How Teachers Can Prepare For A New School Year

Another year of school is here. Whether you’re a first-time teacher or an experienced one with years under your belt, every year comes with new problems. It’s practically impossible to be fully prepared for what will happen over the course of the school year, but that doesn’t mean teachers need to go in blind. There are plenty of things you can do in order to be better prepared and give your students and yourself the best year ever. Here are a few tips to help teachers ace the new school year.

Get Organized

If you want to have a great year, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your classroom is organized. This makes the learning process run smoother and saves everyone a lot of time. Make sure that students have name tags, have a folder where you can leave appropriate materials for substitute teachers, and set up your grade book early. All of these things and more can help make your year far less hectic, especially those early days of the year.

Create A Healthy Class Environment

If you want your students to have a positive learning experience that allows them to thrive, you need to create a great class environment. A lot can go into this, such as seating arrangements and furniture placement. The way you lay out the class will vary based on the age of your students, but a few great options are to post a schedule for your students that mentions important days in the school year, when they go to lunch, and other important announcements. Make sure your desk is in a place that allows you to have eyes on the entire room. You might want to consider learning centers, or a classroom library as well. Anything that promotes healthy and safe learning habits is a great call.

Determine Classroom Rules and Routines

Before the year starts you’ll want to make sure you’ve created a clear and concise set of classroom rules and regulations. Think about what did or didn’t work the previous year so you can have a better ruleset for the new year. Once you’re actually in the classroom, explain the rules to your students. Make sure they understand what the consequences of their actions will be, whether they misbehave, forget to turn in their homework, or anything in between.


This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

Should You Attend A Community College or a University?

The choice between attending a community college or a university depends on many factors, such as your plan for higher education and the requirements for admission.

Despite the advantages of community colleges, many students still prefer to attend 4-year universities. They offer a variety of facilities and a more rounded student life. Community colleges usually have 2-year programs that allow students to transfer their associate’s degree to a full university.

Both types of higher education institutions are valid, how do you pick the right one for you? Here are some of the differences between community colleges and universities to help you decide.

Degree Programs

While a community college’s degree programs typically take two years to complete, most four-year universities require students to take general education courses for their first two years.

Some students may choose to take the two years of general education at a community college instead of going to a traditional university. Doing so saves them from having to take many of the same courses in the first year. This can also allow you to save money, as community college courses can often be less expensive.

Student Life

Although community colleges are usually cheaper than universities, they do not have the same level of resources as their four-year counterparts. This means that many students do not have the opportunity to participate in the typical college experience of living on campus or participating in campus life.

If you’re choosing to do 2 years at a community college in order to complete your general education requirements, you may struggle to adapt to university life due to not having entered the university at the same time as your peers. 

Class Size

Most community colleges have small class sizes, which allows for more interaction in the classroom. However, many of their faculty members are employed part-time, which makes it hard for students to have access to their professors. With bigger universities, it can often be the opposite. Your professor may be full-time, but you’re often in bigger classrooms that can range between 40 to 100 students at times. This can lead to a less personalized experience and even the possibility that your professor won’t even know who you are off the top of their head.

Flexibility

Compared to traditional universities, community colleges have a much more diverse student body. They typically have a student body that ranges from 17 to 60 years old, and the average age is around 30. Due to the varying types of students, community colleges are often much more flexible when it comes to your situation. Community colleges often offer more night classes or are more understanding if you have a job or a child at home that affects your attendance.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.com

How does Education Affect Poverty?

A poor family is a family that has little or no access to basic resources. When one is born into a family that is deprived of basic amenities that include, education, they enter into the cycle of poverty that can affect several other forthcoming generations. This lack of resources and opportunities to improve their livelihoods leaves them in a trap known as poverty. The World Vision California has defined the poverty cycle as an occurrence where at least three generations of a family are poverty-stricken. This explains why there are so many NGOs and charity organizations that advocate for education rights to break the cycle of poverty.

Education is important as it helps to equalize people by impacting them with necessary skills for survival and opens doors to opportunities for thriving that, otherwise, would have been unavailable. High-quality education is recognized internationally as one of the solutions to reducing poverty and improving individuals’ welfare.

Effect of Education on Poverty

 Increased Future Employment Opportunities

A quality education system equips children with more skills and knowledge, thus giving them the ability to read and write fluently. This makes them eligible for employment which is a good chance for the children’s family to get lifted out of poverty.

Education Can Reduce Inequality

Most individuals, that live in poverty are not given equal opportunities as the rest in the society. This means that they lack power and they are not equally represented. However, with quality education increasing access to employment opportunities, wages disparity is reduced and also injustices due to unequal representation hence reducing poverty.

Skills and Abilities Development

Education equips one with soft skills that are necessary when one relates with others and the world around them. Education strengthens and equips one with communication skills, time management skills, creativity, leadership skills among others. When one puts these skills into use, they can generate income hence reducing poverty.

Conclusion

To sum it up, education has been named the fourth Sustainable Development Goal by the United Nations as it contributes highly to poverty eradication. Importantly, children should be exposed to equitable and quality education to attain the best skills and knowledge that they can use to generate income and access employment to improve their well-being and that of their families.

This article was originally published on MarlynGardnerMilton.org

Tips for Overcoming Anxiety as a College Student

College can be a stressful season of life, whether you’re living on campus far from home or commuting from living with your family. More demanding academics, changing social circles, and preparing for a future career can contribute to a student’s stress levels. In addition to dealing with everyday stress levels, some students experience more debilitating anxiety. Whether it’s test anxiety surrounding academics, social anxiety preventing the formation of good relationships, or even just general anxiety about everyday troubles can drastically affect a student’s ability to thrive in college. However, there are great resources to support students struggling with anxiety! Keep reading below for tips on overcoming anxiety in college.

Avoid Isolation

It can be tempting to hole up in your room and avoid stressful situations when feeling anxious. However, isolating yourself is rarely helpful. Loneliness can exacerbate anxiety, so prioritize social time in your schedule. If you’re struggling to make friends, consider joining a club or organization on campus that aligns with your interests!

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What Are the Requirements That Come With a Teaching Degree?

You’ve always dreamed of being a teacher and positively impacting kids’ lives. But along with its rewards, teaching can have its share of frustrations. And it’s hard work. You have to be at the top of your game all day to keep your kids engaged. And you have to be prepared to do a lot of paperwork, be well organized, keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time, and meet with parents, who can sometimes be difficult.

You have to be prepared to listen to your kids and give guidance, too. They’ll tell you about everything from worrying about failing in school to bullying and abusive parents.

Is teaching for you? Experts suggest trying it out before you begin your coursework. Get a job as a substitute teacher, teaching assistant, or tutor, become a child’s mentor or help at an after-school program. Talk with your teachers, too. They’ll give you advice and guidance and tell you what it’s really like to be a teacher.

Educational Requirements For Becoming a Teacher

All teachers need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. Courses in curriculum design and development, child development and child psychology, teaching methods, and assessment are usually part of the program. You’ll have to do some student teaching, too.

While you don’t need to major in education, you’ll need to complete the required coursework to qualify for certification. One option is to do a double major in education and a second topic that interests you.

Teacher Certification and Licensure

Many schools use the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests as an entry exam for students who want to become teachers. The tests measure a student’s basic reading, math, and science skills.

You’ll have to take Praxis tests or tests similar to them again when you graduate to qualify for certification. The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching look at a future educator’s understanding of instructional theory and student learning.

The Praxis Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching tests assess how well future teachers can apply their knowledge of reading, math, language arts, and social studies in the classroom.

Public school teachers need to be licensed, too. Since every state has different regulations, be sure to look into your state’s licensure requirements.   

Types of Education Degrees

Education is a lifelong process. It should never stop, and it should always be an enjoyable experience. Education isn’t just for children either; adults can also study from continuing education courses to degrees in higher learning institutions. When people choose what type of degree they’d like to pursue, there are several factors that can help them make their decision. In this article, we will go over some types of education degrees available today.

English Language Learning Degrees

English language learning degrees are for adults who wish to learn English or improve their knowledge of the language. An education degree in this field might involve courses on phonetics, grammar, and vocabulary. A student might also be involved with studying children’s literature at both the high school level and college-level classes.

Early Childhood Education Degrees

This is another education degree one might pursue if they wish to work with children. This degree is suited for those who want to teach young students how to read, write and understand math skills and other concepts. A degree in early childhood education would involve courses on working with children from birth through age eight.

Educational Leadership Degrees

This is a degree for those who wish to work as principals of schools, or perhaps even move into administration at their current school. While more research and studying may be involved with educational leadership degrees, they also require extensive experience working in the classroom during one’s education process.

Associate Degrees in Education

An associate degree in education is an option for those who want to work with children at the elementary or secondary level. A two-year program might be involved, which would allow students to become teachers after graduation. This type of education degree does not usually offer student teaching opportunities, though, so some experience working in a school setting may also be required before graduation.

Doctoral Education Degrees

This is the highest education degree one can obtain. Doctoral degrees generally take two to three years after a bachelor’s and involve extensive research in the student’s chosen field of study. To qualify for this type of degree, one must first have a master’s degree in their field of study. There are two types of doctoral degrees: Ph.D. and Ed.D., which stands for Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

The Highest Rated Liberal Arts Colleges in the U.S.

The U.S. News has released its top five liberal arts colleges in the United States.

One notable change in this year’s rankings is the decreased emphasis on standardized test scores. Given the fluctuation in requirements for standardized tests, the report put less stock in those scores.

Taking into consideration factors like class size, acceptance rates, and student outcomes, the list includes four schools from the Northeast and one from California. Schools on the list have small class sizes in common among them. Other factors include faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence, and alumni giving.

Institutions on this list also have a leg up regarding social mobility. That is, the schools all score well on the improvement of their graduates’ circumstances after graduation. That is measured by comparing the status of pell grant recipients after they graduate. The Pell Grant program is reserved for undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.

Here are the top five liberal arts colleges in the United States:

Williams College

Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College boasts an acceptance rate of only fifteen percent. Williams College graduates join an alumni body full of influential people, including President James Garfield.

Amherst College

Also located in Massachusetts, Amherst College welcomed an inimitable freshman class. Eighty-five percent of incoming freshmen ranked in the top ten percent of their high school classes.

Swarthmore College

In the Philadelphia suburbs, Swarthmore College is ranked as the third-best liberal arts college in the United States. Swarthmore College was founded in 1864 and is one of the earliest co-educational institutions in the country.

Pomona College

Pomona College is the lone entry to the top five list from outside the Northeast. With an acceptance rate of only nine percent, Pomona is one of the most selective institutions in the country. Pomona is also notable for its commitment to diversity in its student body. It has been widely recognized for its intentionality in reaching out to lower-income and first-generation college students in its admissions efforts.

Wellesley College

Wellesley College is a women’s college located in Massachusetts. Wellesley grads join an impressive roster of alumnae, including former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the first female Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

The Cost of a Degree for Students and Universities

Many families raising children have notions of sending their kids off to university or college so they can get an education. The hope is that such an education prepares them for adult life where they can use their skills and knowledge to generate significant income over the course of their life. That money is hoped to help them raise a family, buy a home, go on vacations, save for retirement, and generally have a comfortable life.

The truth isn’t always so simple. There is actually some debate about the costs of degrees, for both students and universities.

Costs for post-secondary education continue to rise in many developed countries. This makes getting a degree harder for many students. While there are many government programs to provide assistance with financing college or university, rarely do all these benefits add up to getting students through school without having to pay a lot of money of their own.

Worse yet, some of these benefits take the form of student loans that trap students into a vicious cycle of debt that takes years, if not decades, to get out of. Whereas degrees used to be a solid pathway to higher levels of income, much of that extra income is now offset by interest rates and payments due on student loans.

Complicating matters is how the value of degrees seems to be on the decline. Whereas they were once the gateway to a better life, there are now many jobs that require them just to be an entry-level opening into the career world. Incomes, wages, and salaries have also not always grown proportionately to the economy of most nations.

Degrees still hold value for many students, but not all. In fact, a double-digit percentage of students seems to be better off not even attending, when looking at their lifetime income as adults.

For colleges and universities, the costs of operating continue to rise, which means what they charge students also has to go up. While there is interest in obtaining degrees, not everyone can do it, resulting in fewer potential applications and actual students on many campuses. This can result in serious financial strains for institutions such as these, and cutbacks just reinvigorate the cycle of how tight money is for everyone.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

How Adult Students are Growing Higher Education

A USA Today interview with the VP of New Partner Development at the Wiley Education Services, Gene Murray revealed adult learners have different needs from teenagers, who were the bulk of traditional students in the past years. They are prompting higher institutions of education to change their models.

Below are the key points from Murray’s interview.

Provision of Learner Tailored Program

The method of instruction at institutions develops with time. Specialization to provide prompts information and is one of the ways how adult students are growing higher education. Higher education providers have tremendous expertise in subject matters, placing them as designated institutions for learners who want to progress academically. The current adult learning population does not focus on broader knowledge but specific skills that advance their career.

The main focus of these learners is to attain ongoing education that instills specific skills to advance in technology, healthcare, teaching, or other professions. Today’s adult learners focus on finding opportunities matching their specific careers because of commitments that limit time and flexibility. Institutions that provide learning opportunities were challenged to align their programs with their adult learners’ personal responsibilities and career paths.

Customization of Programs to Suit Learner Preferences

Adult learners have deviated from studying for an undergraduate then a master’s to gain a full degree. Institutions have been forced to rethink their models to accommodate this class that requires ongoing education for professional career advancement certification. Traditional learning experiences that did not address the unique needs of learners compelled higher education institutions to change their delivery and meet the following requirements:

  • Flexibility to accommodative work or family responsibilities
  • Allow faster completion (with cost consideration in place)
  • Deliver specific skills that contribute to career advancement

Introduction of Remote Learning Technology

Traditional learning requires in-person attendance for students and instructors. The need to personalize lessons for today’s adult learners led to the introduction of technology in classrooms. The change came to be since many adult learners are frequently away from campus, and their needs are different from a conventional 18-year-old. It is harder to engage them. Higher education institutions are adopting technology tools like behavioral analytics. The tools have information and means to facilitate institutions to communicate better with adult learners on their terms to improve persistence.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

Encouraging Others to Pursue a College Degree

College can be a great experience for those looking to improve their futures. However, with the increasing cost, it can be difficult to convince children and other loved ones to attend college. Despite this, there are a few ways someone can be convinced to earn their degree and better their future. After all, it will help them get a better job, make more money in the future, be more competitive with employers, learn about new topics and expand their horizons, and make new friends!

Due to all these benefits, a great way to convince someone to attend college is simply by listing the benefits of having a college degree. In the face of increasing automation and globalization of the workforce, there is more competition for jobs than ever. By earning a degree in a specialized field, a college graduate has a much better chance of landing a high-paying job despite these global changes. Countless studies have proven college graduates make more money than those who don’t attend college. Additionally, the social atmosphere at college gives students a valuable opportunity to network and create lasting professional and business connections that can lead to better opportunities in the future.

Another way to convince someone to attend college is by talking about the elephant in the room: paying for college. It is daunting for low and middle-income families to think about paying for college so many simply decide not to attend and instead immediately enter the workforce. However, these money anxieties can be conquered by looking into funding opportunities. There are many pathways to paying for college. From loans to grants to scholarships, students have more ways than ever to pay for their education. Interested individuals can talk to a college’s financial aid advisor to go over their options and create a plan to fit their individual needs and situation.

Nothing is more convincing than hearing stories from someone who’s been there. So consider sharing a personal experience from college for encouragement. Whether a story about lifelong friendships or wonderful professors, these anecdotes can be powerful for those considering college.

There are many ways to convince a loved one to attend college. Encouraging them to earn a degree can be the single most important decision of their lives, so it is a decision to consider carefully.

This article was originally published on Marilyn Gardner Milton’s website.