Teacher Richard Whittaker uses iPods to engage his sixth-grade students with video expeditions, books on tape and homework with an electronic twist. The devices allow students to work ahead when they can or review lessons when needed, Whittaker said.
Visionary teachers can help their children set and reach goals, and visionary school leaders can do the same for their staff, writes Virginia technology specialist Laura Reasoner Jones, a National Board-certified teacher in early childhood special education. Her former boss, John J. English, was an exemplary visionary leader, bringing out the best in everyone up until his death this month, she writes.
English teachers often love literature so much that it can be hard to trade a classic work for something lighter, but these works can have a place in the classroom, writes Boston Globe "Ask the Teacher" columnist and high school English teacher Ron Fletcher. Allowing students to select a few books themselves can encourage lifelong reading, he says.
Teachers' intelligence, subject expertise, character and confidence are modestly linked to student performance, but only when grouped together, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research survey of more than 400 new New York City teachers. The working paper could not statistically link any of the criteria alone to student performance.