It's a new year, teachers! Are you ready to start that new blog? Want some tips from some pros around the world on how to make it a great one?
Everybody was blogging in 2014, and especially teachers. After all, blogging is an incredible way for teachers to share firsthand knowledge with their peers. We asked The Global Search for Education editorial team and our blogging advisors to submit their favorite teacher blogs and blog posts from around the world. We reviewed many great blogs. These 12 were our favorites.
1. Susan Bowles of Gainesville, Florida has been teaching since 1977. Earlier this year, she wrote a brave and moving letter about cheating children out of the fun of learning, entitled: "Why I am refusing to give the FAIR test to my Kindergarteners". She sent it to her superintendent and then posted it on the private Facebook group, Opt Out Alachua. The letter went viral. We love it Susan -- top of our list!
2. Lisa Currie's priority is "improving students' social, emotional and mental health to reduce bullying and exclusion through our whole school curriculum." Her blog post entitled: "Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying" highlights the need for a culture of kindness in schools and is another big favorite on our list.
3. Todd Finley's "30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class" gave teachers some terrific management tips on how to keep K-12 classrooms orderly. His blog post continues to stimulate discussion on how teachers can get their students attention. Another one for our Top 12!
4. Karen Lirenman, Canadian educator, got our and the rest of the world's attention when she had her kindergarten class tweet: What does it look like outside your window today? Her class received responses from all around the world. Her blog presents this and countless other examples of innovative ways to use social media in the classroom. (Learning and Sharing with Ms. Lirenman)
5. Craig Kemp, an educator in Singapore, is on our Top 12 for making waves with #whatisschool hashtag on Twitter, which has brought many new voices into conversations about education. His blog demonstrates how Skype, Twitter, and other applications can be used to stimulate learning in the classroom. (Mr. Kemp's Blog)
6. Like Vicki Davis, we believe every classroom matters. Vicki is inspiring in the way she surrounds herself with bright ideas and thoughtful sayings to stay positive. Her blog post: "12 Choices to Step Back from Burnout" was our favorite choice for tired teachers.
7. Pauline Hawkins' blog post, "Why I'm Resigning After 11 Years as a Teacher", coincided with her resignation last April. Hawkins wrote that she could "no longer be a part of a system that continues to do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as a teacher -- I am supposed to help them think for themselves, help them find solutions to problems, help them become productive members of society." Congratulations, Pauline, for articulating the issues and challenges so brilliantly!
8. Joe Bower shared some powerful lessons in his blog post titled: "This will be my last year teaching in the hospital -- here are 3 things I learned". 1. Children who are loved at home, come to school to learn -- children who are not loved at home, come to school to be loved 2. Children don't give adults a hard time -- they are just having a hard time. 3. Great teachers can do a lot -- overcoming poverty or inequity is not one of them."
9. Tom Bennett a philosophy teacher from Glasgow, has been helping teachers tame classroom disruptions since 2010, which led to his immensely popular book, The Behaviour Guru. He continues to blog both personal anecdotes and insightful guides for behavior in school. Tom Bennett's Blog is another one for our Top 12.
10. Richard Wells, a Brit living in New Zealand, has an innovative blog on how to use iPads for school, i.e. it's not just about having new technology in the classroom. It needs to be moderated by intelligent teachers and a sharp support network. Thank you, Richard, for being one of the sharpest on our list! One of our personal favorites.
11. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, an educator in Brazil, blogs insightfully about contemporary education and her Globally Connected Learning blogs bridge voices from across the world. We're following Silvia in 2015!
12. Adam Steiner and Elizabeth Keefe pointed out we differentiate our instruction and our assessment, so why not our homework? Thanks, guys, for sharing five innovative ways to do just that in your blog!
(We wish to thank Beth Holland for her Food for thought. Photo is courtesy of Ramona Tower.)
Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Professor Ben Levin (Canada), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor PasiSahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
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C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.