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From the Desk of SoperWritings

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3 Marketing Skills Students Are Not Being Taught in School

I was really good at “doing school” when I was a kid. I knew all the ins and outs of the academic world and was able to breeze through most of my coursework. I enjoyed the process of learning new things and pushed myself to understand concepts as deeply as possible. Looking back, there is little surprise that I became a teacher.

Fast-forward to my early thirties when I found myself entering into the world of entrepreneurship as a writer. For all my successes in the academic sphere, nothing in that experience had prepared me for the world of business. In particular, when it came to a critical business skill like marketing, I quickly realized I didn’t even know what I didn’t know.

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The Implications of Grading Without Zeros

From the Teach.com blog –January 16, 2018 by Sheldon Soper

For most of us, grades were always a part of school. Work was assigned, it was completed, and we were given a score reflective of our efforts and understandings. At regular intervals, these scores were compiled and sent home on report cards to inform our parents or guardians of our progress.

Over time, grades have become a ritual of the educational process that most students, parents, teachers, and administrators have come to expect as a measuring stick of progress and achievement.

Recently, there has been growing support for removing grades from the educational landscape altogether. Instead of A’s and F’s or 100s and 0s, there have been pushes for more authentic evaluative criteria like standards-based proficiency or relying exclusively on descriptive feedback. It makes sense; successfully facilitating a growth mindset in students involves assessment styles tied to more intrinsically relevant experiences than arbitrary numerical scales.

Read more at the Teach.com blog: The Implications of Grading Without Zeros

The Power of Paper

From the outset of my teaching career, integrating technology into my lessons has remained a constant priority. Whether it was piloting SmartBoards in a district elementary school, using iPads to digitize workflows, or making the switch to Chromebooks, technology has been at the forefront of how I prepare and deliver content to students. Lately, however, I have seen value in a switch back to a more analog-focused learning environment.

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My Favorite Pieces of 2017

When I decided to start a career as a content writer, I never expected it to turn into such a rewarding experience so quickly. When I accepted my first gig at the end of September 2016 (creating lines of dialogue for an alarm clock app), I wasn’t totally convinced this writing thing was going to pan out. Still, I took what I could get.

I wrote a review of an LED toilet-bowl light, crafted a Kick Starter pitch for a linguistics app, and edited the CV and cover letter of a UN official.

In relatively short order, I was extremely lucky to stumble upon an ad seeking an educational content writer for the Knowledge Roundtable, a free tutoring marketplace based out of New England. I made my pitch to Jared, the site’s founder, and started a professional relationship that has been flourishing ever since.

From there, I have linked up with a number of amazing partners ranging from education sites like Teach.com and Clear Choice Prep to technology sites like Chromebook.net and a major software security firm. In this, my first year, I have worked for clients in over half-a-dozen countries and have even started my own site here to feature posts that are of especial importance to me (like this one!).

I’m eternally grateful to everyone who I have had the privilege to work with on this journey so far. Being able to write and share my insights has already made such a difference in my life both personally and professionally.

Thank you to those who have helped me navigate this unique path, those who have read and shared my work, those in my PLN who continue to challenge me to think and grow as an educator and writer, fellow writers who have been willing to exchange guest posts, and my loving editor-in-wife who makes sure my finished products are always ready for the world.

Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Favorite Pieces of the Year: Continue reading

The Constantly Evolving Role of the School Librarian

From: The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Blog – Guest Post on behalf of Teach.com – July 5, 2017 – by Sheldon Soper

The educational landscape is awash with initiatives to make learning more authentic and problem-based. For these differentiated approaches to work, students and teachers need networks of support to ensure that students can follow their own felt needs for learning. Who better to support that journey than the modern school librarian?

Forget Dewey decimal quizzes and overdue notices; today’s school librarians are the linchpins for modernizing the educational system. In the era of belt-tightening and budget cuts, school librarians are crucial pieces in the educational infrastructure that need to be both protected and cherished if our students are to receive the best education possible.

Read more at The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Blog The Constantly Evolving Role of the School Librarian

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