Home for the holidays? Don’t forget to network!

Sally Rushmore edits the New Teacher Advocate. She formerly taught secondary science and computer applications at a community college.

Kappa Delta Pi104Where will you be spending the holidays? Most college students go home or go visit friends or family for the holidays, and it’s a great time to enjoy lots of talk and catching up. If you are a senior, remember you will be looking for a job for next fall starting in about 3−4 months. Seeing people you don’t see every day is a great opportunity to network and let them know you are looking for a job. Did you know that more than 70% of teaching jobs are found through networking?

Not sure what to do or say? Here’s a quick guide:

  • Be sure to connect with as many people as you can over the vacation, either by phone or in person.
  • Always carry a method for taking notes—pen and paper, smart phone with a notes area, or whatever works for you to be able to find the information later.
  • Feel free to lead the conversation by asking where they are working or when they are graduating and what they plan to do.
  • Often people will ask you if you are student teaching or will be graduating in the spring. If they don’t, you need to bring it up. If they do, that’s a great time to let them know what you need from them:
    • Tell them that you will be student teaching, graduating, and looking for a teaching position.
    • Tell them what grade or subject area you will be qualified to teach.
    • Ask them if they know anyone who is a teacher or principal or works in a school system. Everyone knows someone who works in a school system!
    • Ask them to keep their eyes and ears open for any positions in whatever you want to teach.
    • Ask if they will tell everyone they know in a school system that you are looking.
    • Ask if you can send them a résumé they can print and share and get their email address.
    • Thank them and let them know you’ll keep in touch.
  • If you are talking to someone who teaches or works in a building or district you’d really like to teach in, be sure to ask that person to let you know as soon as she/he hears about any retirements or teachers not returning after a maternity leave. Ask questions about the atmosphere in the building, the demographics of the building, how the principal is to work for, and other things you will need to know.
  • Keep a list of everyone you talk with, where they work, and their email address (phone number is also helpful).
  • When you get your résumé ready, you will have a list of people to send it to!

And speaking of getting a résumé ready, you’ll need to learn what to put on that résumé and what to do after that. So don’t forget to ask for a book or two for the holidays. Kappa Delta Pi has some books you will need:

Meet KDP’s New Managing Editor!

Emily Zoss is the managing editor of The Educational Forum, published by Kappa Delta Pi.

EmilyKappa Delta Pi members know that a significant part of our mission is to connect educators with resources that foster excellence in the profession. The Educational Forum, our cornerstone scholarly journal, is one of those exceptional resources, and I’m proud to be a part of the team that brings it to you.

I’m the newest addition here at KDP’s offices in Indianapolis, having just started a few weeks ago as the managing editor of The Forum. I’ve worked in various publishing roles; most recently, I was the editor and publications manager at an art museum. Before that, though, I studied drama and spent several years working in technical theater—including as a middle and high school stagecraft elective teacher at an international school in Cairo, Egypt.

With that background, it’s probably no surprise that I’m especially excited about the latest issue of The Forum, which is all about the profound impact arts and aesthetic education can have on learning. In this issue, you’ll read about teachers exploring the integration of arts with language arts, history, and science, as well as the important lessons the arts teach that extend beyond curricular subjects. As Linda Nathan writes, “The arts provide avenues to both pose and solve problems creatively. Creativity counts. Judgment counts. And good judgment has to be taught.”

It’s a rich and thought-provoking collection of articles. Visit The Forum’s web page to see the full lineup and download several free selections from the issue, and let us know what you think.

KDP members can subscribe to The Forum at a steep discount: only $25 per year, or $45 for two years. Call KDP at 1-800-284-3167 for more details.

Teachers Have Power!

Nathan Bond is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas State University. He also serves as the faculty counselor of Eta Zeta Chapter. In August, Taylor and Francis Publishers and Kappa Delta Pi released his new book on teacher leadership.

Nathan Bond smMarilyn Katzenmeyer and Gayle Moller wrote a book in 2009 titled Awakening the Sleeping Giant. These scholars argued that teachers in the education profession resemble a sleeping giant. The authors’ wording conjures up the image of a huge snoring mythological beast that appears oblivious to the surrounding commotion. 

In some ways, teachers are like the giant. They possess untapped power, and they have remained relatively quiet throughout the clamor for school reform. The authors challenge teachers to mobilize as a group and act as teacher leaders who initiate positive change. Many teachers, especially those in the United States, are awakening from their deep slumber and are using their content and pedagogical expertise to make improvements in their schools.

Five years have passed since Katzenmeyer and Moller wrote their classic book and challenged teachers to use their gigantic power. In the new book The Power of Teacher Leaders: Their Roles, Influence and Impact (published by Taylor and Francis Publishers and Kappa Delta Pi), which I edited, scholars present various research-based ways that teachers are leading in their schools. What distinguishes this book from others is that the authors of the chapters focus on the impact that teacher leaders are having on student academic success and school communities.

How would you characterize the teachers in your school? Do they act like sleeping giants or awakened giants on the move? Are they passively letting events happen, or are they actively working with the administrators and their colleagues to bring about positive change? It’s time for teachers to realize the leadership power that they have as a group and use it for good in their schools.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it means to be a teacher leader, I’m presenting a webinar on the topic this coming Tuesday, Sept. 9. It’s free for members to register. Please join me!

Role of Parents in Student Success

Laura Stelsel is director of marketing and communications at Kappa Delta Pi.

Engaged ParentsDid you know that this past Sunday, July 27, was Parents’ Day in the US? President Bill Clinton started the national observance in 1994 to honor parents as positive role models and recognize the need to “promote responsible parenting in our society.”

Parents certainly play a huge role in the success of their children, so make sure you get your school year off to a great start with them! If you need help or guidance working with parents, we have MANY free resources in the Resources Catalog, including:

Simply head to the Resources Catalog and search using the term “parent.” Make sure you are logged in to access all of these resources for free!

Now, we want to hear from you about your experience. Tell us:

  • How have involved parents positively impacted your students?
  • What ways have you found to engage parents who need to be engaged?
  • How do you thank parents for being a part of student success?

It’s the first day of summer!

Sally Rushmore edits the New Teacher Advocate. She formerly taught secondary science and computer applications at a community college.

Summer cupcakesIt’s the first day of summer and what do you do?
Ride your bike to the farmer’s market,  
Fresh vegetables and fruit to get.
Then put on your suit and jump in the pool – yahoo!

It’s the first day of summer and what do you do?
Plant a fruit tree and water a flower,
Take a hike or use the lawn mower.
Don’t forget the sunscreen and a fun hat – whoo-hoo!

 It’s the first day of summer, so a party you’ll throw.
Check Pinterest for ideas you’ll love.
Have celebrations a cut above –  
The most fun food and games you’ll always know! You go!

 It’s the first day of summer, but the summer goes fast,
So create a plan to implement
Some professional development
Or at the end of summer you’ll be saying, “Alas!”

 It’s summer and you don’t want to spend all your day
Slaving at lesson plans, common core,
Or backwards design ʼtil your brain is sore.
Use your KDP membership so you don’t pay. 

It’s summer and everyone’s on the go –
Now you can get PD on an app
Listen to a webcast and you’ll clap
Because KDP has what you need to know. Whoa!

Since it’s summer and the days are so nice, you can
Download articles and webcasts,
Learn new strategies, get tips or facts.
The Resources Catalog will gain you as a fan! 

Yes, as my silly poem tells you, the summer goes fast and then you’ll be moaning, “But I was going to work on flipping my class for one unit this fall and I never even learned what it is, let alone how to do it!” If flipped learning is on your list, you can view the first webinar in the Resources Catalog under the Curriculum Ideas category. The second one (Flipping the ELA classroom) will be June 24 and the third on (Flipping the Elementary Classroom) will be July 8. Sign up for one of these or view them later in the Resources Catalog. (Allow 75 minutes to watch a webinar or webcast all the way through.)

Do all the crises in schools—tornadoes, shootings, students dying accidents—make you wonder what you can do? Go to the Students in Crisis category in the Resources Catalog and view the webcast “Disaster Primer for Educators” to see what you can do to be better prepared and “Supporting the Grieving Student” to help students cope with grief afterwards. These are also great to use with your Professional Learning Community or grade level teachers this fall. Follow up by reading “Responding to Grief in Students” and “Bibliotherapy: Helping Children Cope with Life’s Challenges.” Anti-bullying resources can be found in this same category—and watch for our new webinar on bullying in October.

Learn new ways to do Differentiated Instruction or get up to speed on Common Core. There are some terrific webcasts in the Common Core category, including “Using Data to Inform Instruction.” Articles vary in length and you can print them to take with you while sunbathing or waiting on children.

Are you a newer teacher seeking to add to your repertoire of strategies? Bravo! And you’re in luck. Check out the categories of Curriculum Ideas or New Teachers or Classroom Management.

And one more thing!

It’s the first day of summer and what do you know?
You feel rested and ready to go
But come school time your energy flow
Will feel like a balloon losing its air. Oh, no!

So this summer, while you have the time to do it
Learn about stress and health and pacing
In Wellness, so then you’ll be facing
A year of health and energy—you can do it!

These leaders are making a difference. How will you?

Dr. Elizabeth Wilkins is KDP president-elect and professor at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Elizabeth Wilkins

On behalf of Kappa Delta Pi, I would like to welcome our new 2014-2016 Executive Council:

  • Dr. Peggy Moch, President-Elect
  • Dr. Susannah Brown, Vice-President
  • Dr. Denisha Jones, Vice-President
  • Dr. Vicky Tusken, Professional Representative
  • Dr. Erin Brumbaugh, Member-at-Large
  • Ryan Stivers, Student Representative
  • Dr. Carl Grant, Laureate Representative

Thank you for taking the time to vote for and elect this talented group of individuals who will move KDP forward during the next two years. Using their gifted leadership abilities, creative thinking, and listening skills, they will identify new ways Kadelpians can make a difference in the lives of those around us. I look forward to working with the Council knowing they are proven “difference makers.” Each of us, not just the Council, has the ability to make a difference as professional educators, students, parents, administrators, policy makers, etc.  We, as an organization, are making a difference through:

So, how will you make a difference over the next biennium? By staying actively involved, how will you benefit from KDP’s ongoing professional development to be a difference maker in the lives of others? Please share an example of how you are currently making a difference and/or an idea for the Executive Council to consider as they plan for the future!

What Did We Learn?

Faye Snodgress is executive director of Kappa Delta Pi.

In February, Kappa Delta Pi engaged a research firm to conduct a needs assessment of our membership. We deeply value the members who generously participated in the survey and provided their feedback.

So what did we learn?

We were pleased to learn that 83% of members would speak positively about the Society. Members gave high marks to the quality of our professional development webinars and journals, such as the KDP Record and The Educational Forum.

Also, 92% of our members ranked participation in Convocation as positive and unique professional development experience.

Equally important were findings that indicated areas of improvement, which include the importance of providing a consistent and robust chapter experience, identifying additional ways to better inform members of the resources available to them, and enhancing KDP’s support of members who are transitioning into the classroom  and through  their first five years of teaching.

What’s next? The research findings were shared with the KDP Executive Council during its March meeting, and it provided the basis for the development of the Society’s 2014-2016 strategic plan. We are busy developing strategies that will allow us to build on our strengths and to address areas needing improvement. We will report our progress every six months in KDP News starting in December 2014.

The KDP staff  and  volunteer leaders look forward to making  KDP an even stronger organization. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me at faye[at]kdp.org.