In many parts of the world, a new school year is either underway or about to kick into gear. Whether you’re an educator, parent, student, or just an involved citizen who cares about engaging and inclusive classrooms, the following sites offer a mix of resources, reading recommendations, and lively conversations.
Born in Denmark and currently teaching seventh-grade English in Wisconsin, Pernille Ripp is an educator, author, and speaker. She’s been blogging since 2010 on a wide range of topics, from encouraging literacy to fostering a nurturing and inclusive classroom environment. For a taste of Pernille’s writing, check out a recent post on the first day of class, or her essay on the subtle, but real cost of mispronounced names:
As we look at our incoming students and the names that they carry, I feel the importance of the correct pronunciation. How their names carry their history. How their names carry the hopes that their parents grew as they blessed their new baby with a way to be known to the world.
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Education and politics are inextricably linked — even more so in the U.S., where a history of segregation and unequal funding across racial and geographic lines shapes the reality of millions of students today.
Julian Vasquez Heilig, an education scholar at California State University Sacramento, shines a light on these and neighboring topics at Cloaking Inequity, with an especially deep archive on charter schools and their (often-antagonistic) relation to public education.
Public libraries play an outsized role in promoting literacy and critical thinking among young readers. Shelf Talk, the blog of the Seattle Public Library, shares book news and recommendations for all ages, but suggestions for children and teens are particularly well represented. (If you still find yourself wanting more reading ideas, Nerdy Book Club has got you more than covered.)
Edmonton, Canada-based George Couros, an educator with almost two decades of experience (and a wide Twitter following), currently works as an innovative-education consultant and helps schools and administrators adapt to an ever-changing pedagogic landscape. His blog tackles controversial topics head-on and discusses his own personal experience as a teacher with refreshing honesty. Case in point? A recent post on some of the toughest interactions he’s had with students:
I have had students say horrible things to me and then tell them, “I don’t appreciate that you are saying that, but I am going to stick with you through this.” It is not always easy. I have done my best to let students know that when they are struggling that I am going to do my best to be there and support them. It is not easy, but in my head, I would say to myself over and over again, “This is not about you. This is not about you. This is not about you.”
Want to share a favorite education resource or a memorable back-to-school story? Leave a comment below.