April 20, 2021
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Top Story
Stressful year taking a toll on some educators
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The past year -- with its long hours, added responsibilities and the sudden transition to remote and hybrid instruction -- has pushed some teachers to the breaking point. Teachers say those stresses are compounded by the racial turmoil in the country and fears about their health.
Full Story: National Public Radio (4/19) 
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A Pandemic-Fueled Digital Transformation
COVID-19 has forced many US public schools to embrace remote learning. As such, schools, and educational institutions in general, have been forced to engage in some type of digital transformation. This SmartFocus explores the technological changes and advancements that have taken place in the educational space. Download Now!
Focus on Practice
Resources to help teachers discuss race, violence
Kelsey Romero sits with her 3-year-old daughter at the site where George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Racially charged shootings and the anticipated jury decision in the trial of a former police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd has further heightened tensions around racial divisions in the US. This article offers 16 links that contain suggestions, resources and other materials to help teachers address topics including racism, police violence and other complex issues with students.
Full Story: Education Week (4/16) 
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Pop music can help boost student engagement in school music programs, says Sarah Gulish, a teacher at Lower Moreland High School in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. In this blog post, Gulish shares how popular music can help build connections with students, cultivate community and develop lifelong learners.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (4/20) 
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Schools Today
High-school students in Pennsylvania are proposing several potential solutions to raise funds for the state's transportation needs. The effort is part of a contest hosted by the state's Department of Transportation.
Full Story: York Daily Record (Pa.) (4/19) 
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Developing Leaders
Healing, purpose found among peers, Black educator says
Reba Hodge, vice principal of Van Duyn Elementary School in Syracuse, N.Y., discusses some of the frustrations and trauma she has experienced during the past year as a Black education leader amid the pandemic and the realities of racial violence in the US. Hodge writes about finding a "tribe" of colleagues who share common goals for creating an environment in which students of color can thrive, and that working with these peers has led to a renewed "sense of purpose and urgency."
Full Story: Education Week (4/12) 
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Policy News
More than 6 in 10 students are attending schools that offer daily, in-person learning, according to data from school calendar tracking website Burbio. Yet, separate data from the Institute of Education Sciences shows attendance challenges with Black and Indigenous students -- who are more likely in areas most affected by the coronavirus -- with absenteeism rates higher than 10%.
Full Story: The 74 (4/19) 
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National Board Update
Futrell: National Board should have "major role" in redefining education
On Friday, Nov. 6, Mary Hatwood Futrell was awarded the 2020 James A. Kelly Award for Advancing Accomplished Teaching. The award was presented during a meeting of a semi-annual meeting of the Board of Directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Watch her full acceptance speech.
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NBCT: Following to a T -- and add a rap
If you or someone you know is going through the National Board certification process, Nicholas Westfall, NBCT, can offer some advice. In this blog post, Westfall takes you through his journey and offers a few tips for candidates going through the process. Read more.
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April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
Christopher Morley,
writer, editor, journalist
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