‘Bright Spots’: The “Newcomer” Tool Kit


Today the White House announced “Bright Spots” for welcoming and expanding opportunities for Linguistic Integration and Education. The announcement identified a list of resources including the introduction of the Department of Education’s Newcomer Toolkit designed to help schools support immigrants, refugees, and their families with a successful integration process.  This toolkit will provide information, resources and examples of effective practices that educators can use to support newcomers in schools and communities. To access the full document, go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/new-comer-toolkit/ncomertoolkit.pdf.

20 Humorous “Moments” only Teachers Can Appreciate


From classrooms to hallways to staff meetings and after school programming, the collection of sometimes magical, sometimes maddening moments makes up the profession we know as “teaching”.  An often misunderstood vocation, Education World celebrates those moments that make the educator’s world unique.

1.  When you wonder when exactly YOU became the one in charge…

Teacher clothes

2.  When you can’t figure out WHO these other teachers ARE!

Other teachers

3.  When you just can’t keep it together, and you REALLY need to…


4.  When they surprise you.


5.  When students are somehow able to concoct excuses that defy the basic premises of life on Earth.


6.  When students surmise that the classroom might not exist when they are not there to perceive it.

Miss anything

7.  When MLA and APA formatting make way for a 38-point of the “coolest” font they can find…

This essay 2

8. When you just can’t even.


9.  When the absurdly prepared teacher drops the mic.


10.  When you inadvertently break world records trying to prep before the next class.

Linch 3

11.  When you’re WAY cooler than your district.


12.  When you start to wonder how we were ever able to put humans into space.


13.  When THAT staff meeting goes down.

Agenda item

14.  When you appreciate the effort, but you’re actually only here for the coffee and tiny bagels.


15.  When you really WANT to help, but those nights off are feeling way too few and far between…


16.  When it doesn’t quite add up the way you’d hoped it would.


17.  When the student-centered classroom finally leads to a week of kicking back with a rubric.


18. When the sun begins to shine, the birds begin to sing, and the kids LOSE their MINDS.


19.  When you wish they only knew…


20.  When you just can’t do any more adulting.

Friday nights

Written by Keith Lambert, Education World Associate Contributing Editor

Lambert is a English / Language Arts teacher and teacher trainer in Connecticut.

The Increasing Need For ECE Credentialing

prekBetween 2012 and 2022 there is a projected 30 percent increase in job openings for early educators (USDOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). That means 184,100 job openings for qualified child care teachers and 76,400 for preschool teachers. But who will fill these critical roles?

Spearheaded by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, the Early Learning Career Pathways Report examines comprehensive career pathway systems in the early childhood education (ECE) field. Career pathways, defined as comprehensive education and training systems, provide a sequence of coursework and credentials aligned with employer and industry needs. Pathways offer a much-needed solution to fostering the educational and workforce training needs of adult learners to meet national and regional workforce demands.

This report, Credentialing in the Early Care and Education Field, draws a national landscape of all of the 50 states’ requirements for ECE staff. The report documents many notable practices which comprise a strong set of recommendations for states and the field as they work to improve and design strong, comprehensive pathway systems intended to meet the skill, employment, and advancement needs of low-income, low-skilled adults who are in or entering the ECE field. In addition, the report offers 14 recommendations illuminated with state examples.


Highlights of the Report Findings
•All 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC), and Puerto Rico have early learning standards and guidelines in place for at least some part of the birth through age five continuum.
•The Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) provides a common lens for comparing early learning programs within a state. Of the 50 states, including DC, and Puerto Rico, 98 percent have a QRIS in some stage of development.
•The vast majority of states have implemented registries of child care providers
•Nearly half of the states offer T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® programs, an initiative that provides assistance and support services to individuals in the ECE workforce who are completing coursework leading to credentials, degrees, and teacher licensure.
94 percent of states have ECE workforce core knowledge and competencies in place.
•39 percent of the 50 states exceed the minimum requirements of a high school diploma or equivalent credential and a specific infant/toddler credential or certificate for staff working with infants and toddlers in publiclyfunded programs.

A Snapshot of Five States

The report details the work of five states – California, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina, and West Virginia – to show how their existing credentialing systems could be used to support career pathways efforts. This involved a close look at target populations and their points of entry; systems and services offered; the review or development of competency models; the development of career ladders; and whether or not programs lead to industry recognized and/or post-secondary credentials. These states offer a variety of examples of infrastructure at varying stages of development, and much can be learned from their work.

The report includes appendices with extensive resources. A second report, to be released in summer 2016, will focus on issues of access to jobs and advancement in the ECE field.

You may also want to read this report from the Departments that shines a spotlight on the gap in pay for early education teachers—97 percent of whom are women—and the impact that inequity has on schools’ ability to attract and retain experienced, high-quality staff with higher levels of education.


Understanding Childhood Trauma



Childhood trauma occurs more than you think. More than two-thirds of children reported at least 1 traumatic event by age 16.  After a disaster or traumatic event, youth and adolescents may complain about physical aches or pains because they cannot identify what is really bothering them emotionally. When we better understand childhood trauma, impact and symptomology, we can better understand the language it speaks when expressed by children, in the classroom and in the home.

It is important that we recognize the many faces and voices influenced by traumatic childhood experiences and because trauma is defined by the person who experiences it, no single list can include all causes.

With that said, potentially traumatic events include:
•Psychological, physical, or sexual abuse
•Community or school violence
•Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence
•National disasters or terrorism
•Commercial sexual exploitation
•Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
•Refugee or war experiences
•Military family-related stressors (e.g., deployment, parental loss or injury)
•Physical or sexual assault
•Serious accidents or life-threatening illness

The national average of child abuse and neglect victims in 2013 was 679,000, or 9.1 victims per 1,000 children.

Each year, the number of youth requiring hospital treatment for physical assault-related injuries would fill every seat in 9 stadiums.

1 in 4 high school students was in at least 1 physical fight.

1 in 5 high school students was bullied at school; 1 in 6 experienced -.

19% of injured and 12% of physically ill youth have post-traumatic stress disorder.

More than half of U.S. families have been affected by some type of disaster (54%).

It’s important to recognize the signs of traumatic stress and its short and long-term impact.The signs of traumatic stress may be different in each child. Young children may react differently than older children.

Preschool Children
•Fear being separated from their parent/caregiver
•Cry or scream a lot
•Eat poorly or lose weight
•Have nightmares

Elementary School Children
•Become anxious or fearful
•Feel guilt or shame
•Have a hard time concentrating
•Have difficulty sleeping

Middle and High School Children
•Feel depressed or alone
•Develop eating disorders or self-harming behaviors
•Begin abusing alcohol or drugs
•Become involved in risky sexual behavior

The Body’s Alarm System

Everyone has an alarm system in their body that is designed to keep them safe from harm. When activated, this tool prepares the body to fight or run away. The alarm can be activated at any perceived sign of trouble and leave kids feeling scared, angry, irritable, or even withdrawn.

Healthy Steps Kids Can Take to Respond to the Alarm
•Recognize what activates the alarm and how their body reacts
•Decide whether there is real trouble and seek help from a trusted adult
•Practice deep breathing and other relaxation methods

Impact of Trauma

The impact of child traumatic stress can last well beyond childhood. In fact, research has shown that child trauma survivors may experience:
•Learning problems, including lower grades and more suspensions and expulsions
•Increased use of health and mental health services
•Increase involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems


Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers helps parents and teachers recognize common reactions young people of different age groups experience after experiencing trauma and offers tips for how to respond in a helpful way and when to seek support. Learn more about the guide.