Written by Erika Page, PledgeCents.com
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . ..” In these words, Dickens captures an extraordinary time period: the first day of school. The melancholy of leaving the all-too-short summer behind combines with the incomparable excitement of a new school year. Veteran teachers are comfortable in their accumulations: classrooms full of primary colors and comforts, file cabinets full of curricula and grants proposed and accepted. Many newer teachers are just as lucky, with colorful Ikea lamps, virtual fireplaces, and Google drives full of ideas and resources. In preparation for the first day of school, there is one thing almost all teachers have in common: we reach into our own pockets to cover gaps left by districts and cumbersome grant requirements.
As a teacher and Chicago resident, I am honored to share these tips for Chicago high school students and potential college candidates. These are the stories coming out of Chicago that we don’t hear enough. I hope you find these tips useful.
What does it take to be accepted into a college of your choice? Admissions officers factor in more than a strong GPA, and preparation can begin years before it’s time to apply. At Chicago Scholars Foundation, a unique college-access and mentorship program, students from under-resourced communities are some of the first in the nation to complete the college application process and gain admission to their schools of choice. Dominique Jordan Turner, President and CEO of the organization, encourages students to use their summers to their advantage.
Here are Jordan Turner’s six tips to becoming an ideal college candidate over summer breaks:
Volunteer your time: Whether it’s working at the local soup kitchen or participating in a walk to raise awareness, colleges are impressed by students who donate freely of their time to help others. Make time to give back this summer and not only will it enhance your college applications, but expand your horizons as well.
Find an internship: Medicine, fashion, technology – what’s the right path for you? Exploring interests through a summer internship will help in answering that question, all while providing you with real world experience to highlight in college applications. Additionally, an internship demonstrates ambition and eagerness to excel, characteristics that colleges desire in their candidates. (more…)
An Introverted Student is a Gift, Written by Robyn Shulman.
This is an update about Susan Cain’s new website and most moving initiative. For teachers and parents interested in this fascinating subject, please visit her new site: Quiet Revolution. There is no better time than now.
Is your child an introvert? If you are a teacher, can you define these personality characteristics in regard to your students? Did you know there are great personality differences between all of us? What are some common introvert characteristics you can share?
With the ever-growing focus on the social, emotional, and developmental needs of our students, there is no better time than now to highlight the gifts of our introverted students. There is a social stigma, a host of myths, and a superficial blanket of beliefs about introverts. It is time to uncover the myths, remove the superficial blanket, and embrace our social behavioral diversities.
By Dr. Oliver Hedgepeth, Program Director, Government Contracts and Acquisition at American Public University
Innovation surfaces after some invention comes to the marketplace. Teaching is about imparting knowledge and skills. The merger of innovation and teaching brings opportunities for great teachers to grow student success.
In the 1800s and 1900s the chalk board and the portable, personal slate tablet afforded a measure of innovation to students in the one-room school house. The yellow-painted No. 2 wooden pencil was another innovative idea used by teachers for student to be able to write stories for homework and take tests.
Written by Robyn Shulman, M.Ed.
I am privileged to share this interview about Max Weiss. He is a senior in high school with big plans to make the world a better place. He uses his voice through the written word, and he is the epitome of youth making a difference in the world. I hope you can join me as I watch where this young man goes, as he has already began to make his mark.
My Conversation with Max Weiss…
Who are you? Tell me about your background, schooling, college plans?
My name is Max Weiss and I am a senior in high school. I grew up as a middle class kid in the suburbs. I have been blessed with parents who support me in every way, but especially, emotionally. My favorite extracurricular activity in high school is Model UN (MUN). In MUN, we discuss current and sometimes past political topics and do our best to come up with innovative solutions to issues. Sometimes we write to political figures to share our ideas and hope that they can be implemented in reality.
I have had the opportunity to compete against students from all over the country at conferences including Brown and Northwestern. I have represented countries as big as the U.S. and as small as the Netherlands. I have also covered topics from helping Small Island states develop to the legality of the death penalty with drug crimes. I have won several awards for my ability to remain on policy despite my personal objections to what I am arguing. I have also been awarded for my public speaking skills and my ability to compose a position paper on my country’s stance on an issue.
I plan on continuing in Model UN in college. I am also involved in Student Congress. Along with classmates, we have introduced numerous bills to help reform our high school.
Since college is only a year away for me, I have been considering what I want to do in life. I plan on going into politics and/or the diplomatic corps; therefore, I am looking into schools with strong political science and/or international relations programs. I currently intern for an Illinois State Representative and want to find a school that offers superb internship possibilities.
Former CPS Social Worker Awarded 20k Grant to Launch Chicago’s First Boarding School to Serve Inner-City Youth
Have you met Valerie Groth? She is a very special person making a difference in Chicago. As a teacher and Chicago resident, this story and initiative resonates with me greatly. Chicago is an amazing place to live, but the violence in some parts of our city is simply unacceptable. We must do more to protect our most precious stakeholders-our children.
One in every five people murdered in Chicago is 18 or younger, and one child is murdered approximately every four days. A child in Chicago is shot every 17 hours – and in 2010 alone, almost 700 children were shot; 66 of which were killed. These devastating realities mirror the challenges school teachers in urban districts face when promoting long- term academic success within their classrooms. In an effort to permanently alter these statistics, Valerie (Val) Groth – a Chicago-based speaker, workshop facilitator, podcast host and former CPS social worker – has made it her mission to offer inner-city youth a safe, high-level education away from violent crime on the streets. Groth has dedicated her focus to opening the Ryan Banks Academy (RBA), Chicago’s very first public, college-preparatory boarding middle and high school. Though education is not a cure-all for society’s problems, it does have the power to be a transformative experience for the children, educators, and communities involved. The Ryan Banks Academy’s residential curriculum will give students the best opportunities for success in school, in their communities, and beyond.
By Matthew Loux, faculty member at American Military University
Growing up I always had a job, whether it was working on the farm or bagging groceries. My parents taught me the value of money and how to save it. Our family had very little money, but it was a great childhood.
In the current economic times, it is even more important to teach kids how to save and budget for college, marriage, and emergencies. This should start at an early age. With technological advancements it is even easier to teach children about money. Here are some strategies that have worked for our family.
Yesterday, I was given the pleasure to join a call about the current state of our higher education system and the status of America’s College Promise Act.
Here are some quotes and thoughts that caught my attention about America’s College Promise Act:
1. “All students deserve the opportunity to gain the skills they need to succeed without drowning in student debt.” – Senator Tammy Baldwin
2. Potentially, doors could open for nine-million students who do not have access to community college. America’s College Promise Act of 2015. @SenatorBaldwin & @RepBobbyScott stated this act could save students $3,800 in tuition per year.
3. “Higher education should be a path to shared prosperity, not a path into suffocating debt.” – Senator Tammy Baldwin
Who to follow for more information, updates, Twitter chats and Google hangouts: Senator Baldwin, Representative Bobby Scott and the following hashtags on Twitter: #AmericasCollegePromise, #FreeCommunityCollege.
America’s College Promise Act Proposal:
Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce H.R. 2962, America’s College Promise Act of 2015 (ACP). The legislation would make two years of community college free and provide an affordable pathway to a four-year college degree for low-income students.