education & tech

Teacher, Blogger, eLearning, Social Media

Education + Tech

Education & Tech, was created to build hope that education based on social technologies, can transform the new century, and enable abundance not only spiritually but economically. Milton Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is a teacher, tech blogger, writes on education, and hails this blog from Union, NJ. For further questions, tips or concerns please e-mail him to:miltonramirez [at] educationandtech [dot] com

Teacher + Blogger

If you are a regular to Blog Education & Tech, you shall remember that I am a blogger and I'd written a post about education almost everyday since 2003. Education & Tech provides you with education news, expert tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

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Social Justice Seen Through the Educators Eyes

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd annual Urban Teaching Matters Conference at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

The featured speaker started by making chant all participants: "Social justice", when: "Now". If not, "Shut it Down". He even said that after hearing what he was about to tell to the audience he would get kicked out of New Jersey. Jose Luis Vilson really tore down the House at GSE!

Among other things he stated that the way we see ourselves is not same as the way students describe our image. Teachers need to portrait a positive image to their students. Education professionals are to develop their own identity, it doesn't matter whether this is rap or its lyrics. Guess what played a great role on Jose Luis own motivation.

He spoke about some statistics and mentioned the unfortunate reality that urban communities are badly served by the disproportion of well-trained teachers and low budgets. He encouraged listeners to look for a much diverse participation not only in about the skin color but in their deep thoughts, as well. The author of This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class and Education, was confident when saying: Being in the classroom is something you cannot replicate.

As part of the conference, there were some other workshops. One I participated was Restorative Practices and Shaping School Culture, lead by Jamie Gullota and Amy Pitucco. Working with the Restorative Circle and two techniques recognized as "Affective Statement" and "Fishbowl", participants were able to exercise the restorative practices for conflict resolution. Most importantly, it was stressed, you must build a positive relationship with your students and watch the words (feelings related) that you need to use when communicating with children.

And then, I had the pleasure to hear another great educator, Joseph Mathews. This teacher and author is a former disengaged student and a high school drop out. Referring to his book, Things I Wish My Teacher Knew About Me: Engaging the Disengaged Student, he made his case appropriately pointing that many students still feel that outside the school there are people who love you more.

Mathews as much as Gullota agree that in the school environment everything is about relationships. The former says that in order for a student to get engaged, he needs to trust the teacher. The latter asserted, before applying restorative practices a teacher has to listen to what are the students feeling at the time he is misbehaving.

All in all, after lectures, workshops and corridor conversations everyone agreed that teachers are not teachers only perse, they all are social agents that need to balance the space every one has, and look to rebuild the distrust that actually exists not only between teachers and students but feel not ashamed that certain people looks at you 'in a certain way'.

Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

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Applying the Concept of 'Supply & Demand' to the Teacher Shortage in America

Careers in law and business are in high demand according to the 2016 Pricing for Salary Survey Reports and DataOnDemand released by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). This means that we teachers are fairly included in the list because as Frederick Hess from Education Next points, "salaries and annual raises vary tremendously across disciplines."

Every week or two the newspapers headlines bring up a note about the teachers shortage in the STEM area. This is due to lack of interest of many professionals to get enrolled or even pursue a degree in education. But this apathy is only for careers different than math, science or special education. There is high demand of certified teachers on these areas. Why having the human resource the Boards of Education can't secure hirings on these disciplines?

First, it all has to be with the certification process. To me, safety clearance from the FBI is a must. But all bureaucratic testing and selection --which by the way increases money accounts of private businesses-- is a waste. Allow professional with academic credentials to get into the education and decide out their practice. Many would like the position (some might need it), and they will stay or quit whatsoever.

Secondly, even when this will make fellow educators and education advocates a bit uncomfortable, we need to differentiate salaries among teachers based on specialization, experience, and continuous professional development. Right now we only differentiate salaries based on the subjective --testing again, teacher effectiveness and high-poverty school community. It falls short of what the faculty really needs.

Hess argues that "the extra pay has to come from somewhere. Perhaps it would require students to pay more tuition or the institution to make cuts elsewhere—perhaps trimming pay for graduate assistants or maintenance staff." My personal experience is that having a mathematics education is not the same, in terms of effort, as other in history for example. The latter is less time consuming. By this I don't mean less professional. I am just saying we need to differentiate a university credit on both subjects.

Finally, I would believe that this only an idea. To change the way education apparatus (I resist to call it system) works in this country we need more than ideas and articles in very visible magazines. Community has to reclaim a better education to their families putting a considerable more pressure on the back of their political representatives. Local and national constituents are to be forced to work not only to the business interest they represent but the home communities, as well.

Education & Tech

Education & Tech: News for Educators

  • Why is there so much variation across states, districts, and even positions? As the Indiana example demonstrates, geography is a major factor, with certain cities and rural areas alike scrambling to fill openings.

  • The large salary gaps for new professors may understate the financial impact of these differences. Generally, those in the higher-paying disciplines are also in fields where time to degree for Ph.D.s is considerably shorter than those in the low-paying fields. So those being paid the least have taken the longest to be able to apply for full-time jobs, and on average have more debt.

  • Thank you, my friend!

  • The list of potential headaches for new teachers is long, starting with the ongoing, ideological fisticuffs over the Common Core State Standards, high-stakes testing and efforts to link test results to teacher evaluations. Throw in the erosion of tenure protections and a variety of recession-induced budget cuts, and you've got the makings of a crisis.

  • Recruiters from Oklahoma City have traveled to Puerto Rico and Spain on the hunt for teachers, while in Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in North Carolina, the superintendent, Ann Blakeney Clark, tells audiences at every community meeting she attends that the schools are desperate to hire.

  • tags: #educationandtech

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Why Educators Should Talk More About Their Work and Accomplishments

Teachers: Brag at your wish
In the business area, it's common practice to have handy what they calle their Elevator Pitch, but when you are in the education environment, their participants either do not care about this or simply they are too shy to brag about themselves.

Being a teacher is neither good or bad. It's another career like any other out there and nobody should feel ashamed to become a teacher even when media through its headlines keeps saying that more and more teachers are leaving their professions.

An Elevator Pitch, the one most businessman recite at every new encounter, should be common practice among educators. Many are already doing it, you just have to check their professional profile in LinkedIn or Twitter.

There is more. Anne O'brien explains, "the key to successful self-promotion, or bragging, is conveying authenticity -- sharing your story about your work and acomplishments." The technique says it should be performed in less than a minute during regular conversations.

Fine tune your CV and your Elevator Pitch to the next place you visit, or conversation you hold with a stranger. But above all, learn how to accept compliments.  A 'Thank you' is not enough. You have to smile and feel comfortable with what makes you memorable.

Presenting and accepting the positive outcomes of what you had to struggle for shouldn't be considered as egotistical or narcissistic, on the other hand, what it really means is you present value to other person and exercise a healthy self-image of who you are.

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Milton Ramirez

Expressions You Will Regret Saying to Your Students

In regular life we are advised not to pronounce words that we ever regret to tell. In school is not much different, due to the enormous pressure teachers have to deal with. I've collected only five expressions teacher should never say in front of a classroom, a more extensive list was originally published by Dr. Richard Curvin, in Edutopia.

1. Some students might feel offended hearing a teacher say, "You have the potential but don't use it".  Instead, approach in a different manner so the student feels more comfortable with a question such as, What can I do to help you reach your full potential?

2. Everybody feels disappointed sometimes, but when a classroom hears, "I'm disappointed in you", this not only raises ears and eyes but looks like the teacher is looking solely to past performance. In place, tray to rephrase and point to the future with a question like, What would you do differently to get a positive outcome if the experience repeats again?

3. Misbehaving is not a matter of surprise in a classroom. But if you pronounce,  "This is again the rules", then  you are closing a natural way human beings react to many situations.  Students are wise. Try to incorporate the rules and say something of this level: Let me see how I can help you within the established school rules.

4. You shouldn't be in a position to challenge children. However, it's very common to hear a teacher repeat this sentence, "Who do you think you are?" Meaning you are not as important as me. It's better to say, I'm on a schedule as much as you are.

5. Out of frustration, the following expression is another common among classrooms. "What's wrong with you?" Which implies every student is perfect and comes from a perfect home. That's not true. I'll suggest start teaching conflict resolution and say something like this: I've noticed you have a problem. Can we work together and try to find a solution?

I want to understand that whether you are a new or experienced teacher, you have used at least one of this expression before. It's time to choose very carefully our words when in front of a full room of students.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments, subscribe in a reader or send an email to the author at . You can share ideas for stories on the Education & Tech.

Milton Ramirez
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