It's Not up to Teachers to Tell Parents Their Child is Overweight

Since moving to North America I’ve realised just how overworked UK teachers and school administrators are compared to their transatlantic contemporaries. My teacher friends back home in Blighty are exhausted. It seems that there’s not a week that doesn’t go by when they’re not handed duties that, actually, shouldn’t really be school issues at all. British teachers are expected to be curriculum experts, assessment wizards, social workers, nurses, nutritionists, and lead a whole host of extracurricular activities while triple marking students work to appease overzealous Ofsted inspectors.

What to Do if Your Child Doesn't Like Their Teacher

Sometime over the summer vacation, you can usually expect your child's school to send a letter or email letting you know which class they will be entering and who their new teacher will be. This information might be met with delight or perhaps surprise — but what if the announcement leaves your child upset? I was a teacher for 13 years, and in that time, more than 400 students passed through my class. I formed wonderful relationships with the vast majority of them, who I recall with fond memori

Tuition-Free Programs are Real

But it’s real: more and more educational institutions, especially community colleges, are absorbing entire program costs for qualifying students. The idea started gaining traction in 2015 when President Obama floated the idea of free community college for “responsible” students. Those students would need to undertake community volunteer duties, maintain a good GPA, and work with a learning mentor. The idea has gained momentum since then. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both repeated the pro

Teaching Compassion to Kids

During my 13 year career as a teacher and school administrator, I often thought about the purpose of education. What were the essential lessons and skills I needed to impart to my students? And how could I best guide them in becoming successful adults? Initially, fresh out of college and filled with optimism, I thought it was imperative to teach children to think creatively and to question the world and its rules. Over the years as I became bogged down in bureaucratic standards and goals, I focu

Knowing How to Teach Handwriting Matters

Teachers have various opinions in terms of how to teach handwriting, and in our wired world, many educators question whether we need to formally teach penmanship at all. After all, our children will probably use technology to craft the written word far more often than a pen or pencil. Perhaps, they argue, students' time and efforts would be better spent learning keyboard skills. But like it or not, as adults, we're judged by our handwriting.
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