Rita Platt

Get Anti-Racism Books Into Your Community – Education Article

A MiddleWeb Blog To begin this post, I want to thank the protesters who are out in the streets. I believe in the power of civil protest as a lever for catapulting systemic change. I believe those protesting George Floyd’s murder and the racism that allowed it to happen are changing hearts and minds and I am so grateful. Since the first days of the protest, the internet has been flooded with lists and suggestions for people to join the…

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Teach for Attention! A Tool Belt of Engagement Strategies – Education Article

Teach for Attention! A Tool Belt of Strategies for Engaging Students with Attention Challenges By Ezra Werb, M.Ed.(Free Spirit Publishing, 2019 – Learn more) Reviewed by Rita Platt Let’s start with two statistics shared in the book. 1. About 8.4% of kids in the United States have an ADHD diagnosis.2. About 30% of students with ADHD are failing classes and/or repeating grades. Undoubtedly some who read those statistics are reacting by decrying the over-diagnosis of ADHD, and there is likely some…

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Learning Sign Language Is Making Me a Better Teacher – Education Article

A MiddleWeb Blog Guess what? I’m learning to communicate with sign language! I started learning because I have a new student who is deaf and uses Signed Exact English as her main strategy for communication. I wanted to be sure that she had at least two people she could speak to directly, her interpreter and her principal (me). I attend classes for two hours a week, do formal practice and review with vocabulary at least fifteen minutes per day, and…

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Reflections on My First Year as the School Principal – Education Article

A MiddleWeb Blog The other day I was at a party to celebrate Dan, one of the teachers at my school. At one point, he called me over to introduce me to one of his relatives. He said, “This is Rita. She works with us.” Not, “this is my boss.” Not, “this is my principal.” This is Rita. She works with us. She. Works. With. Us. As I finish up my first year as a school principal, that is just…

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Teaching Students to Be Assertive When Other Kids Are Mean – Education Article

A MiddleWeb Blog Take a minute and think of the character traits you want to help your students develop. When I asked friends they offered a good assortment including kind, happy, helpful, hard-working, intelligent, friendly and more. A Google search pulled up the “six pillars” of character education (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, citizenship, and caring). But a trait I think of as among the most important was not found anywhere. That trait, as you probably surmised from the title of…

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Self-Care for Funny People – Education Article

A MiddleWeb Blog These days, if you’re a teacher, you’ve probably read something about “self-care.” There is a movement in edu-circles around the more than worthy notion that teachers need to be mindful of meeting their own needs. You know, the “put on your oxygen mask first” theory of supporting kids. It’s a good theory. Teachers work hard and often do so with little regard for their own needs. That’s not sustainable. If we want to serve our students, then…

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