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Volume 3 Number 2

Harry & Rosemary Wong say, "...effective teachers do not employ tricks of the trade, the latest fad, or untested opinions..." This month the Wongs feature Liz Breaux, a most effective teacher...
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Online Classrooms by Leslie Bowman
The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
Around the Block by Bridget Scofinsky
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
The Visually Impaired Child by Dave Melanson
Seussational Reading Excitement - NEA's Read Across America: Too Much Reading Fun for Just One Day!...
The 100th Day of School
100th Day Activities
Television--Don't Trash It--Control It
Remediation Doesn't Work
Behavior Management Tips
Children and Stress
Children Do Grieve
Infuse Test Preparation With Life-long Learning
Technology Integration Has No Hope of Succeeding!
Technophobia to Technophilia
Cooperative Learning
Why All Students Need Fine Motor Skills
Teaching Gayle to Read (Part 3)
The Role of EFL learners' Heterogeneity in Terms of Age in Their Use of Communication Strategies
The Importance of the School Administration to Student Achievement
Using Non-Fiction to Motivate Reluctant Readers
Quantity over Quality--The Problem with Writing Instruction in Our Schools
Tips for Substitute Teachers
From "I Don't Care" to "I Did It!"
Rules for Secondary Classrooms
Block Scheduling
Special Days This Month
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • Exceptional Normalcy
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    Featured Lessons from the Lesson Bank
  • Famous Black Americans
  • Valentine Village
  • Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Chatboard Poll
    Arecibo Radar Gets 11th-Hour Reprieve
    Planetary Society Offers New Scholarships
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Beth Bruno...
    Beth is a freelance writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience in mental health and education. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in Psychology in 1966. She continued her education at Harvard University (Ed.M. in Educaton, 1967) and Yeshiva University (M.A. in Clinical Psychology, 1976). Beth has served as Chair of the Psychology Department for the Special Children's Center in Ithaca, New York, and has worked as Adjunct Instructor at Tompkins-Cortland Community College.

    Beth encourages questions from young people, adults, educators and professionals. She will do her best to answer each question personally and in a timely manner. She can be reached via email at

    Ask the School Psychologist...
    by Beth Bruno, Ed.M., M.A.
    Are Private Schools Better?
    QUESTION: My husband and I have discussed sending our son to a private Catholic school because it seems like a lot of the nicer families we've met are sending their kids there. However, for financial reasons we think it would hurt us as a family, since we only have my husband's income to support us. I stay home with our kids.

    The public school is new and seems to have good teachers. So far I don't have complaints, but there isn't much funding for extra programs because our town keeps voting against raising taxes. I'm also concerned about his peer group. There are many low income families in the area and I worry that bad behavior and manners will "rub off" on our son. Am I being over-concerned? Should I try to keep him with children who are brought up the same way we bring up our son?

    ANSWER: There are hundreds of excellent public, private and parochial schools in this country. Tuition payments do not necessarily buy your child a better education than he or she would receive in a public school. No matter where you send your child to school, you will need to monitor the results, paying close attention to educational philosophy, curriculum, teaching style and skills, homework assignments, friendship choices and other variables of importance to you and your family.

    Parents who keep themselves well informed are better prepared to advocate for changes when the need arises than those who do not. Most teachers and principals welcome parent/teacher partnerships, because they foster preventive problem solving before small problems escalate into bigger ones. If your child's school does not routinely inform you about its programs and welcome your participation in a variety of ways, from PTA meetings to parent conferences to parent nights to student presentations and more, raise the red flag! If your efforts to resolve unacceptable conditions or situations are ignored or rejected, you may want to consider educating your child in a different school or at home.

    Having said that, keep in mind that every school has strengths and weaknesses within its programs and staff. When evaluating school placement for your child, do your homework.

    Every public school in Connecticut, where I live, prints an annual Strategic School Profile, a school "report card" if you will, that is available to the public. The Profile contains information about student population, special education, test scores, academic offerings, extracurricular programs, school philosophy and more. My guess is that most states provide printed, up-to-date profiles about individual schools and their programs. State education associations for public, private and parochial schools can help parents gain access to this information. Consult reference books about Independent Schools and request brochures and other literature about the school's history, philosophy, academic performance and programs.

    Arrange a visit to each school you're considering, not only to see its facilities but also to visit classes, preferably while the classes are in session! Make your child an active participant in the process. Even young children make many astute observations you might miss that could influence your decision.

    Take as much care choosing a school for your child as you take choosing a job for yourself. Then monitor your child's progress every step of the way. I can't emphasize this last point strongly enough. Schools need partnerships with every parent in order to effectively serve the educational needs of each child.


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