Share Your #WhyITeach

Teacher Appreciation Week is quickly approaching—what a great time to share with the world why you’re proud to be a teacher!

KDP is looking to feature stories, photos, videos, and more, from teachers like you; we love a Celebration of Teaching!

We want to see and hear about your classroom experiences, mentors, lives you’ve touched, and what keeps you inspired in your work.

So, we’ve launched a contest that runs through Tuesday, April 30, with winners announced by early May.

1 Grand Prize Winner Will Be Chosen

  • $1,000 check
  • Story featured in the New Teacher Advocate
  • Free Convo registration
  • Story featured on blog and in email during National Teacher Week (5/6-5/10)

4 Runner-Up Prize Winners Will Be Chosen

  • $250 check
  • Story featured on blog during National Teacher Week (5/6-5/10)

In order to be entered into the contest:

  1. Post your story on the Educator Learning Network using the hashtag #WhyITeach; and
  2. Share your story on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram with the hashtag #WhyITeach and tag @KappaDeltaPi.

What is the Educator Learning Network?

We’re glad you asked! The ELN is our new online learning environment and social community. Learn more at, and post your story by clicking on “Take Me to the KDP Network” (the second blue button). You’ll be asked to log into your member account—or, if you’re not a member yet, you can create a free account!

How will winners be chosen?

While we anticipate wanting to re-tell each and every story, we are limited to just 5 that we select. Ultimately, we are looking for heart-warming, inspirational, and encouraging stories about the teaching profession.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Beaman, Director of Advancement & Communications, by emailing or by calling 800-284-3167.

Top 5 Reasons to Update Your KDP Profile Preferences

So many great resources are available to KDP members that it might be a little overwhelming.

However, we now offer a way for you to tell KDP what you want! Your MyKDP profile allows you to indicate and change your interest areas and your expertise, and specify what you want from your membership experience. Here are the top five reasons why updating your preferences will help you.

5) Tailor communications for you. By indicating your interests, we are sure to alert you to new resources, issues, and events that fit what you want to know about.

4) Connect with other members who have similar interests. These interests will help unite you with those who have similar issues, questions, or concerns around the topic. This way, you can communicate and learn from one another.

3) Reduce irrelevant emails. Get messages which provide content that addresses the topics most important to you.

2) Help KDP create resources for your needs. By learning what your interests are, KDP can focus our efforts on resources, benefits, and services that you need to succeed.

1) Ensure you are getting the most from your membership. We want you to succeed, and the best way to help is by providing you with relevant resources for your needs—no matter where you are in your career. To do this, we need your feedback on how we can best support you.

Log in to MyKDP and click on My Education and Interests and My Expectations from Membership to edit your information. Select your choices and save. It’s that easy!

Thanks for being a member of Kappa Delta Pi!

International Day of Education

As educators, we understand the value and power of education. We witness it each day—when our students have an “aha” moment, when they grin with pride after successfully completing a new task, when they graduate ready to pursue their dreams.

The role of education in changing lives and communities is now more important than ever.

A year ago, the United Nations ratified the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including Quality Education as goal number 4. The 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report determined that it is only through achieving quality education for all that the other 16 SDGs will be achieved.

In other words, the path to a just, peaceful, thriving planet is dependent on providing a quality education for everyone.

Unfortunately, millions of people around the globe do not have access to a quality education. As we remain steadfastly committed to Kappa Delta Pi’s goal of equity and a quality education for all, we work to serve members around the globe through campaigns like Change for Children, Books for Nigeria, and most recently, Backpacks of Hope.

We also support educators with quality resources and training though professional development courses on our new Educator Learning Network.

The power and impact of our community of committed educators continues to make a difference in the lives of students every day. In October, we will come together to recognize our role and grow as professionals at our international Convocation, focusing on the Power of You, the educator. For any educator who is interested in joining us, proposals are now being accepted on our website at

As an NGO of the United Nations for 9 years, we invite you to join us in celebrating International Day of Education on January 24.

Because you are leaders of teaching and learning, this day celebrates you! On this day and every day, we need to remember that as education professionals, the people and creatures of the world are relying on us to make the world a better place. There is no other profession that has this role, privilege, and responsibility.

I leave you with a challenge. Share with the world your philosophy of education using the Showcase section of your FREE e-portfolio through our Educator Learning Network. Upload your philosophy to your e-portfolio and use the hashtag #EdPhilosophyChallenge on social media to share your philosophy with the world and others who are passionate about education. By doing so, you’re helping to raise awareness of the importance of education in our global society. (To create your e-portfolio, log into your KDP member profile and click on ‘My ePortfolio’ under the ‘My Account’ menu.)

Thank you for ALL that you do to make the world a better place through your chosen profession.

Faye Snodgress is the Executive Director of KDP.

Statement on Migrant Children

Children, our most valuable resource, make up one third of the world’s population. Yet, in many places around the globe, children are not being allowed to realize their full potential.

Migrants and refugees are among the most vulnerable, often denied access to an education and the hope of a better future. Of particular concern are the migrant children at the U.S.–Mexican border. The number of those children detained in the United States has skyrocketed from 2,400 in May 2017 to 12,800 in September 2018.

As an organization whose mission is quality learning for all, Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) strongly urges federal and state authorities to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality education and appropriate educational services that address their special needs.

They deserve access to educators who can assist with their cultural adjustment and literacy development, and who can provide socio-emotional support. Educators working with these children need to be well-trained and to have support in managing multilingual, multicultural classes that often include students with psychosocial needs. The experience of refugee children often includes trauma, sometimes lasting for months or even years. According to Jack Shonkoff, Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, “High levels of stress can disrupt the architecture of the developing brain and other biological systems, with serious negative impacts on learning, behavior, and lifelong physical and mental health.”

Serving migrant children is different from working with other “newcomers.” Educators need to understand the economic and educational conditions in the countries from which students are arriving; some students have attended school, while others have never had any formal education. U.S. federal regulations stipulate that the curriculum needs to promote diversity, reflect cultural sensitivities, and challenge prejudices. Unfortunately, some textbooks include highly politicized and discriminatory views.

In many locations, the education being provided in refugee settings is plagued by untrained teachers, few resources, and language barriers.

In 2018, the Associated Press polled 61 public school districts to find out what educational services are being provided to students in migrant shelters. Of the 50 districts that responded, most said that they had no contact with either the shelter or the Department of Health and Human Services, which is ultimately responsible for providing education services to migrant children.

Achieving a world that is equitable and free of violence starts with a quality education for all children.

Education is the path to a better future, access to which is the right of all children, including migrants. Children are our collective future. KDP will steadfastly work to ensure that its mission of a quality education becomes a reality for all children.

As an initial step, KDP—in partnership with the Kino Border Initiative, the La Posada Providencia School, and the San Antonio Veterans Institute—has launched a Backpacks of Hope campaign to provide the children housed in Nogales, AZ, and La Posada Providencia in San Benito, TX, with backpacks containing coloring books, crayons, and toiletries. KDP wants to provide these children, after arriving with only the clothes on their backs, with a sense of hope. 100% of all funds raised until January 31st goes directly to children, with gifts as low as $7 making a huge difference.

Please consider a gift today.

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
— John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Publication CoverInformation about the educational issues facing migrant children and their teachers is available in the January 2019 issue of the Kappa Delta Pi Record. Through January 31st, access one of its articles, “The Binational Context of the Students We Share: What Educators on Both Sides of the Border Need to Know,” for free by clicking here.

The Results Are In! (Executive Summary from Fall 2018 KDP Membership Survey)

In KDP’s continuing efforts to provide the most relevant services and experiences for members, we conduct an annual survey to encourage feedback. Following are some of the key results and recommendations from the survey.

The 2018 survey was split into four primary member groups—undergraduates, graduate (both master’s and doctoral) students, practitioners, and faculty members—and conducted between October 1 and November 9, with 3,765 participants.

Although specialized surveys were provided for these groups, some consistent themes appeared across all segments. These primarily included collaboration with colleagues and mentoring as well as the desire for online learning capacity.


Of the more than 12,000 KDP members in this category, 1,823 responded—or about 15% of this membership segment. This category of membership can include anyone who is enrolled in an undergraduate program, regardless of format or degree type.

The most beneficial way that KDP could assist undergraduates—as identified by 73% of respondents—is by providing practical, easy-to implement strategies and ideas in a handbook.

Mentors and colleague collaboration were chosen as the most preferable ways to get additional training. Online learning was identified as a close third.

Of those who responded, 90% would or might participate in a virtual career fair.

Almost 65% were interested in gaining additional credentials via online methods, but almost 30% said they were unfamiliar with this idea/product.

Slightly more than 71% either do not have or are unfamiliar with an e-portfolio.

New tools like the Educator Learning Network that KDP launched in November 2018 can provide significant benefits and be valuable to this segment as it moves into the workforce. Additionally, continuing to create a more robust environment for mentor/mentee relationships will be appreciated and will set them up for greater success in the classroom.

Graduate Students

We had 413 respondents to this survey, or roughly 19% of this member group. This group is comprised of individuals in graduate or doctoral programs. More than half the respondents were in a master’s program.

Mentoring and colleague collaboration ranked as the two most important needs, while getting additional training with online learning ran a close third.

Practical, easy-to implement strategies and ideas provided in a handbook was the top choice for how KDP could assist graduate students (66%), while more than 61% selected online professional development.

Almost 74% were interested in gaining additional credentials via online methods. However, more than 75% either do not have or are unfamiliar with an e-portfolio.

From the open-ended responses, mentoring and community networking were identified as the greatest things KDP could do for this segment. Providing resources also was referenced as desirable. Additionally, the need for collaboration and guidance was significant; therefore, building an appropriate environment to support this networking will be critical to serving this group.


For this survey group, more than 1,170 people replied, or about 7% of this membership segment, which is comprised of teachers in any position from Pre-K through secondary grades.

Only about 66% of respondents said they were currently teaching, with 82% of them working in the PreK–12 area.

Respondents identified work/life balance, time management, and classroom management as key issues for those entering the classroom.

Respondents felt having mentors and colleague collaboration are the best ways for newer teachers to get help in areas for which they were not prepared.

Receiving practical, easy-to implement strategies and ideas provided in a handbook was the top choice for how KDP could assist practitioners (64%), while online professional development was most important for more than 58%.

Again, a surprising number—75%—either do not have or are unfamiliar with an e-portfolio.

Mentor and colleague collaboration were listed as the strongest ways KDP could assist this group, with training with online learning a close third. Help is also needed for accessing additional training, information, and/or resources.

This group requested more resources for classroom success. This included specialized resources such as for math, physical education, and music, but also more support from quick-to-read tips, advice, and materials. Getting personal support from colleagues in the field was huge! Creating a more robust support network is critical to their retention in the profession as well as in KDP.

Higher Education Faculty

For this survey, 357 people responded, or about 20% of our membership base in this category. These are members who self-identify as a professor, dean, or higher ed administrator.

Of those who responded, 65% feel online training and micro-credentials would help their students be better prepared for the classroom. This was followed closely by local opportunities and leadership training.

Almost 68% said KDP should develop complimentary online courses to help students.

Additionally, more than 82% felt KDP should develop online classes or mini-courses that faculty could use for blended learning.

More than 115 respondents requested more opportunities to get published or present work. This was more than double of any other support area requested from KDP for higher education faculty.

Mentoring for their students was identified as the second most important way KDP could help graduates, with 45 such requests in the open-ended question.

Strong support exists for additional professional development or learning opportunities that would enhance their students’ degree work. Issues such as classroom management, assessment, differentiated instruction, and technology were identified as top issues for additional training and support for their students. Additional professional development ELN courses and webinars would be helpful.

For faculty members, KDP needs to continue to provide as many opportunities for publishing and presenting as possible. This could include developing new vehicles for publishing or presenting.

General Recommendations

Community development would be a tremendous asset to many who have left the college environment. People want colleague collaboration and support. This can exhibit itself in multiple ways to best support educators across the professional spectrum. Communities need to be developed both online and in person. They can be founded on broad-based topics as well as niche/specialty areas. A need exists within geographical communities for support and understanding of state and regional nuances and policies. Mentoring is a critical piece of community support.

Professional development and training remain important needs for all groups. With the Educator Learning Network, we can address several major concerns identified in this survey. ELN can provide the infrastructure for community development, job preparation, and professional development.

For questions about the survey or results, please contact Christopher Whited, Director of Membership & Chapter Services, at or by calling 800-284-3167.


Convo 2018 Click Game Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our $750 Convo 2019 Stipend Winner, Emily Janssen! and to the (10) winners of $20 off an order from the KDP Store:

Kaylee Davis, Ashley Meenen, Emily Fishbeck, Anna Wetherell, Bailey Riley, Leana Malinowsky, Nicolette Broda, Caroline Baron, Lynn Nagle, and Tina Manus.

Keep an eye out for next year’s challenges and prizes at #KDPconvo19, October 24–26, 2019 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Norfolk, VA! See you there!

Thanks for playing!


But It’s Only a Theory! A Case for Great Science Teaching in Elementary School

Today’s blogger is Lauren Madden, an Associate Professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at The College of New Jersey, whose recently published article Teaching Science Is a Sacred Art” appears in the special issue of The Educational Forum on educator activism in politically polarized times. In that article, she argues for enhancing elementary science and offers tools to help teachers in this process.

So often, when the public or political sphere engages in debate about scientific ideas, “it’s only a theory!” becomes a popular refrain from those denying the existence of evolution, the pattern of climate change, or the efficacy of vaccines.

Once the term theory is mentioned, somehow an enormous body of visual, mathematical, and practical evidence gets equated to a guess as to which Kardashian sibling might be pregnant.

As a result, the public begins to question the expertise of actual scientific experts, and science becomes politicized.

Well, so what is a theory? In science, a theory “is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that has been substantiated through repeated experiments or testing” (Ghose, 2013). Some theories that are not [yet] controversial include cell theory, or the idea that all living things are made of cells, and the theory of heliocentrism, the idea that the earth revolves around the sun. These are not simply guesses—they are critical ideas that explain the way in which our world works. Knowing what theories are, along with other aspects of the nature of science, is essential for unpacking political debates about science and necessary for building a scientifically literate citizenry. And this process must start with the youngest students at the elementary years.

Then where do we start? In a recent essay in a special issue of The Education Forum dedicated to educational activism, I outlined a broader argument for enhancing elementary science teaching and offered tools to aid teachers in this process (Madden, 2018). One such tool is Lederman’s (2014) guest editorial in Science and Children, which provides straightforward suggestions for elementary teachers to help their students better understand what science is (and isn’t).

Teachers do not need to be experts on everything, but they do need to know what makes science science and how to help students learn to be good consumers of scientific information.

For teachers looking for tools specific to science topics that have become controversial, KDP offers some excellent ideas. For example, the UNESCO guidelines for teaching about climate change can be found at KDP’s climate education resource center.

Teachers are sometimes seen as change agents, but at a simpler level than that, teachers are knowledge agents. Elementary teachers hold the key to helping future generations understand the scientific process and navigate a highly politicized world. And perhaps in the future, we can look forward to eye rolls at the misuse of terms like “theory.”

What strategies do you use to help students unpack politicized nonscientific information?

Leave your ideas in the comments, and let’s work together to build a scientifically knowledgeable populace.

KDP is proud to partner with Routledge to share an essay from the special issue of The Educational Forum with the education community. Access the article at Taylor and Francis Online, free through September 30, 2018.



Ghouse, T. (2013). “Just a theory”: 7 misused science words. Scientific American. Retrieved from

Lederman, N. (2014). Nature of science and its fundamental importance to the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards. Science and Children, 52(1), 8–10. doi:10.2505/4/sc14_052_01_8

Madden, L. (2018) Teaching science is a sacred act. The Educational Forum, 82(3), 303–308, doi:10.1080/00131725.2018.1458360