April 2009
Vol 6 No 4

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.4 April 2009

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn
When “21st-Century Schooling” Just Isn’t Good Enough: A Modest Proposal
Are we serious about educating students for the global competitive economy of the future?

Earth Day Special Article:
GE Project Plant-A-Bulb
Give the planet the gift of flowers for Earth Day....

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
The Tools for Success

»Actively Involve Every Reader—Ten Easy Ideas! Sue Gruber
»Motivating Children Leah Davies
»Multiple Working Hypotheses Todd R. Nelson
»Eliciting vs. Punishments Marvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac
»Tattle Tales and Classroom Helpers Barbara Pressman
»Tips for Travel to France or Italy with Students Josette Bonafino
»Too Much Parent Involvement? Can It Be? Dorothy Rich
»Return to Sender & The Neon Necklace Rick Morris
»Be Your Own Mentor: Reflect Hal Portner

»Getting Your Students' Work Published Alan Haskvitz
»At Risk Students: Victims of Miseducation and Failure Bill Page
»Teachers – Healing Broken Lives Graysen Walles
»Get Smart! Doodle! Tim Newlin
»A Dozen Ways to Build a Caring Classroom Community Susan Fitzell
»April 2009 Writing Prompts James Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VI Hank Kellner
»Quality in School Systems Panamalai R. Guruprasad
»Problems With 9th Grade Euclidian Geometry Stewart E. Brekke
»Multisensory/Kinesthetic Alphabet ActivitiesJeanine Horner

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Guided Reading in Kindergarten (printable)
»Printables - Happy Earth Day, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands, Portable Word Wall, Earth Day Every Day Award, Bringing Choices to Light, and April - May Calendar
»Photo Tour: 3rd Grade Classroom, Red Creek, NY
»Lessons, Activities, Theme ideas: Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Paul Revere, Spring, Easter, more!
»Featured Lesson: Outdoor Activities/Nature
»Meet Bill Martin Jr. and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, Creative Quotes from Shakespeare, Massive Ant Colony Uncovered! AMAZING science!, Tim Hawkins - Cletus Take the Reel, Lovefield, and Dolphin Bubbles: An Amazing Behavior
»Live on Teachers.Net: April 2009
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers
»Wisdom for the pain? Why Did You Do It? Why Pursue National Board Certification?


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published by the Teachers.Net community
Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Layout Editor: Mary Miehl

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Alfie Kohn, Graysen Walles, Hal Portner, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Rick Morris, Bill Page, Tim Newlin, Susan Fitzell, Alan Haskvitz, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Dorothy Rich, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Stewart E. Brekke, Panamalai R. Guruprasad, Jeanine Horner, Marie Smith, Carol Goodrow, Jennifer Goldstein, and YENDOR.

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Dorothy Rich

More Than an Apple
What Teachers Really Need to Survive and Thrive in Today’s Schools
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Too Much Parent Involvement? Can It Be?
When a parent is involved as a coach to children, it’s an appropriate role. When the coach runs onto the field to be a player, that’s when the parent involvement lines are being breached.
by Dorothy Rich
Regular contributor to the Gazette
April 1, 2009

The other day at rush hour, the normally very busy streets near my house in northwest Washington were barricaded to traffic for almost an hour.” No one knew what was happening. There was no crash, just lines of backed up traffic.

Finally I found a police officer to ask what was happening. “Oh,” he said, “This is for the Obamas going to their parent-teacher conference. Get used to it,” he added.

As a staunch advocate of parent-teacher conferences,” I urge the Obamas and their school to keep doing conferences, just please not at rush hour.

For someone who champions parent involvement in education, it’s hard to say this, but the truth is: yes, there can be too much parent involvement well beyond the rush hour.

When parents become so wound up and wrought up about their child’s admission to college that they write and then type their children’s essays for college, that is too much.

When parents stay up all night completing science fair projects (while children sleep), that is too much.

When parents become so protective of children that any rejection they suffer (including a low grade) feels like a personal rejection that is too much.

Today, so much more depends on school and success in school than it used to. We are a grade-driven, credentialed, SAT society. It follows that we are more anxious about our children doing well in school.

How can we keep a sense of balance about the line between too little involvement and too much? How do we know what is just right? It’s not easy.

Goldilocks knew when the chair she sat in and the bed she lay down in were just right. She just knew because that is how it is in fairy tales. In real life, it’s a lot more complicated. In this age of terrorism, as well as concern about the possibility of low grades, the danger of over-involvement of parents is that it can result in over protection of children. This can be a deterrent, not a help, for growing up.

The extreme stories abound as in the case of the mother who killed so that her daughter could be on the school cheerleading team. And there’s the father so caught up in the little league game, he attacks the coach for not doing right by his kid. There are parents who “attack” teachers in the name of different curricula for their children.

Continued on next page »

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About Dorothy Rich...

Dr. Dorothy Rich is founder and president of the nonprofit Home and School Institute, MegaSkills Education Center in Washington. She is the author of MegaSkills and developer of the MegaSkills Teacher Training Programs. For additional information:”

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