On Religion, The Media and Life as a 20-something in Chicago

Late last month, Dorothy Rouse sat around the small table with three second-grade students, workbooks open in front of them. Rouse held up a fourth book, her fingers following the letters in the words on the page. “We’re going to sound it out and then say it fast,” she said. “Sound it out: Mmm. Aaa. Ddd. Say it fast: Mad.” And then, “Camila, what is it?” Camila Guardado, 8, brightened and answered: “Mad!” Rouse has thought a lot lately about how she works as a special education resource teacher at Highland Elementary School in Elgin. That was part of the process to earn her National Board Certification, an advanced teaching credential that teachers nationwide can earn in addition to the required state license. That process requires educators to complete assessments and several portfolios that reflect their practice over several years. School District U46 recognized nine teachers who recently were certified at a Board of Education meeting last month. That brings the total number of certified teachers in the Elgin district to 60, according to U46. But those teachers aren’t the only ones reflecting on what works in their classrooms, as the Center on Education Policy estimated in December that 48 percent of all U.S. schools did not make the Adequate Yearly Progress outlined in the federal No Child Left Behind Act last year. That’s an all-time high and an increase from 39 percent in 2010, according to the CEP Web site . President Barack Obama has offered waivers of those NCLB requirements for states that adopt education reforms and implemented the Race to the Top program to reward states for making reforms. And Governor Pat Quinn referenced a number of recent “education reforms (that) put the children of Illinois first” in his state of the state address earlier this month. But Rouse said, “Legislation can’t dictate what a good teacher is.” What does make a good teacher, she said, “is different in different places.” “You have different needs in different places. Bartlett has different needs (than Elgin). The result is the same: Achievement. Just getting there is different.” Rouse, Dundee Middle School teacher Kristine Pizzolato and Mooseheart Child City & School teacher Jennifer Antonson each have been recognized by their school districts, as well as the Kane County Regional Office of Education and other organizations. Each teaches in very different communities. And each shared what has worked well for them in their combined 45 years in the classroom. For the rest of the story, visit The Courier-News. Photo credit: Michael Smart

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

Storyteller: A+ educators show and tell what it takes to succeed (Sun-Times Media)

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