It’s almost June! And we understand how that can be pretty overwhelming for teachers… You’re almost finished with the school year, but your to-do list seems to be piling up until then.
That’s why it feels good to take a step back and laugh. Today we’re sharing this satirical piece from The Onion that sounds so pitiful you just have to laugh. Hang in there teachers!!!
CONWAY, AR—Noting that the space hasn’t gone more than two consecutive periods without being filled by the sound of soft sobbing or a sharply uttered series of curse words, sources at Conway High School confirmed that the teacher’s lounge has been the site of five separate emotional breakdowns so far today. Witnesses reported that, beginning a half hour before the first bell rang until mid-afternoon, nearly half a dozen instructors had retreated to the faculty area to methodically rub their temples, dab at tears with a wadded-up tissue, or stifle whimpers as they sat with their head in their hands. At one point during fourth period, according to accounts, a ninth-grade English teacher burst into a crying fit while standing in full view of her colleagues, while at the same time, a history teacher reportedly sat in a stackable plastic chair in the opposite corner of the room and muttered unintelligibly to himself for 20 minutes while staring fixedly forward. Further reports have indicated that, over the same day-long period, the school’s various classrooms have been host to at least 53 separate instances of teachers quietly whispering “I can’t keep doing this” under their breath.
Read it on The Onion.
With technology infiltrating almost every aspect of education, there is still one old-school format that reigns supreme: Pen and paper note taking. Yep, you read that right—a new study shows that old fashioned note taking by hand helps students remember the lesson better.
In a study published in Psychological Science, Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles, research showed that taking notes on a laptop or tablet has a tendency to be more distracting—”it’s so easy to click over to Facebook in that dull lecture.”
“When people type their notes, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can,” Mueller tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective — because you can’t write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them.”
Mueller and Oppenheimer cited that note-taking can be categorized two ways: generative and nongenerative. Generative note-taking pertains to “summarizing, paraphrasing, concept mapping,” while nongenerative note-taking involves copying something verbatim.
And there are two hypotheses to why note-taking is beneficial in the first place. The first idea is called the encoding hypothesis, which says that when a person is taking notes, “the processing that occurs” will improve “learning and retention.” The second, called the external-storage hypothesis, is that you learn by being able to look back at your notes, or even the notes of other people.
Because people can type faster than they write, using a laptop will make people more likely to try to transcribe everything they’re hearing. So on the one hand, Mueller and Oppenheimer were faced with the question of whether the benefits of being able to look at your more complete, transcribed notes on a laptop outweigh the drawbacks of not processing that information. On the other hand, when writing longhand, you process the information better but have less to look back at.
To learn more about the study and how it was conducted, read the rest on NPR’s Attention Students: Put Your Laptops Away
It’s not all margaritas and maracas—Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration rich with history that dates back hundreds of years. Too often, Cinco de Mayo is misconstrued as the “Mexican Fourth of July,” so it’s important to talk to students about the colorful history that inspires this yearly fiesta, and how it wasn’t always such a commercial event.
David E. Hayes-Bautista, Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the School of Medicine at UCLA, shares his thoughts with TIME.com’s Ashley Ross: “Cinco de Mayo is part of the Latino experience of the American Civil War,” he says. “It’s not about the Mexican experience.”
In the early 1860s, Mexico had fallen in immense debt to France. That situation led Napoleon III, who had flirted with supporting the confederacy, to send troops to not only overtake Mexico City, but also to help form a Confederate-friendly country that would neighbor the South.
“The French army was about four days from Mexico City when they had to go through the town of Puebla, and as it happened, they didn’t make it,” Hayes-Bautista says. In a David-and-Goliath style triumph, the smaller and less-equipped Mexican army held off French troops in the Battle of Puebla, on the fifth of May of 1862. (The French army returned the following year and won, but it was the initial Mexican victory was still impressive.)
It wasn’t until May 27 that the news of the Battle of Puebla finally reached California-based Latinos, who had been feeling disheartened as Union forces were falling, quite disastrously so, to Robert E. Lee’s Confederate troops. The news from Mexico was doubly good for that population: not only was Mexico victorious, but California—as a free state—was also glad for the failure of the French plan to help the Confederacy. This was particularly true for residents of Hispanic origin, who had particular reason to oppose the South’s system of white supremacy.
Hayes-Bautista cites Major Jose Ramon Pico, a general who organized Spanish-speaking cavalries to fight alongside the Union in the Civil War, as a prime example of what was at stake for some Latinos.
“His grandmother was listed as Mulato in the 1790 census,” he says. “He came from an African-Mexican family, so he organized troops to fight for freedom and [linked] the Civil War to the French intervention in Mexico.”
“By the time [Latinos in California] heard about the news of the battle, they began to raise money for the Mexican troops and they formed a really important network of patriotic organizations,” says Jose Alamillo, a professor of Chicano studies at California State University Channel Islands. “They had to kind of make the case for fighting for freedom and democracy and they were able to link the struggle of Mexico to the struggle of the Civil War, so there were simultaneous fights for democracy.”
It wasn’t until much later that the holiday took on the party-friendly connotations for which it’s known today.
Read the rest at TIME.com: The Surprising True History Behind Cinco de Mayo
Photo via San Diego Free Press, 2013.
This week is all about YOU, teachers! We searched the web and found some awesome discounts and freebies for teachers this week. Check it out:
Today’s inspirational quote comes to you via the Special Olympics! Take this quote as some motivation to get working this week! Have a great week. “Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.” – Vince Lombardi
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.
Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.