Teacher Busted for Lying Thanks to Her Facebook Updates

March 1, 2015


In my teens I adored the movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. My parents never let me take a day off school, and I was both envious of Ferris for cutting school and in awe of his ability to make fools out of Principals and senior administrators. Perhaps the teacher that ‘pulled a sickie’ in order to go on holiday, also had a soft spot for Bueller’s penchant for taking risks. What she didn’t have, was his smarts:


Some teachers never learn.

Brooklyn guidance counselor Mindy Robinson lied about having dental work so she could celebrate her birthday on a tropical beach. Then she boasted about the ruse on Facebook — even though many New York teachers have gotten busted the same way.

Robinson, who worked at IS 171 Abraham Lincoln in East New York, posted on Facebook a dispatch from her vacation in Turks and Caicos islands several days before the city schools’ spring recess in March 2013.

“So tell me how did u get off of work?” a Facebook “friend” asked.

“I had a small procedure that had to be done do [sic] I told the crazy one that the doctor was going to be out of town and could only do it this week.”

“Be careful,” the friend warned, “because two years ago people got caught doing things like that.”

“Too late but thanks for the info,” Robinson replied.

Robinson refused to speak with investigators and agreed to retire last July 1.



Click on the link to read Up to 1 in 10 US Students Have an Inappropriate Relationship With Their Teacher

Click on the link to read Facebook Exposes Yet Another Bad Teacher

Click on the link to read Why I Won’t Be Celebrating Facebook’s 10th Anniversary

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Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

Tips for Teachers of ESL Students

February 26, 2015



I have found it quite a challenge teaching fluent 5th graders whilst also catering for a child with minimal spoken English who has spent less than 6 months in the country. These tips by Robyn Shulman, M.Ed. are quite useful:


1. Cultural Awareness

All teachers should take a moment to self-reflect about their own understandings and questions in regard to cultural differences. Take the time to learn about different cultures, gestures, and traditions and celebrate these differences with all of the students in the classroom. Encourage all students to share their culture with classmates.

2. Empathize

Try to imagine how overwhelming it must feel to leave your home country and family members while trying to assimilate, learn, and socialize in a foreign language. Be aware that ESL students will be in culture shock and feel highly alienated for some time. Garner patience and understand that it will take time for ESL students to talk, as a silent period is highly expected. Smile and show support to your best ability.

3. Provide A Comfort Zone

Assess where the ESL student’s abilities are in relation to basic survival skills and needs. Assign a friendly and welcoming buddy to assist with common school locations, requirements, and routines. If possible, keep an extra eye out during busy transition times to assure the student gets to the correct location. If possible, find someone in the school, another classmate, parent or volunteer that may speak the student’s language. Connecting the student with someone who speaks his/her native language will provide a great deal of comfort.

4. Spotlight Respect For All Cultures

Reaffirm the message about being supportive of one another, kind, understanding and patient. Encourage everyone to openly talk about his or her personal culture, traditions, and languages. Have parties celebrating the different cultures in the class, sharing music, historical family photos, dances, games, food and traditions. Hold discussions about the history of America, immigration, and the value of diversity and differences. Encourage students to share their own stories of immigration, passed down from generation to generation.

5. Community

If parents and/or guardians do not speak English, request an interpreter if possible for all school communication, including parties, conferences and special events. Invite parents to all school community functions to encourage and foster a sense of belonging. If possible, introduce other students and/or families who speak the same language as the ESL student. Sharing cultural commonalities will provide strong bonds for students, parents, and teachers.

6. Assess Student Informally

Assess ESL students on an informal basis when they first arrive to class, and ongoing during the school year. It is imperative to primarily check for understanding in regard to basic and social needs. Pay attention from the sideline to see if they know numbers, letters, and/or short English phrases. Continuously check for comprehension and growth informally, make notes, and never be afraid to raise the bar and challenge a bit.

7. Don’t Discourage Native Language Use

With all good intentions, this is a common mistake teachers can make. ESL students who have a stronger foundation of their native language will have a shorter route to acquiring English. Don’t discourage native language use, as this will result in negative feelings about the student’s language, culture, and may cause delay in English language acquisition. Provide free time for the ESL student to read and write in their native language.

8. Use Manipulatives, Visuals, Games, Music and Hands-On Activities in the Classroom

According to William Glaser, we learn 80% of what we experience, and 95% of what we teach others. ESL students do exceptionally well when this theory is followed. Involve them in projects that will encourage them to talk as much as possible with their classmates. Some ideas for projects are the following: cooking (following easy directions), art (drawing, painting, sculpture), musical activities (music provides an amazing platform for learning), and acting (for example, charades).

9. Provide Various Opportunities For Talking and Consider Seat Placement

It is very important to consider seat placement in the classroom for the ESL student. All too often, ESL students are seated in the back of the classroom, which leads to a great lack of contribution, listening, and participation. Try and seat the ESL student close to the front, especially with other students who are inviting and enjoy conversation. Provide the most opportunities as possible for talking and listening to others in the class via group work. You will be surprised how much shorter the silent period will end.

10. Communicate with the ESL teacher

Maintain communication with the ESL teacher as much as possible. The sooner both teachers are working together, the quicker the student will learn English. Be open to the ESL teacher’s suggestions, let him/her share in the modification of classwork, and invite the ESL teacher into your classroom. If there is a concern, a question, or if you simply need some advice, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Build this open communication bridge together, as both teachers are there to support and help the ESL student succeed.


Click on the link to read Look What This Teacher Did To His Students’ Doodles

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Why Schools Shouldn’t Block YouTube

February 25, 2015


I use YouTube across the curriculum. From supporting me in teaching a writing skill or a math concept, YouTube is invaluable. It pains me to hear that it is banned in many schools. Whilst I understand that not everything on YouTube is appropriate for kids, as long as there is proper supervision taking place, I believe the good outweighs the bad. The following are some compelling reasons for embracing YouTube as a learning tool:

1. YouTube is a fresh and engaging way of learning. Think about how much better it is teaching poetry with poetry recitals from some of our best known and respected performers, rather than just the classroom teacher!

2. It allows teachers to broadcast class movies under a safe, privately locked format.

3. Teachers can compile playlists full of great educational clips for their students to enjoy.

4. YouTube is brilliant at helping us troubleshoot. Whether it is learning how to use a computer program, cook a recipe or edit a movie, YouTube is a visual tool for helping us all develop new skill sets.


Click on the link to read iPads are Not the Solution

Click on the link to read 7 Key Characteristics of a Digitally Competent Teacher

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Click on the link to read Using Videogames in the Classroom

Long Lost Dr. Seuss Book Set for Release

February 24, 2015


What a treat! I can’t wait to read this to my son:


Oh, the places Dr. Seuss will go again!

He may have died in 1991, but beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss — real name was Ted Geisel — has a new book on the way.

Titled What Pet Should I Get?, Seuss’ book will be released in July and stars the same brother and sister duo from his 1960 classic One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. This time, the children are deciding on a pet based on its looks — and how easily its name rhymes.

Seuss’ widow, Audrey Geisel, originally found the materials for the book in 1991. She re-discovered them in 2013, at which point she handed them over to Random House, his longtime publisher.

“While undeniably special, it is not surprising to me that we found this because Ted always worked on multiple projects and started new things all the time — he was constantly writing and drawing and coming up with ideas for new stories,” Geisel said in a press release. “It is especially heartwarming for me as this year also marks twenty-five years since the publication of the last book of Ted’s career, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

As for when Seuss actually wrote What Pet Should I Get?, his former art director Cathy Goldsmith believes it was some point between 1958 and 1962, roughly the same time as One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. She’ll oversee the editorial and creative process of prepping the new book for publication.

“My connection to Ted remains as vital as it was when we worked closely together years ago,” she said in the press release. “I know he is looking down, watching over the process, and I feel a tremendous responsibility to do everything just as he would have done himself.”

When reached for comment, Random House spokeswoman Lydia Finn said, “We are so excited about it!”

Hey, who isn’t?


Click on the link to read The Oscars for Children’s Writing Has Been Announced

Click on the link to read Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension.

Click on the link to read List of Kids Books that Would Make Great Christmas Gifts

Click on the link to read Helping Children Become Successful Readers

Click on the link to read Children’s Hilariously Inappropriate Spelling Mistakes

What the System Can Do to Great Teachers

February 23, 2015


The public school system, in particular, with their draconian rules and regulations, have no trouble letting go of great teachers for the most obscure reasons. This is but one example of my theory that some schools just don’t seem to deserve great teachers. If they did, they would be treated better than this:


Parents of preschoolers at a St Louis school say their kids have been heartbroken after losing one of their favorite teachers.

Kelly Hahn was put on leave from Wilkinson Early Childhood Center last December, just two weeks after being named the St Louis Public School district’s ‘Pre-K Teacher of the Year.’

Fox2Now reports that children were coming home in tears after learning their favorite teacher was gone, and a rumor spread that Hahn had been diagnosed with cancer.

‘She is one of those people that I would say is the glue that holds Wilkinson together,’ PTO President Dana Evans told KMOV

But sadness turned to anger after parents learned that Hahn had received a letter saying she’d been dismissed for child neglect and endangerment, which parents say stemmed from an incident over a diaper. 

A three-year-old had come to school one day in a pull-up diaper, which is against the rules at Wilkinson.

After Hahn discovered the diaper, she let the child keep it on instead of removing it, and simply notified the parents.

Another teacher notified Missouri Department of Family Services, which conducted an investigation that found no signs of neglect.

St Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams says that the district has separate standards of conduct, though he did not comment specifically on Hahn.

Click on the link to read Teacher Bans the Word “Awesome” From His Class

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Click on the link to read The Disgraceful Decision to Fire a Teacher for Trying to Break Up a Fight

We Would Take a Bullet for Our Students

February 22, 2015


So many of us would do everything possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students. Whilst it doesn’t surprise me that a teacher is donating her kidney to save one of her students, one must properly understand that teachers are unlike so many other professionals. So many of us were drawn to teaching for no other reason but for the altruistic purpose of changing the world. Ms. Painter should be commended for her courage and dedication and for reminding our critics what sets teachers apart from many other professionals:


AN AMERICAN first grade teacher will be saving one of her students lives when she donated her kidney to the six-year-old in a month.

The teacher, Lindsey Painter, has only been at the school since last winter, where she met little Matthew Parker and learned of his condition.

“He does dialysis three days a week; it’s in San Antonio and we do live here in New Braunfels. He travels three days a week and it’s a full day, so he only goes to school twice a week,” Matthew’s mum, Lisa Parker, explained to Fox 4 Kansas City.

Matthew’s kidneys began to fail when he was just three weeks old, which required him to receive a kidney transplant. This will be the second transplant he will have had to have had in only his six year life.

Nearly 100 people were tested to see if they could be a match for Matthew, with his teacher eager to help from the very beginning.

“I knew right away that I needed to find out if I could help Matthew.

“So many people came forward trying to help him and I’m the one that gets to do it. I mean I feel very lucky,” she said.

The surgery is scheduled for mid March and if all goes well, Matthew will go back to a normal life in just a few months.


Click on the link to read Teachers Don’t Get Any Better Than This!

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Teacher Bans the Word “Awesome” From His Class

February 22, 2015



I am not a big fan of bans in schools, but I love the push for teaching children to use a winder vocabulary:


SOME parents think it’s an awesome idea, while others don’t think it’s awesome at all.

Children at a school in Mosman have been told not to use the word awesome by a teacher who is trying to broaden her students’ vocabularies.

The word has had a recent resurgence in popularity after last year’s release of The Lego Movie and it’s hit song, Everything is Awesome.

But now a Year 3 teacher at Mosman Public School is asking pupils to try to come up with alternative words such as fantastic or wonderful.

While the Education Department would not confirm if the word had been banned or simply discouraged, one parent wrote on social media: “What an awesome idea, our teacher has banned students saying awesome in class so they expand their vocabulary.”

While the teacher was ­unavailable to comment, Year 3 pupil Claire Davis said the children were told to use alternate words such as fantastic.

“I don’t really say awesome, but the teacher said it doesn’t really mean anything and to use words like fantastic and stuff,” Claire said. “If you use it you may get a bit in trouble. I guess kids use it a lot.”

While some parents loved the idea, others didn’t agree.

“Awesome is such a good Aussie word. What’s wrong with it?” one parent told The Saturday Telegraph.

Education expert Karen Malone said it wasn’t ideal for words to be banned.

“Awesome is a good word. If my class were saying everything they were doing was awesome I’d be pretty happy. Normally, it’s ‘this is boring’.”


Click on the link to read Five-Year-Old Forced to Sign a Suicide Contract by School

Click on the link to read Guess Why this Girl Was Sent Home from Kindergarten

Click on the link to read The Disgraceful Decision to Fire a Teacher for Trying to Break Up a Fight

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Click on the link to read Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

The Epidemic that is Online Bullying

February 19, 2015


Online bullying is becoming a bigger problem by the day, and it is high time schools stop handballing the problem to parents and start getting more involved:


One in seven children admit to having bullied someone online – often to try to fit in, a poll reveals.

Others claim they turned to bullying to avoid becoming a target of abuse themselves.

The charity Action For Children, which commissioned the survey, said many children bully others because of problems in their own lives.

The poll, published to mark Safer Internet Day today, found 15 per cent of 2,000 youngsters aged eight to 17 questioned had bullied someone online. 

Of these, 59 per cent did so to fit in with a particular social group and 43 per cent wanted to prevent themselves being bullied.

Some 28 per cent admitted becoming a bully due to peer pressure and 12 per cent said they had done it because they were unhappy. 

The survey also found that nearly half of the youngsters questioned admitted they had kept silent after seeing or reading something online that made them feel uncomfortable, rather than telling someone.

Around one in five said they had kept quiet because they were scared of what a bully might do to them, while nearly half said they were not worried enough to let someone know what they had seen and 17 per cent said they were worried they would get into trouble if they told.


Click on the link to read At Least When an Olympic Athlete gets Cyberbullied They Have a Voice

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Click on the link to read The Researchers into Cyberbullying Should Review Their Findings

What Kids Think About Love (Video)

February 18, 2015


Children are so funny and perceptive.


Click on the link to read 5 Games that Make Kids Smarter

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Organisations Come Out Against Corporal Punishment

February 17, 2015

Congratulations to all the esteemed organisations that have spoken out against corporal punishment. The sad reality is though, 19 states in the US continue this practice with no sign that any of those states will change their stance.





Click on the link to read Another Brutal Corporal Punishment Incident (Video)

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Click on the link to read YouTube Clip of High School Student Getting Slapped by Teacher

Click on the link to read 19 US States Still Allow Corporal Punishment in their Classrooms


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