Ed Talks

Group of teenage students talking in classroom

On any given school day, it is common to hear a student say, “Hey, wait up!” and “Nice game last night.” In the social studies classroom, however, that same student might state, “Clearly, our Founding Fathers established three branches of government to limit the powers of any one branch and avoid tyranny.” While the former use of language is a casual and appropriate peer interaction, the latter demonstrates how that same student is capable of switching gears and demonstrating content understanding through the use of more sophisticated or “academic”...

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School's Out for Summer written on chalkboard

It’s official – summer is rapidly approaching! How do I know this? Well, until recently it certainly wasn’t because of the weather. I can tell summer is coming by the anxiety I see in teachers’ eyes as they consider the plans their students have, or do not have, for the summer. They share their concerns that many of these youth, especially their at-risk youth, will fall through the gap during these months. They worry about the potential for summer learning loss and general disconnection, of their students not utilizing this free time in a way...

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Apple with heart cut out of skin

Teachers play a critical role in educating and shaping our children: the future leaders of our country. They are kind, patient, hard-working, dedicated, and understanding professionals that mold our children’s lives in a positive direction.  

Can you believe we have almost 9,000 classrooms in the NWESD region and a dedicated educator in each one of those rooms?! I kept this fact in mind as I traveled through the region earlier this month and saw many schools celebrating their teachers for Teacher Appreciation week May 8-12...

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Teen uses virtual reality headset holding floating geometric image

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a.k.a. Washington State Science Learning Standards (WSSLS), calls for radical attention to equity within educational systems. They also call for some dramatic shifts in science instruction. And while teachers I talk to are excited about what the new vision for science instruction means, they also express caution about shifting. Spring 2017 is...

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Sick school girl with nurse checking temperature

I learned today from talking to Lorali Gray, MEd, BSN, RN, NCSN and School Nurse Corps Administrator at the NWESD, that six million children nationwide are chronically absent from school. In Washington State, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), 16% of all students K-12 are chronically absent. This amounts to about 174,000 students! I was shocked. What does this mean? A student is chronically absent if they miss two days per month, or eighteen days total per year for any reason, excused or unexcused. The...

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