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  • Classroom Behavior Problems? This Man Can Help with 3 of the Toughest Ones

    by LearnEd

    A girl in class

    Why Adam Bauserman Is Qualified to Help

    He's known as "Doctor Behave."

    Adam Bauserman has taught in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and in college. He has teaching expertise in general education, special education, and gifted education.

    Adam has a son with autism and uses this image for his LinkedIn profile picture. He created the design and had it printed by a company whose CEO is physically disabled.
    Adam has a son with autism and uses this image for his LinkedIn profile picture. He created the design and had it printed by the 3E Love company whose CEO is physically disabled.

    "I got my first teaching job years ago when my predecessor had to leave school because students had poisoned his coffee with cleaning fluid," Adam says.

    "More than half of the students in that class were failing at the time. By the end of the year, we had a less than 5-percent failure rate," he says.

     Today, Adam is an implementation specialist with Pearson—helping teachers grapple with behavioral challenges in the classroom.

    "Doctor Behave" offers periodic webinars on various topics.

    "My goal is for participants to take at least one thing away from the training," Adam says. "And to have some fun during the process."

    Making the Most of Classroom Data

    Adam is leading an upcoming webinar he's calling "Year in Review: Making the Most of Your Data."

    "People focus so much of their time on student academic data, behavioral data often gets pushed to the side," Adam says.

    "Teachers are also unaware of how much data they have about student behavior," he says.

    Adam helps educators with tips on how to compile the data, organize the data—and make sense of it.

    "Take fighting, for example," Adam says. "Pull all the incidents into one data set and pin down 'Where is it happening?' and 'When is it happening?' Seeing correlations in the data often help educators develop successful responses to these behaviors, especially when they often seem so hard to fix."

    The Top Three Behavioral Challenges

    Adam recently polled teachers about the toughest behavioral problems in their classrooms. The top three—and his suggestions about how to get them out of your classroom—are listed below.

    "The bottom line," Adam says, "is that inside the four walls of a classroom, teachers need to be prepared to bend a little bit when they're thinking about rules and expectations."

    "If rules are set in stone," he says, "they get pushed—and the walls come down."


     

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  • Why Teachers are Leaving the Classroom, and the Effort to Get More to Stay

    by LearnEd

    VR render of a classroom

    Jahana Hayes in a photo included in her application for 2016 National Teacher of the Year.
    This year's National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes from Connecticut in a photo taken from her award application.

    Working to Build a 'Future Pipeline of Teachers'

    This year's teacher of the year grew up "surrounded by abject poverty, drugs and violence."

    Still, as Jahana Hayes writes in her award application, "my teachers made me believe that I was college material."

    "I became a teenage mother in high school and almost gave up on my dreams completely. However, my teachers showed me the many options that were still available if I continued my education. These positive experiences at school inspired me to become a teacher. ... I entered this profession with a passion for the work that I do and an understanding that my work would extend beyond the classroom and into the world."

    Jahana teaches history at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Connecticut.

    A 12-year veteran of the teaching profession, Jahana has done a lot of work outside the classroom "with the goal of increasing awareness and interest in education as a career." It's an effort to create a "future pipeline of teachers."

    "While the focus should always remain on students, recruiting, supporting and retaining culturally competent and diverse educators cannot be overlooked. Teachers, administrators and school faculty play a key role in student success."

    Kathy says: ""So many teachers feel like they're not treated as professionals," Kathy says. "They feel over-managed, they're not rewarded for their expertise, and they don't feel like they have a voice in the education system."

    A Shortage of Experienced Teachers

    "Experts tell us that on average, it takes four to five years for teachers to feel comfortable in the classroom and to become proficient in their teaching," says Dr. Kathy McKnight, Principal Director of Research at Pearson.

    "We're also seeing 40- to 50-percent of new teachers leaving the profession before they get to that five-year mark," she says.

    Last fall, for example, hundreds of principals across Washington State who were surveyed talked of a teacher shortage "crisis." Several other states, including California, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kansas, are scrambling to staff their schools with qualified teachers.

    This has obvious consequences for the goal of getting an effective teacher in front of every student.

    Understanding the Shortage

    Kathy McKnight's research along with colleagues from The National Network of State Teachers of the Year and Public Impact was recently cited in a report entitled "Mitigating Teacher Shortages" from the non-partisan Education Commission of the States.

    "So many teachers feel like they're not treated as professionals," Kathy says. "They feel over-managed, they're not rewarded for their expertise, and they don't feel like they have a voice in the education system."

    Research from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that a large percent of American teachers, compared to those in other countries, feel like their profession is not valued by the public.

    All of these factors contribute to problems recruiting new, qualified teachers—and keeping them in classrooms once they're on the job.

    A Wide Array of Opportunities

    We wrote about Kathy's research around career advancement models for teachers in a previous LearnED story titled "Training and Rewards for Great Teachers." She and her colleagues have done a lot of work profiling states and schools with teacher career advancement models that are working.

    "There are lots of opportunities for teachers to feel more professional and more valued," Kathy says.

    "They can be content specialists, pedagogy specialists, technology specialists," she says. "Some can be included in district or state education policy decisions. And others can take on research, or work with policymakers."

    "All of this helps teachers grow as teachers and leaders," Kathy says.

    It also helps retain teachers who might have otherwise left.

    "In our interviews with teachers for our study," Kathy says, "a good number of them said that the opportunities they had as a result of the career advancement model at their school made them decide to stay in the profession, whereas before, they had been contemplating leaving."

    Kathy says: ""I think about my own profession as a researcher," Kathy says. "I love doing what I do. I feel like it's valued by my colleagues. I have an expertise that people need. People trust me to do good work. Why would we think teachers wouldn't want the same?"

    New Generations, New Definitions of Teaching

    Attracting future teachers to the classroom—and keeping them in the classroom—means new approaches to recruitment and retention.

    "Generation Y is expected to make up half of the teaching workforce by 2020," Kathy says.

    "Unlike prior generations, this cohort is less likely to take on careers without opportunity to advance," she says. "So we're thinking about new flexibilities in the way work is structured to meet the needs of the younger generations, like splitting up the week or the day between two teachers."

    "There's also a cohort of potential teachers I've heard referred to as 'sunsetters,'" Kathy says. "These are people who have reached the end of another career and now want to teach. How do we bring them in to the profession? We need to think about how we make them part of the conversation as well."

    The Value of Feeling Valued

    "I think about my own profession as a researcher," Kathy says. "I love doing what I do. I feel like it's valued by my colleagues. I have an expertise that people need. People trust me to do good work. Why would we think teachers wouldn't want the same?"

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  • Transformed by Learning and 'Leaving Breadcrumbs' for Others to Follow

    by LearnEd

    hero img

    No Learning Past the Farm

    Viviana Baca Alamillo's mom, a single mother, works twelve hours a day and five to six days a week on a dairy farm.

    hard to dream

    She and her family live in a home provided by her employer.

    Viviana and her mother crossed over the border into the U.S. illegally when Viviana was 3 years old. She remains in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    "I started working in the fields when I was 13," Viviana says. "I'd go to school then do something like pack apples until late."

    "It was hard to dream about anything else," she says. "It was what we did."

    Taking the Leap

    Viviana graduated from a Michigan high school in 2012.

    She'd been thinking about going to college—and two things happened that convinced her to try.

    First, a good friend who moved around with her family to do seasonal farm work called from Texas. She had some surprising news.

    convinced

    "She told me 'I'm pregnant,'" Viviana recalls. "When I asked her 'Why?' she told me 'I'll end up being a housewife someday anyway.'"

    Viviana recalls saying to herself: "I don't want to be like that."

    Second, Viviana had spent much of her life taking care of her younger sister, Esmeralda.

    "My mom worked nights, so I did everything for her," Viviana says. "I gave her showers, fed her, took her everywhere. It was really annoying when I was a teenager."

    One day, Viviana noticed how her sister looked up to her.

    "I'd been skipping classes and drinking," Viviana says. "My little sister was looking up to me but I wasn't the best example."

    So Viviana went to her mom.

    "I want to go to college," she told her.

    Degrees and More Degrees

    Viviana's mom asked her boss for a $3,000 loan to pay for initial tuition expenses. Since then, she's been paying off as much as she can with each paycheck.

    "She's given so much to me," Viviana says.

    "My mom left school in the second grade in Mexico," Viviana says. "My uncles left after the fifth grade."

    Viviana went on to be the first in her family to go to college.

    She's already earned an associate's degree from Lansing Community College where she ran cross country and track. Today, she is pursuing a degree in secondary education.

    Setting an Example

    "I'm paving the road for my siblings," Viviana says. "It's like leaving breadcrumbs for them to follow."

    Sister Esmeralda is now taking college classes. The two young women plan on living together in the future.

    Viviana's brother recently connected with her through Facebook from his home in Mexico. He told her that their father had plans to stop paying for his education.

    "So I asked him to come to the U.S.," Viviana says.

    And this month, she brought him home to Michigan. "I want to give him an education," she says.

    Helping Others See Past the Farm

    "My uncles used to tell me 'You won't make it,'" Viviana says. "In fact, they didn't believe I'd even enrolled in school."

    "It wasn't until I came back from a national track meet in Kansas wearing a runner's bib when they realized it was all true," she says.

    One of her uncles has since gone back to school to get his GED. So has her aunt.

    "Since I've gone to college, I've noticed the family mindset changing," Viviana says. "What was once such an impossible path is now something my mom understands and believes in and supports."

    The Transformation Continues

    Viviana has spent this spring as an intern with Representative Alma Adams (D-NC). Pearson sponsored the internship through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

    Vivianna's experience in Washington has opened her eyes to a whole new world of activism and the needs of people like the ones in her own family.

    "The Hispanic and Latino community is in this together," Viviana says. "We're moving the country forward. We're gonna change the world."

    education

    One day, Viviana hopes to run for Congress.

    "I also want my mom to be done with the farm in Michigan," Viviana says.

    She'd like to buy her mom a new house and help her start a new restaurant, serving authentic Mexican food.

    "My mom got me further than she was ever able to get in school," Viviana says.

    "Everything that's been given to me and my family has been given through education."

     

     

     

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John Fallon

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