December 2, 2020
Professional Learning SmartBrief
The practices and trends shaping educator growthSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
In the Know
Report highlights need for support, PD for principals
(Pixabay)
Evidence shows that school leaders benefit when they work with coaches and mentors, yet only 25% of elementary-school principals -- and just 10% of principals of high-poverty schools -- have had this type of professional support in the past two years, according to a report from the National Association of Elementary School Principals and Learning Policy Institute. "If we want better schools and improved educational outcomes for our students, we must support and invest in high-quality professional learning opportunities for principals," said NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks.
Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model) (11/19) 
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Design and Practice
Student-Centered Teaching and Learning
Can culturally responsive lessons boost STEM diversity?
(Pixabay)
To help encourage more Black and Latina female students to pursue STEM careers, teachers are introducing culturally responsive instruction -- more typically used in English and history courses -- in math and science. Maggie Waldner, an elementary-school teacher in Colorado, suggests hands-on lessons that relate to students' experiences, including teaching math problems as stories and asking students to retell the story before solving it.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (11/19) 
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Leadership Focus
Biden pledges more funding, support for teacher PD
Biden (Angela Weiss/Getty Images)
President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to increase funding for teacher professional development, help them earn certifications, triple funding for low-income schools and increase mental health and counseling staff. Biden's challenge will be working with Congress, especially the Senate if it remains in Republican control.
Full Story: EdSource (11/7) 
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BetterLesson Recommends
See Reimagined PD in Action!
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, one beacon of hope for us at BetterLesson has been witnessing educators come together to create collaborative, interactive, actionable virtual professional learning. Watch the video to get an inside look at the amazing work our coaches and participating educators have done together in one-on-one virtual coaching sessions and group virtual workshops. Watch the video!
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Culturally relevant and responsive mathematics teaching is trending now and has been for quite some time. It is a vital pedagogical mission that must be sustained and progress the ways in which mathematics is communicated and applied. Mathematics belongs to all of us, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. Mr. Stavropoulos, my eighth-grade algebra teacher not only told me but he showed me. His classroom was a space of affirmation. He modeled mathematics in dynamically engaging ways that spoke to me. He unwrapped polynomial equations into bite-size chunks. He rearranged functions on dry-erase boards as a street artist uses the local coffee shop wall as a canvas. Pure and simple, he shared his love for mathematics. Although the textbook authors were predominantly white and male, Mr. Stav created space for me. Full Story: BetterLesson Blog
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Without a song, each day would be a century.
Mahalia Jackson,
gospel singer, civil rights activist
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About BetterLesson
BetterLesson partners with education communities to reimagine professional learning and elevate outcomes for all students. We work with educators and instructional leaders to design and implement high-impact strategies that encourage growth, risk-taking, and reflection so that they can, in turn, develop the next generation of resourceful, compassionate, and resilient learners ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
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