By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Apr 1st, 2016
We hear a lot of stuff when students don’t do their homework. Our cup runneth over with FBI-proof, puppy-dog eyes, procrastinated-filled homework excuses. What we don’t hear, is the research on how to excuse-proof our classrooms for homework. It seems, we are in the dark about engaging students in the homework process. Specifically, what contributes to homework resistance? How can we better support students in not only completing, but learning (gasp) from assigned homework?
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Jan 22nd, 2016
No matter what we call it, there's value in not giving up.
The problem however, is that too many students are giving up. Honestly, too many parents, schools, and communities are giving up. If an engaging learner silver bullet exists, we can't give up on our journey to find it.
So, after reading Eric Barker’s intriguing piece on "The 8 things the worlds most successful people have in common", I wondered if there were characteristics common to people that give up. I searched and here’s what I found:
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Jan 22nd, 2016
In a 2011 study, investigators asked early career teachers if they felt ready to manage student behavior issues. What are the odds that these teachers felt unprepared to address classroom management?
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Dec 11th, 2015
The strain of policing participation. The awkward silence. The addiction to memorization. The watching the clock. The endless ‘I don’t know’. The ‘do I have to?’ pleas. The arm stretch mistaken for a hand-raise. The nod off. The ‘Partnergate’ frustrations. The inactive learning. The just not that into you. The ‘told you so’ from colleagues. The burn out.
A 2013 Gallup poll of US workers indicated that 70% were disengaged at work. I predict that there is a similar engagement crisis in our classrooms. How can we change this high level of low engagement? Let’s start by inviting students into our conversations on engagement. So, for the next time you notice a student bored, I have compiled a list of 10 conversation starters that you can ask:
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Nov 1st, 2015
I was a worry wart during my first year in the classroom. I worried over whether my students liked me (cool teacher syndrome). I worried why my students were not not as excited about school as I was (until one student pointed out that I was getting paid to be there and they were not). I even worried about whether students approved of my teacher wardrobe (until the long days of pacing classroom aisles and climbing school stairwells trumped all fashionista dreams). Now I realize that I don't worry as much as I did before. I worry less because I let my students do more stuff than in the past. Here is a list of 7 things that I currently permit my students to do that I would never have allowed as a first year teacher.
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Sep 1st, 2015
In part 1, we examined grit in teachers, but for this, part 2 of this series, we will shift the focus to students (part 3 will target parent grit). I have compiled a list of 4 examples of when student grit goes wrong and corresponding strategies that teachers may use to help get it back on track.
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Aug 1st, 2015
Did you know that 46% of new teachers leave the profession in the first five years according to a report in a 2011 Forbes education article? This whopping statistic made me wonder, what makes the 56% of educators stay? Outside of the love for learning, and an interest in helping others, I believe the #1reason that teachers become classroom "stayers" is due to a little something called grit.
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Jul 1st, 2015
As educators, much of our time is spent assessing student needs. Before we can truly help our students, an understanding of our own learning is key.
Are you ready to see if you are a subjective or objective grader? You may take the brief quiz below by answering yes or no to the 5 questions listed.
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • Jun 1st, 2015
Have you seen the raw, insightful, but super personal student stories embedded in the #IWishMyTeacherKnew campaign? Although the students’ experiences with inequalities and poverty overwhelmed the net (and our hearts), some began to question the powerful impact of this campaign. For instance, the educator Rafranz Davis, in her blog post titled "Privacy, Trust, and Voice", highlights very real consequences for both the families (community shaming and anonymity breaches) and the students (child privacy and confidentiality) in the campaign. Davis encourages teachers to evaluate their social media sharing. She is challenging us to develop a safer way to share student work (or share student voice).
By Jennifer Davis Bowman Ed.D. • May 1st, 2015
In my son's preschool class, they use weekly learning themes. For example, they used the post office, and construction (making things) as themes in the past. Next, there will be a police officer theme (community helpers). The themes are always fun, however, I have concerns that studying police may be scary for some of the young children. In particular, the fear of police officers may be higher for children of color.