December 13, 2013
WHEN the School District of Philadelphia announced plans to shutter 24 underused school buildings, the prospect of violent fights between students of merging schools loomed large among the many crosses that the district had to bear - including a $304 million budget shortfall which at one point led Superintendent William Hite to threaten a cut to sports, art and music. It's great when dire predictions not only don't come true, but get turned on their ear. Martin Luther King High and Germantown High were two former rivals who weathered decades of bad blood, and their merger produced great anxiety.
November 22, 2013 |
A LOT OF COACHES consider themselves teachers, including Bashir Mason. But unlike his contemporaries, Mason, the head men's basketball coach at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y., actually spends time in a classroom. Mason, the starting point guard at Drexel for four seasons (2003-2006) is a student teacher at the Petrides School, a 5-minute drive from Wagner. He has been teaching first and fourth grades since Sept. 9. The stint will end on Dec. 13 when he completes the requirements for his master's in early childhood education.
October 7, 2013 |
Carolyn Finney, 92, a teacher for 40 years at Martha Washington School in West Philadelphia, died Sunday, Sept. 15, of complications from cancer at Saunders House in Wynnewood. "Finney," as she was known to friends, was a popular first-grade teacher who later became a reading specialist at Martha Washington. She was known for being a calm and structured person who laid out clearly what she expected of students and coworkers. "She was old-school," said David Poindexter, who started out as her classroom aide and became like a son to her. "She expected students to be mannerly, to read, to enunciate and spell, and to write in cursive.
September 21, 2013 |
When 10-year-old Carlos Jackson decided he wanted to go to a different school, he took his request all the way to the top. First he told his family. Then he sent e-mails to several charter school principals asking for admission. But he wanted to ask a higher authority. So he sent a letter to the president of the United States. One month later, Carlos happily wears the uniform of his new charter school and shows off his signed response from Barack Obama. The two developments might not be related, but he's pretty proud of both.
June 25, 2013
Teachers rightly complain they are too often blamed for every shortcoming in America's public schools today. It certainly is not teachers' fault that too many schools, especially in big cities, are inadequately funded and staffed to produce the results expected of them. It's also not teachers' fault when colleges gladly pocket education students' tuition and send them out with diplomas and certificates that perpetuate the lie that they are classroom ready. That reality has been corroborated by a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality that gives high marks to only 9 percent of America's collegiate teacher training programs.
June 22, 2013 |
When Edna Van Liew Bailey became one of the first four teachers granted a sabbatical year by the board of education in Cherry Hill, it was a mixed blessing. In that 1971-72 school year, the first-grade teacher at Malberg Elementary School took classes toward a master's degree in education at what was then Glassboro State College. "Term papers and reading seemed to take up so much of my time, because I'd been away from studying so long," she told an interviewer. "Plus," she said, "the pressure was on," because "my kids were waiting to see my marks!"
June 15, 2013 |
In an effort to add classrooms to the Knowledge A to Z (KATZ) Academy Charter School in Camden, the city Planning Board approved a proposal Thursday that would eliminate a pool in the Parkside Boys and Girls Club, which houses the school. The school wants to fill in the pool to make room for seven classrooms, bringing its total to 15. The extra classrooms could add 112 students, said Marcella Dalsey, president and cofounder of the charter. The school now has 135 students in the Parkside building and 60 at a former school in the city's Rosedale section.
April 29, 2013 |
A rising number of New Jersey students say they learn more when they can put their teacher on pause - or rewind and replay. Instead of listening to lectures in school, they are watching their teachers' lessons on computers or cellphones at home. Then when they come back into the classroom the next day, they tackle the kind of problems that used to be assigned as homework - only now, a teacher or their peers can help them immediately when they get stuck. It is called the "flipped classroom," a national trend that is a growing part of the fast-changing world of education as teachers harness the power of digital tools.
April 2, 2013 |
ERLENE BASS NELSON taught kindergarten in the Philadelphia School District for 51 years, and there was no doubt that she enjoyed every minute of it for one, simple reason: She loved the children. Children, she once said, "are spontaneous, they're loving, they're forgiving - and every day I had an injection of pure love into my soul and into my heart. " Spending all that time in a school district that was often short of money and afflicted with labor problems, violence and other woes.
February 21, 2013 |
Jordan Shapiro's class last week delved into a weighty discussion of Plato's allegory of the cave and shifting perceptions of reality. Front and center on the classroom wall behind him flashed a constantly shifting series of posts on Twitter, all under the class hashtag of #Mosaic1. With her Nook and phone at hand, sophomore Kaylyn Christian, 20, tweeted: "Are you really happy if you live a successful life in the shadows?" Shapiro's Temple University classroom is definitely not the norm in academia, but it could be a harbinger of the future.