Education Career Tips


Reading the Numbers: Everyday Mathematical Literacy

Students need literacy as well as quantitative skills to be successful especially as society becomes more technology-dependent.  The emphasis on building children’s numeracy skills should match the efforts of writing and reading intervention efforts.  Just as students who are exposed to early literacy activities are more confident in reading so too are students more confident in math when they are exposed early on to numbers and mathematical relationships.   22% of adults in the U.S. don’t have the basic math skills for an entry level job.  They can’t successfully add fractions, work with measurements or mentally estimate a tip.  They are functionally illiterate when it comes to numbers.


Math and English: Dueling Standards

The Common Core State Standards Initiative created standards for Math and English Language Arts with History and Science as subsets of ELA Literacy.  This is obviously because math and language arts are so different—or perhaps that’s not the reason at all.  In fact, national standards were created for the two subjects specifically because math and language are regularly and internationally assessed for accountability purposes.  Further comparison of the common core standards reveals an important integration of previously divergent teaching practices.


Math Shouldn’t Be A Book-Free Zone

Several wonderful books involving math topics, like The Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Counting on Frank by Rod Clement, easily make it onto the classroom bookshelf in elementary school.  However, such titles suddenly disappear in middle school when reading quickly becomes compartmentalized to English class.  While science fiction manages to work its way into reading lists, books involving math tend to get overlooked.  However, math literature can be used in a variety of ways both in math and English.  Picture books and short stories can be used to introduce math concepts or model creative writing about mathematical topics.  Recommended novels and biographies also engage students in reading about characters, fictional and real, using math.  This integration encourages literacy, general and math l


Math and English: More in Common than Different

I regularly am faced with the ubiquitous look of puzzlement when I explain that I teach middle school math and English. This dismay comes from one of three misconceptions. The first is that middle school students can be challenging. The second presumes that it must be difficult to teach students who don’t want to be in class because some really don’t like math or reading. Mostly, this suggests that math and language arts do not go together. This idea permeates the workforce as well. While I have received several job opportunities because of my math and English certifications, I have also had to pass up opportunities for math-science teachers in STEM programs. Yet, I’ve met plenty of science teachers who balk at the idea of teaching math, so clearly math and science aren’t inherently connected.


Math and English: A Marketable Combination

Even teachers need to make themselves marketable.  That might mean an expertise in ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language), PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies), or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), or better yet a combination of endorsements.  A unique combination of skill sets and a variety of experiences can really set you apart from other candidates.


4 Family Advantages of a Career in K-12 Education

Choosing a career in K-12 education can be both financially and psychologically rewarding. These four work-family advantages also make education an attractive career choice, especially for parents of school-aged children.


Three Pieces of Advice for Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers are vitally important members of the teaching profession. Teaching students with disabilities of all types requires patience, understanding and a commitment to helping students succeed. Special education teachers are always in demand. If you're earning a degree in special education, remember these three pieces of advice as you embark on your career:

1. Seek support
Collaborating with other special education teachers and asking for advice can be a huge asset in your career. Not only will it help to make you a better teacher, but networking with other educators who understand what you do through day-to-day will also give you access to valuable support and resources.


Benefits to Having Technology in the Classroom

The proliferation of technology is changing the way that students learn and teachers teach. Although some may fear that it distracts from more traditional methods of education, there are actually numerous benefits to having technology in the classroom:

1. Personalization
Individual tablets and computers allow teachers to cater their lessons to each individual student and accommodate differences in their learning abilities. Technology also makes it much simpler to encourage students to take an active role in their education and approach each lesson in a way that makes it easiest for them to understand.

2. Productivity
Studies have shown that having technology in the classroom increases the productivity of both students and teachers. Activities that used to take up a large portion of class time, such as research for a large project, can be performed much more quickly thanks to the internet.


5 Things to Know About Teaching Administration

Making the move from teaching to administration carries a few stereotypes:

“You’re switching to the dark side!”
“You’ll never see the students!”
“You’ll get lost in paperwork!”

True, administration comes with a unique set of challenges, but experienced professionals say those stereotypes are misleading. Administrators impact kids’ lives in their own way, offering broader change during the course of their careers. If you’re thinking about transitioning into administration, keep in mind some things you’ll need: