School Climate & Safety

The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week): Pondering Popularity Edition

By Evie Blad — April 24, 2015 1 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers. Before I share some links with you, check out this video from The Atlantic.

For a part of its Ask a Tween series (who knew that existed?), the magazine asked students at Alice Deal middle school in Washington, D.C. what it means to be popular.

Schools focus a lot on helping students who are being rejected and hurt by their peers, but it might be helpful for educators to understand the other side of the social spectrum as well. One answer that I wouldn’t have given as a tween: Popular kids have lots of Instagram followers.

When you’re done watching that, check out these links on school climate and child well-being. This week, links on engagement, race, discipline, and school safety.

On engaging students...

Students want more than grades. They want fun, meaning and purpose. When we encourage the right behaviors students will become more engaged learners and the grades will follow. I've found that many students not motivated by grades are powerfully motivated this way." —On Classroom Q and A, teachers share strategies for engaging students in the classroom.

On ‘getting race right’...

I believe most educators in general have great intentions, but I do believe they are grossly underprepared for the types of complexity they face every day in school. So, until we get race right, until we get class right, until we get the intersection of race and class correct, we're going to reap the consequences of it." —This NPR blog post discusses conversations on race in schools.

On active shooter drills...

She felt very confused. Her heart was racing. She walked out of the classroom and saw a pistol lying on the ground. ... She wondered if she was really shot and was going to die." —An Oregon teacher has sued her school, arguing that an unexpected, realistic active shooter drill left her with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

More on Moskowitz...

Moskowitz is right that restorative schools don't always suspend students for fighting. That's because administrators aim to spot and defuse conflicts before they become physical. Restorative justice is not merely a conflict resolution strategy; its largest component is a set of proactive, community building practices used to promote and protect the type of 'purposeful, joyful' and physically safe learning environment that Moskowitz herself endorses." —Chalkbeat New York ran another response to Success Academy's Eva Moskowitz' criticism of restorative practices in school discipline.

Reaping benefits of recess...

That physical activity and unstructured play, those things are not luxuries for kids." mdash;My Education Week story talks about how more schools are limiting teachers' ability to withhold recess for disciplinary or academic reasons.

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