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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 L. Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is an instructor with UoPeople, is a 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 + Scholar

If you are a regular to Blog Education & Tech, you shall remember that I am blogging and I'd written articles about education and technology almost every day since 2003. In the gazillion of notes, Education & Tech provides you with education news, tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

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10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kid's Teacher

It's great to be a teacher. No everyone, however, has forgotten teachers are parents themselves, and when we have a child, teachers and parents, both speak up. When you have to address parents on the PTA or Back School Nigh, you have to be careful with the kind of words you are about to use. It's in your best interest to avoid coming off as too critical or demanding to your child's teacher has explained Suzanne Tingley, a former teacher, principal and superintendent, and author of book How to Handle Difficult Parents.

"Expressing your concerns in a neutral way usually leads to a more constructive conversation and a better outcome for your kid, wrote Sarah Stebbins in reference to this aforementioned book at

The ten expressions we recommend avoid using with your children's teacher:

1. You don't give him enough time to finish his tests. The kicker is "I’d like to hear your side of the story." It suggests you are mediating between two equals. Even a better tactic: Brad seems to be struggling with his classwork. What are you seeing? The start from a place of information-gathering, as opposed to putting the teacher on the defensive, you’ll save yourself the embarrassment if it turns out your son has been doodling during every test.

2. My son is acting out because he’s bored in class. Instead of starting off with an excuse, find out what’s really going on and promise to speak to your child. Almost all teachers work hard trying to make school interesting and challenging. If you really think he’s not being challenged, avoid generalizations and mention a specific problem and solution: "Brad seems to have the division algorithm down. Could we give him something more challenging?"

3. My daughter would never lie. Surely your daughter's teacher is a busy person but suggesting that he/she misplaced a paper shouldn't help at all. Don't say kids never lie. Especially when they want to justify an academic work. It's better to say: "Tatty says she turned in the paper. I don’t know what happened to it, but I’d hate to have her take a zero. Can she hand in something late?

4. Please, give him make up work. That's ok you take the trip you've been dreaming about, just do it out of the school period. Don't bother to ask for a worksheets packet suggesting it can replace teaching. Teacher cannot anticipate everything that will happens in class over a period of time. It's a different thing if you ask for a general overview, like what chapters will be covered in each subject, and accept that your child will need to play catch-up when you get home.

5. Your son knows his limits. Parents as teacher both want kids to excel. When taking the AP classes, ask for the teacher’s opinion, not his endorsement. Remember that sometimes less is more. Taking too many advanced clasess for a kid is unhealthy. Let your student carry on things on his own peace. "What often happens is the kid who isn’t yet ready for the challenge ends up getting demoted to a regular class, which then feels like a failure," said Tingley.

6. Why do you give so much homework? Traditional parents love to hear their kids have homework to do. But pushing a teacher to assign more homework means, "You don’t know how to do your job" or "Why don’t you care about my child’s well-being?", assuming he had to complete a high number of classwork. Instead, try to phrase your question this way: "Zaydha’s been having trouble getting everything done. Are other kids having trouble, too?"

7. After school activities are the reason Brad couldn't finish his reading. We should encourage them to do after school activities. It all depends on your school calendar. Plan on your first grader devoting about ten minutes per night to homework; for each subsequent grade, add ten more minutes. So a fourth-grader might have 40 minutes worth of work, while a high school senior will get two hours, which should still leave enough time for a few of your child’s favorite activities, suggests Tingley.

8. Dear Mrs. Malko: Why did you give Chris this grade? Do the teacher really gave him a grade? Or he earned? For things like these use proper communication channels. A parent-teacher conference works better for a lengthy response. But talk to your kid first, especially at the high school level. Kids should be taking on some of this responsibility themselves. If your child or you haven't received a satisfactory answer, by all means, send a (non-accusatory) note: "Can we talk about what Chris can do to bring up her science grade? I’m also available by phone if you prefer."

9. Playing down a complain about bullying. For a parent, a kid is an angel. But teachers make those calls when they need parents help in reinforcing lessons. This can be trickier with girls than boys, since female altercations tend to be more insidious. Ask the teacher what behavior he has witnessed in the classroom and talk to your child about why whispering behind another student’s back, or passing notes about her, is wrong. Sexting is an issue. Tell the teacher to "stop the stuff you see."

10. Follow the chain of command. There is nothing more annoying than overpass the line of command, at least you really want to annoy a teacher and for a good reason dislike him. or if you’re upset about something, such as an unfair grade. Still, unless something truly egregious has happened, like a teacher threatened your child or grabbed him roughly, it’s the wrong move.

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Milton Ramirez

The Understanding of a Proper Ed Reform in the U.S.

Shaun Johnson came up with an interesting article over the Huffington Post where he takes pride on unionized teachers who tragically died that day of December, in Sandy Hook Elementary.

We are not only interested on the testing of courage questions, Johnson calls to answer, but an excerpt of two paragraphs which to our ubderstanding explains the state of the education reform in the U.S.:

    For instance, the vast majority of educators with whom I worked over the years understand the negative consequences of excessive standardized testing. Teachers with actual classroom experience understand the excessive weight of outcomes based accountability and realize that, after more than a decade, it's not working. Educators comprehend the crushing effects of poverty and are confused when limited resources are spent on test security, for example, rather than the arts.

    Shifting our focus away from testing, from scripted curricula and detailed pacing guides, and spending less on test infrastructure at the expense of more immediate needs, are important ways to protect children. So, how will you test your courage today? Will you refrain from one test, just one? Can you perhaps begin preparations for testing one week later, maybe two, and teaching something important instead? Could you test your courage by starting a book club with colleagues that offers an alternative view to what the county superintendent supports?

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Milton Ramirez

Education & Tech: News for Educators

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Education & Tech: Top 10 Most Popular Posts 2012

Hi eveyone, this is Milton Ramirez wishing you all the best in this New Year from Union, New Jersey. I hope you have enjoyed the holidays and that you come back recharged for a new and fresh start this 2013. Tomorrow we start to work. We are lucky to have a place to make our lives productive and aside make some money.

According to Blogger metrics, our education-readers this year were most interested in articles about classroom study strategies, including the pros and cons of students wearing uniforms, social media on education, and the ever changing rol of a teacher in the new century.

And, now, here are the top ten most popular posts over this past year in Education & Tech (starting at number ten and ending at number one):

10. 35 Ed Blogs You May Not Know About (But Should)
9. Teachers: Should You Care If Students Like YOU?
8. Is the 'Unfollow' a New Norm on Twitter?
7. How Is Technology Impacting College Education?
6. Game Change: How game-based learning helps Common Core
5. How Teachers Are Isolated to Find Solutions to Adolescent Literacy Problems
4. The Changing Role of the Teacher in the 21st Century
3. The Challenging Effect of Social Media on Education
2. Should Students Wear Uniforms to School?
1. Top 10 Highly Successful Study Habits for Students

It's been great getting to know all our readers through their comments, tweets, and feedback. I hope you've found this list useful and, again, share comprehensive K-12 teacher-coverage news during 2013.

Other popular posts can be found browsing our list per year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

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Milton Ramirez
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