Skip to content

Happy Teachers Day’ from India!

Teachers’ Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated on different days around the world. From our Chinese classes at Pompano Beach High School, I received a large card on Sept. 10, the day Chinese students celebrate their teachers.IMG_0032 IMG_0034

In India, Teachers’ Day is celebrated on Sept. 5. Maya Menon, founder of The Teacher Foundation and a tremendous friend to all of us from Teachers for Global Classrooms who traveled to India in Summer 2013, wrote this blog post seeking not only to inspire India’s teachers but also its educational and political leaders, as the country undergoes a massive transformation in education due to the Right to Education Act, constitutionally making free compulsory education a fundamental right of children aged 6-14. I hope her message inspires you as well!

More links to look at

Tomorrow I start my first day at school for the new school year. But 58 million children around the world will not have that first day this year. A World at School is an international nonprofit group seeking to ensure every child around the world realizes his/her right to go to school. Visit their site here: perhaps a good opportunity for some global project-based learning in your classroom.

This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review describes four schools (two in India, one in South Africa, and one in North Carolina) building entrepreneurial skills in their students.

The White House asked students from around the country to make films explaining the importance of technology in education. Sixteen were selected to be screened at the White House, and you can watch those 16 here.

I’ll admit I’m a bit behind on this, but James Mulhern, an AP English Language & Composition teacher from Atlantic Technical School here in Broward County, Florida, has put together, on his excellent website, a good list of links related to globalization and technology that can support your curriculum.

Teachers in the United States spend 80 percent of their time teaching, 20 percent planning. The average in the OECD is 67 percent teaching. But here’s a report on 17 high-performing and fast-improving schools where an important part of their culture is increasing time to plan and collaborate to 40 percent.

The only short film to win the Academy Award for best screenplay has no words and was made in France. It’s 34 minutes long, and it can be used as a basis for a variety of classroom discussion topics at all grade levels. If your school has YouTube access, you can watch The Red Balloon.


Recent links to browse

I know I’ve posted before about planning time; here is an article from the Tampa Tribune on a survey of local teachers’ desires for time–which are a lot like mine!

Here is a CNBC article reporting on yet another round of test results (this one from Pearson, which makes a lot of money off of this) that show Asian countries well ahead. An interesting quote from the report though points out that if the skills developed in school aren’t practiced in adulthood, they start declining at age 25.

Finally, bravissimi to a bunch of Haitian immigrant students in Miami who developed a game to help with learning English vocabulary. The game is called Word Avenger, and the article comes from the Miami Herald. See the YouTube ad here.

Links to check out

Just a quick post with some pertinent resources:

Primary Source has put together a good Pinterest page on the crisis in Ukraine.

Fernando Reimers is a professor of education at Harvard who writes often about the need for global education. Read two of his important papers: Education for Improvement: Citizenship in the Global Public Sphere and Educating for Global Competency.

In our acronym-frenzied industry, I’m sure you’re familiar with PBL and STEM. Well, here’s one I hadn’t heard before: STEAM. It takes the science, technology, engineering, and math of STEM and adds the A for arts. Here’s an Edutopia blog for incorporating all these letters: PBL and STEAM. Here’s another Edutopia blog encouraging incorporating the arts into all subjects: We Are All Artists.


Different international test, similar results

I’ve been meaning to post on PISA results for a while since the first group was released in 2013. This month PISA released results of a test that promised to evaluate creativity and problem-solving, often seen as hard to assess and as a strength of U. S. culture relative to the world. So how did U. S. students perform? Decidedly average.

Again, there are now columns and papers and, well, blog posts written about how and why U. S. students are falling behind. This alarmism is not restricted to the U. S.: The BBC describes the results as a “league table” (for Americans, the analogy would be “NFL standings”) and bemoans the falling ranking of its home nation (26th place, 10 ahead of the Yanks). This one from the L. A. Times suggests the implementation of the Common Core standards will improve things.

My state, Florida, has earned some notoriety for bringing the nation’s average PISA scores down (even though the Miami Herald slant on the results was that Florida students are “happy” in spite their poor performance). If Florida were a country, its performance on the general PISA test would put it between Slovakia and Israel, while Massachusetts would be equal with Germany, between Canada and Austria. Keep in mind that the 15-year-olds taking this test have “benefited” from reforms in Florida put in place before they were in kindergarten: the Sunshine State Standards, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, and increasing accountability for students, teachers, and schools for test performance. Diane Ravitch had a good time snookering Florida on this one: See “Lesson 2″ of her blog post.

I’ve written already here about international test scores and the gap of U. S. students, and I don’t really have much to add to that. I think the unit plan I developed for Teachers for Global Classrooms encourages the collaboration and problem-solving that businesses and PISA seem to be looking for. I updated that page and include some comments from the students’ post-project reflection piece.

New tab: Broward Global Education Symposium

The Broward Global Education Symposium was a great success. A big thanks goes to all the presenters, all the attendees, and all the support for making it happen. I created a new page so you can review materials and see some photos by clicking on the menu tab. Let me know how you are applying this information in your classroom and how we can make the next symposium even better.

Unit plan updated

I added quite a few items to the unit plan tab, based on my students’ completed of the oppressed writers project. You can find a project description for students, grading scales (a.k.a. rubrics), and student samples.

I’ll be providing some more information as I read student reflections and start getting return correspondence from the students’ letters.

If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to comment!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 580 other followers