POSTS WITH TAG: education

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    There is no question that Pharrell Williams' Oscar-nominated song "Happy" makes people, well ... happy. It's the kind of tune that can inspire the stiffest, stodgiest of people to let loose. It just makes you feel good. Now imagine a performance of it that's even better than any version the great Pharrell could ever do. Not possible, you say? Wait until you get a look at a Detroit elementary school's take on it. You will be astonished -- especially after you realize what those kids endure each day.

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    When it comes to our children and their schooling, most of us would climb the highest mountain if it meant our kids were able to receive the best education we could provide for them. One devoted father in China is, literally, carrying his disabled 12-year-old son on his back and walking him to the nearest school that will accept him -- which is inconveniently located 5 miles away from their home.

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    Even though cursive writing, or script, seems to have gone the way of the telegraph in recent years, some states -- including, most recently, Tennessee -- are working to try and preserve it. A bill is about to go before their state House that would make it mandatory for children to learn how to write in script at school, most likely in the third grade. One lawmaker, who is also a teacher, was reportedly inspired to write the bill after he discovered only about half of all children in the state could read a teacher's writing if he or she wrote in cursive. The move is a step in the right direction -- now if only every state would jump on the script bandwagon.

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    Someone's career in crime is off to a shaky start. You have to see this adorable photograph posted on Reddit. A crafty 5-year-old forged her mom's signature, but she got one crucial detail wrong: She signed it "Mommy." Psst. Kid. Imma let you in on a little secret. That's not how "Mommy" signs her name. See, she has this other name. Maybe you've heard Daddy use it?

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    Have you or your daughter ever been called the "B-word?"

    And no, I don't mean that rude and incredibly disgusting "B-word," but the other one: bossy.

    Well, it turns out that assertive, intelligent, and confident young women (um, clearly all good things) are labeled as "bossy" and become discouraged from taking on leadership positions. They become afraid of asserting themselves.

    Let's be honest, wouldn't you be nervous and demoralized if someone kept calling you "bossy"? It's automatically going to lead to labels like "aggressive," "angry," and "too ambitious."

    Boys, on the other hand, do not have the same problem. First off, they're never called "bossy." Instead, they're "leaders." Hmm... seeing the difference here?

    These behaviors begin as early as grade school, and continue on to middle school, high school, college, and far, far beyond. We working ladies are not exempt from these similar judgments.

    But starting today, we're officially taking a stand and pledging to "Ban Bossy."

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    Life is SO complicated, isn't it? We have to work, balance our personal relationships with our professional lives, make sure we're taking great care of our children and that they are happy and healthy and educated, and ... oh, what else can we add to the mix to fret about? Mortgages, taxes, elderly parents, our health, the health of everyone around us whom we love, etc., etc.

    Remember when we were in fifth grade and the biggest concern we had was whether the little boy in the third row thought we looked cute that day with braids in our hair? One young woman's mom had the foresight to predict she'd one day need to be reminded of simpler times. So, she saved a letter the girl wrote as a fifth grader in 2005 to her future self. And the adorable product serves as a reminder that we're all totally focusing on the wrong things.

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    After parents, teachers are arguably the most important people our children will come into contact with in their young lives. A great teacher can turn our child onto science, awaken in her a love of writing, or simply make him feel comfortable, happy, and secure for a few hours a day -- something that is just as important as learning math. And yet, so many talented and dedicated educators leave work each day feeling like they haven't accomplished anything. The rules and expectations are changing rapidly around them -- one day Common Core is king, the next day they're told they can no longer teach great works of fiction. It's easy to see why so many teachers feel like their hands are tied and they aren't making the difference they know they could.

    Glennon Doyle Melton, the author of Carry On Warrior, Thought On Life Unarmed, wants us all to know how special her son Chase's teacher truly is. This heartwarming letter is one that should be shared with every mom, dad, and teacher you know.

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    Nathan Entingh, a 10-year-old boy from Columbus, Ohio, pointed a finger at a fellow classmate and was suspended. Yes, that happened. But this particular fifth-grader was mimicking a gun and pointed it at a fellow student’s head, an act that went against the zero-tolerance policy that the school apparently takes very seriously. Now, I’m all for not promoting gun violence, but doesn’t it seem like the school has taken things too far?

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    All right parents, who thinks they need to take parenting classes? Wait, scratch that. Better question: who has free time to go take parenting classes? Four parenting classes to be exact? Parents in one part of the US might be forced to find the time ... or their kids will fail the sixth grade!

    Yup, that's right, a bill on the floor of the legislature in one of the country's largest states threatens to hold children back in school if their parents don't take four state-mandated parenting classes.

    As if life isn't hard enough for parents ... and kids?

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    When I think about kindergarten, I picture a peaceful environment that is both fun and educational. At this grade level, children are getting their first taste of being away from mom and dad for long periods of time -- which can be super scary. With hope, caring teachers are introducing them to books and fascinating subjects that will awaken in them a life-long love of learning, while taking their emotional needs into consideration and disciplining them in ways that teach, and don't disrespect.

    Well, that's the ideal scenario, anyway. In reality, some school administrators, like the principal of one school in Connecticut, aren't thinking twice before doing horrendous things, like dragging 5 and 6-year-old children across the hallway as if they were animals.

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