Education

The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week): Hooray for Art Edition

By Evie Blad — December 05, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Happy Friday, Rules readers!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our new commentary package on arts education. The package is packed with original illustrations by Education Week’s contributing artists, opinion pieces, and a video about building engagement through an artist-in-residence program.

How should schools work to engage creative students in and out of arts classes? And how can they nurture creativity in all students while they also seek to ramp up rigor in subjects like math and science?

After you read that, check out these links for folks who care about school climate and student well-being. This week, we read about discussing race in the classroom, students who may be overlooked in anti-bullying efforts, how teaching style affects student disruption, and more.

On discussing race in the classroom...

So, even though these conversations sometimes make me nervous, I try to signal to my students that it's OK to talk about race and racism in our classroom. It means that I end up facing some really difficult and important questions from my students -- questions like, 'Are White people afraid of Black people?' and 'Why is it mostly White people in the suburbs?' It also means that we can begin to articulate the ways that racism impacts us and start to look for ways to address it. Students share stories of teachers who have misunderstood them, of police officers who have made painful assumptions about them, of media messages that malign them." —In the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a teacher explains how and why she discusses race with her students.

From Mike Brown to Eric Garner...

Back in August, Marcia Chatelain, a history professor at Georgetown University, started the still-active #FergusonSyllabus hashtag on Twitter to encourage teachers and community members to share resources for talking about Ferguson in schools." —Teaching Now recently posted resources for discussing Ferguson in the classroom, which could also provide context for protests following a grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer following the death of New York man Eric Garner.

On disruptive students...

In Chicago, my job as a paraprofessional required me to track, support, and monitor the same cohort of 30 freshman students throughout an entire year. I was often required to sit with the same students in different classrooms throughout a school day. To my surprise, I realized that some of the same students who were chronically disruptive in one classroom, were completely quiet, attentive, and engaged in other classrooms. The difference in behavior was astonishing. The only divergent variable between an engaged student and disruptive student seemed to be the teacher and the teaching style employed." —The Startup Blog talks about how teaching style affects student disruption. It's a subject I touched on in my story about ending suspensions for willful defiance.

On resisting the pull of social media...

I am a high school senior who does not have a Facebook account. I wish I could say that my reasons are noble, that I do not find that particular online world tantalizing. But I choose not to participate because I worry that the mistakes I am bound to make during my teen years will be unnecessarily broadcast. Other people's perceptions of me could be influenced by the selective nature of what I post or tainted by some inevitable future conniption of mine with the poor fortune to end up online." —In an issue of School Administrator that focuses on internet and civility issues, a high school student shares why she doesn't have a Facebook account.

On bullying of overweight students...

Most often anti-bullying efforts target youth who are bullied because of their sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. These are all very important issues, but weight-based bullying is also highly prevalent in the school setting and yet it rarely addressed in anti-bullying interventions." —As schools push to reduce childhood obesity through healthy eating, are they also ensuring a safe and engaging climate for overweight students? A Connecticut researcher is developing strategies to do just that.

Yikes.

'The teenager today wants to fit in,' Geiger said. 'They want to fit in by wearing things that make them feel safe. If there's a brand promise to Aéropostale, it's that the teenager can wear our clothes, go to school and not be teased or made fun of [for] the way they look.' " —A CEO promotes his company's clothing as a uniform teens can wear to avoid getting teased at school.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. f we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Education California Requires Free Menstrual Products in Public Schools
The move comes as women’s rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons, and other items.
1 min read
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Education Florida to Dock School District Salaries for Requiring Masks
Florida is set to dock salaries and withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates.
2 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP