesitation. But there’s some truth in here.

 

From DSC:
It will be interesting to watch the pre-K-12 learning ecosystems out there, especially if the exodus from traditional school systems gathers momentum — both student *AND* teacher-wise.


‘Alternative to school:’ Las Vegas has self-directed learning center — from reviewjournal.com by Julie Wootton-Greener

Excerpt:

It’s part of a movement called “microschooling.” The trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly, while Clark County School District campuses operated under a year of distance education until in-person classes resumed in spring 2021.

Southern Nevada is home to more than 20 microschools, which are “multifamily learning arrangements,” said Don Soifer, president of Nevada Action for School Options and a former board member for the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

Most are operating with children who are considered homeschooled, he said, while some are small private schools.
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Showing up in our homeschools — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

What do you want your kids to think about homeschooling? What do you want their homeschooling experience to be? Choose how you want that to look and then work on it, set an intention for the day or for the week and show up that way.

Take a deep breath. When things get difficult, respond with peace, not anger.

Notice little things, be curious about what’s going on in your homeschool, and then find ways to make it look the way you want it to look.

I share more in depth strategies all about making this intentionality happen in today’s episode of the podcast.
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A Guide to Rethinking Education After Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Michael Staton

Excerpt:

During the pandemic, there were those who rose to the occasion—innovators who forged a new path, students who learned more than they knew they could, teachers who felt unbound by convention, administrators who mobilized bureaucracies known for inertia and parents who saw first-hand that another world is possible. There were many individuals and organizations who knew it was a once in a millennium moment to rethink what has been, to experiment with what could be, to create an upgraded education model and a better school experience.

Michael Horn’s new book, “From Reopen to Reinvent: (Re)Creating School for Every Child,” highlights key organizations and individuals who seized the moment—some because they were prepared; some because they were lucky enough to have a quirky vision which suddenly made sense to try during pandemic lockdown; some because they were forced to adapt and had no other choice. From those, Horn sheds light to help others learn a brighter path forward.
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Pandemic “Learning Loss” Actually Reveals More About Schooling Than Learning — from fee.org by Kerry McDonald
The alleged “learning loss” now being exposed is more reflective of the nature of forced schooling rather than how children actually learn. 

As we know from research on unschoolers and others who learn in self-directed education settings, non-coercive, interest-driven learning tends to be deep and authentic. When learning is individually-initiated and unforced, it is not a chore. It is absorbed and retained with enthusiasm because it is tied to personal passions and goals.

 

Learning by Scientific Design podcast, Ep. 4: Empowering educators & elevating the teaching profession — from by Deans for Impact

Description of podcast:
Learning by Scientific Design is a podcast series by Deans for Impact that explores how an understanding of cognitive science, or the science of how students learn, can lead to more rigorous, equitable and inclusive teaching.

How can the growing adoption of learning science in teacher preparation contribute to systemic change in U.S. education? In this episode, you’ll hear from:

  • Louise Vose, Adjunct Professor, School of Education, Endicott College
  • Peter Fishman, Vice President of Strategy, Deans for Impact
  • Leah Brown, Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of Alaska Fairbanks

From DSC:
This podcast reminds me of the graphic (below) that I created not too long ago…

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

.


Also see:

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A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems — from the74millioin.org by Andrew J. Rotherham
Rotherham: For all the rhetoric around ‘reimagining’ and ‘reinventing’ schooling, there’s precious little to show for it. There’s another way

Excerpt:

Instead, experts operate in silos to find solutions, reform and pandemic fatigue abound, and dysfunctional reactionary politics define various debates.

Beta by Bellwether, [which launched on 8/31/22], is a new initiative bringing viewpoint- and background-diverse experts together to tackle big problems and develop blueprints, strategies and tools that can help communities address structural educational problems. We’re building on our 12 years of work at Bellwether bridging policy and practice with a perspective that should be mundane but in this climate seems radical: the belief that the best ideas often lie between different perspectives and are strengthened through serious debate. No faction owns solutions, good ideas or virtue.

Bellwether Beta -- A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems

Bellwether.org 

From DSC:
This is something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar.

Bellwether dot org -- something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar


Also see:

National Microschooling Center launches, proving ‘modern one-room schoolhouse’ is no flash-in-the-pandemic phenomenon — from reimaginedonline.org by Tom Jackson

Excerpt:

Writing for the Manhattan Institute, researcher Michael McShane lays out the framework and the appeal of microschools:

Neither homeschooling nor traditional schooling, [microschools] exist in a hard-to-classify space between formal and informal learning environments. They rose in popularity during the pandemic as families sought alternative educational options that could meet social-distancing recommendations.

But what they offer in terms of personalization, community building, schedules, calendars, and the delivery of instruction will have appeal long after Covid recedes.

Long-time education choice advocate Don Soifer concurs.

“For whatever reason, families are just rethinking the public education system,” he says. “The research is telling us now that microschooling serves 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 million learners as their primary form of education.”


Also see:


Learning Pods Are Here, Are You In? — from schoolchoiceweek.com by National School Choice Week Team

Excerpt:

If you’ve stumbled into an education conversation or joined a parent discussion group recently, you’ve surely heard of pods or micro-schools. As families grapple with a changing education environment, some hope to find the flexibility, safety, and community they desire in small, local learning arrangements called learning pods. Whether you have your heart set on joining a pod or just want to better understand education choices for your child, we’ve broken down all types of pandemic pods here.

 

It’s Time to Rethink the ‘One Teacher, One Classroom’ Model — from edweek.org by Irene Chen & Stephanie Banchero
How to build a happier and more effective teaching force

Excerpt:

Let’s address this crisis by reenvisioning the traditional school staffing model, which has not changed in generations. We need innovative, differentiated staffing that creatively utilizes educators and plays to their strengths. This means schools must deploy adults to work collaboratively in response to the needs of individual students, rather than asking one teacher to meet the needs of all students in one classroom. This approach can address children’s specific skills gaps, while also diversifying the workforce, retaining the most effective teachers, and extending great teaching.

 

Mindful Leadership for Change — from gettingsmart.com by Rebecca Midles

Key Points

  • This blog builds upon Framing and Designing the How.
  • It digs into strategies for determining the ideal pace for implementation of innovation.

Also from gettingsmart.com, see:

States Partner on Micro-Credentials to Personalize Teacher Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • In 2020, more than 2000 educators earned more than 4000 micro-credentials.
  • Schools and systems adopted this new approach to give teachers more voice and choice in their learning.
 

Brands Are Already Making Millions in the Metaverse. Here’s What Business Owners Need To Know. — from inc.com by Ben Sherry
Entrepreneurs who follow Gen-Z into the metaverse could gain a competitive advantage.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

If you’re still skeptical about the metaverse, you certainly aren’t alone. According to a recent survey, 55 percent of adults with yearly incomes over $100,000 said they were not interested or excited about the concept, while 37 percent said they were primarily worried about it. Only 6 percent of respondents claimed to be excited about the metaverse.

Those numbers might not seem encouraging, but it’s important to remember that one of the most popular metaverse platforms currently available, Roblox, averages more than 54 million daily users, the vast majority of whom are Gen-Z or younger. Those users have cumulatively spent more than $1 billion on digital items such as outfits or accessories designed to be worn by player avatars in addition to in-experience upgrades and various other paid features.

From DSC:
The article stated that over 30 million virtual worlds had been created from scratch using Roblox Studio, the platform’s creation engine. So youth are creating, sharing, and participating in virtual worlds all the time…while experimenting, playing, and practicing their creativity. This all is done outside of school. Hmm…

 

 

For Native Americans, Unequal Child Care Funding Leaves Tribes in Need — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo

Excerpt:

Native communities are in desperate need of quality child care. And yet, they are the least likely demographic to get it.

Tribal leaders have long known that access to child care is essential to making sure their members can work. That was true four decades ago, when researcher Linda Smith—now director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative—was starting her career in early childhood education by establishing a child care center on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana.

Over the years, she says little has changed in the way of getting tribes more support to meet the child care needs of their members.

 

Providing foster children with better educational outcomes — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Foster children have a difficult life ahead of them. They have a higher chance of having a bad life than the rest of the population. Adults who were in foster care as children are more likely to be homeless, jobless, and on welfare than the general population. They also have higher chances of being jailed, consuming drugs and alcohol, and having physical or psychological problems.

We owe it to them to help children grow up to be productive, well-adjusted people, and none of this is their mistake. Lawmakers and educational activists should work diligently to improve foster care children’s educational possibilities by broadening their alternatives. Foster children in the United States will benefit from higher educational attainment that will prepare them for a healthy transition to adulthood.

 

Aurora Institute: Federal Policy Priorities and Recommendations 2022 — from aurora-institute.org

Introduction:

It is critically important for our country to reimagine education and focus on investing in our future, not our past. The current K-12 education system has not produced equitable outcomes for all students. We must change policies and invest in innovation to transform our education systems. Student-centered policies are needed for true systems change and innovations for equity. We must challenge frames and investments that perpetuate tinkering with the existing system, rather than reimagining it. The time is ripe to redesign education to align with future needs and purposes to achieve human flourishing.

To ensure all learners are prepared for life’s uncertainties, as well as a more knowledge-driven workforce and economy, we must restructure the education system to universally recognize anytime, anywhere learning. Many states and districts have taken steps to move in new and improved directions, but more work must be done to meet students where they are and accelerate them to successful futures and prosperity. We must question the fundamental purposes of our education system, align our goals to that purpose, and expand learning to anytime and anyplace, with greater opportunities for next generation learning.

Aurora Institute’s latest Federal Policy Priorities represent an equity-oriented and future-focused set of recommendations designed to ensure that the nation’s education system moves from its current state to a system capable of preparing all learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve lifelong success.

 


From DSC:
I post this because I like the design thinking exhibited herein. I love the idea of greater collaboration between K-12, higher education, vocational training, and the workforce/workplace. We should consider eliminating — or at least building much better bridges between the — existing silos. These silos seem to be easier to put up than they are to take down.


 

 

Why my school is putting music education front and centre — from educationhq.com by Justin Garrick

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Music education must not be only for those already with the background or the early talent or the pre-existing motivation to access it.

Music education must be for all, because music itself is for all.

Just like language and literature, which are at the compulsory core of the curriculum, music is the expression of culture and is pervasive to our daily experience. It surrounds us on the airwaves of radio, television and streaming in all the glory and diversity of its genres.

It influences our thoughts and moods and choices. We exercise, drive, shop, eat and celebrate with music. It’s intrinsic to our wellbeing, our social interaction, our spiritual and sensual experience, and to our religious, national and cultural rites.

From DSC:
I’m very grateful for the choir-related classes and experiences that I’ve had throughout my lifetime. I’m grateful for learning the basics of playing the piano and the drums. Although I didn’t stick with either instrument, I’m glad that I can read some (basic) music. But beyond that, music hosts so many memories for me. I’m instantly taken back to various times, places, people, and emotions — depending on the song(s) that I’m listening to.

 

Summer Learning Programs Struggle — and Devise Solutions — as Staff Shortages Persist — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan

Excerpt:

It’s summer time, and the learning is not easy.

That’s in large part because the widespread staffing shortages that plagued the 2021-22 school year have stretched into summer programming, which, in many cases, relies on licensed school teachers to sign up to continue working with students.

But teachers are exhausted. They may want—even need—the extra income from summer jobs, but many are also desperate for a break after the last two-and-a-half years and trying to prioritize their mental health.

From DSC:
In futurism speech, this is a strong signal of what could be a tough year ahead. If that turns out to the case, what are some possible scenarios and what are some possible solutions to those scenarios?

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian