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?


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
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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Graysen Walles

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Teachers – Healing Broken Lives
“What you care for, anyway? Why you care? Nobody cares—nobody!”

“I do care. I care because I have three boys. I want a good life for them, and I want you to have a good life, too. I care because you are one of my students, and I know you will succeed if you put your mind to it. I care because it is my responsibility to care, son.”

He broke down and cried like a baby.

by Graysen Walles
Past contributor to the Gazette
April 1, 2009

Child Abuse

Our profession is often confronted with issues of child abuse. However, with time, abuse is impacting children at younger and younger ages. Many of the kids we work with either witness abuse or are victims of abuse—in their own households. They come to school with these issues, and we expect them to perform as if all is well with life. Of course, we are not always aware of what’s happening; our clues don’t often arrive until a child comes to us directly. In any event, we need to be aware that the reality is, somewhere in your classroom or school or school system, there are children who are being abused.

In 2006 the U.S. Department of Health released a report detailing the various forms and types of child abuse. According to that data,

  • an estimated 3.3 million referrals were made, involving the alleged maltreatment of approximately 6.0 million children
  • an estimated 905,000 children were determined to have been victims of abuse or neglect
  • slightly more than one-half of child abuse victims were girls (51.5% to 48.2%)
  • 48.8% of all victims were White; 22.8% were African-American; 18.4% were Hispanic
  • 64.1% of the victims suffered neglect
  • 16.0% of the victims suffered physical abuse
  • 8.8% of the victims suffered sexual abuse
  • 6.6% of the victims suffered emotional maltreatment
  • 78.0% of the children who died due to child abuse and neglect were younger than four years old

Teenage Gangs

On another front, gang issues are no longer specific to poor urban communities—suburban and rural communities are now seeing the devastating effects of gang life, too. Young people run to gang organizations because they want the sense of being a part of something, of belonging to a whole—a feeling that is often missing from their broken homes; they also want, or in some cases need, the sense of protection that comes from belonging to a gang. Gang life and child abuse have some very close ties, as one often bleeds into the other . . . literally.

Various forms of child abuse and gang life, as well as broken families (caused by divorce, death, or domestic violence), homelessness, and many other human relational issues stream into school systems frequently, becoming an unwanted partner in what we do. Because of these issues, teachers must become part of a healing community. They must work with social workers, counselors, and community advocates to help students navigate the tumultuous terrain. Dealing with these problems is not something we are all trained for, but it is a fact of the teaching profession that we will deal with such issues at some point—some of us more than others.

I know gang issues are huge right now in our school system. We must be on alert for possible gang activity twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It is critical that we stay on top of related situations to ensure that the majority of students feel safe and can learn, free from the fear of violence or intimidation.

Continued on next page »

» More Gazette articles...

About Graysen Walles...

For the past 20 years, Graysen Walles has achieved notable accomplishments across a diverse industry spectrum, delivering stellar performance in the military, non-profit, and education segments. After honing his expertise in strategic planning, operations, budget management, program development, and personnel for the U.S. Air Force and two non-profit organizations, Graysen made a smooth professional transition to public education.

Initially cast in the role of Paraprofessional in a middle school, Graysen quickly advanced to a certified teaching position in the area of Special Education at the high school level. While in the role of classroom teacher, he developed curricula and led instruction in the disciplines of micro and macroeconomics, geography, and English language, creating learning frameworks that accommodated a range of learning styles for both mainstream and special education students.

While successfully managing his teaching responsibilities, Graysen took the lead in district- and school-wide improvement, fueling the critical relationship-building process with parents and members of the community to unite stakeholders in a common vision and goal and make progress towards building a cutting edge youth leadership program focused on higher performing students enrolled in under-resourced communities. The program, The Elite Scholars, actively engages over 350 students from all walks of life. The common goal of these students is to perform with excellence in the areas academics, service, faith and leadership.

Graysen achieved his doctoral degree from Fielding Graduate University; Master of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and B.A. from Wayland Baptist University. He currently serves in the United States Air Force Reserves and works as a school administrator in Atlanta, GA. Graysen is married with three sons and they reside in Atlanta, GA.

He is the author of the soon to be released book, Teaching: The Greatest Career on the Planet (April 2009). Please visit him at; or Join the Movement.

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