Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

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Teacher-Parent Relationships

A teacher looking at a globe with students

A farm kid from Wisconsin, for the past two decades Diana Laufenberg has taught seventh-12th grade Social Studies in several states, most recently at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, an inquiry-driven, project-based high school focused on modern learning. It’s here where I first met Laufenberg, at the yearly conference Educon, where she was swarmed… Read More

The Emotions of Learning: Q&A with Marc Brackett, PhD

By Jennifer Gunn February 6, 2019

Social-emotional and trauma-informed learning and teaching are at the forefront of education research and study today. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of the children in the U.S. have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” Therefore, ignoring emotions in the classroom can absolutely pose… Read More

Educators and policymakers often struggle with the widespread problem of chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism has been attributed to long-term detrimental effects within the student population, including reduced levels of scholastic readiness and lower graduation rates. James Brookins, EdD, earned his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland and chose to analyze this issue in his dissertation,… Read More

Exploring Tinkergarten’s Learning Model

By Jennifer Gunn December 10, 2018

The outdoor education movement gets children outside to experience hands-on learning in nature. Some organizations are taking this approach to the next level. One innovative example is Tinkergarten, which offers outdoor classes and activities that incorporate play-based learning. Available to children and families in 47 states, Tinkergarten’s activities are designed to “help kids develop a host of important capabilities, including empathy,… Read More

In order for students to be successful in school, they first have to be in school. Seems logical, right? But for millions of students in the U.S., attendance is a barrier to success with lifelong consequences. Here’s a look at how chronic absenteeism impacts learning, and how schools can begin to turn the tide. Measuring… Read More

There is a unique interplay between English and Spanish fluency, but how does the heritage language impact second-generation Hispanic students? Camille Schuler, EdD, explored this topic in her dissertation and took it even further, examining how the heritage language influences the way in which second-generation Hispanic adolescents integrate into their community and how they see… Read More

15 Tips for Leading Productive Parent-Teacher Conferences

By Jennifer Gunn October 2, 2018

As teachers, we have to work hard to prepare for parent-teacher conferences. In a matter of minutes, we have to find a way to genuinely connect with parents, discuss their student’s academic progress, and how they can improve. It’s also important to explain current curriculum goals and our teaching strategies in hopes that they support… Read More

Trauma-Informed Strategies to Use in Your Classroom

By The Room 241 Team September 4, 2018

To help students deal with stressful situations at home, many schools are using innovative trauma-informed strategies. Here are some of the most effective tools for teachers. Look beyond the behavior Research has shown that traumatic experiences alter the brain and can affect children socially, emotionally, behaviorally, and academically. It’s a quadruple whammy. Toxic levels of… Read More

Addressing Power Struggles in Classrooms and Staff Rooms

By Nicole Mace, MEd August 27, 2018

Teachers are leaders in the classroom, collaborators in the staff room, and influencers during faculty meetings. In our unique profession, walking through the school can change our roles instantly. Working with our students, colleagues, and administrators involves multiple personalities and personal objectives. Often, these differences can lead to conflicts and power struggles. Instead of fearing… Read More

Picture it: Hoards of parents line the hallway, waiting for their five precious minutes with you, their child’s teacher. Inside the classrooms, you go over grades and discuss how their child is doing as quickly as you can, and are disappointed by the no-shows. On Back-to-School Night, you try to make connections but time flies… Read More

As educators, we know all too well the challenges our students bring into the classroom every day. Homelessness, poverty, health issues, bullying, child abuse, and neglect — these are just some of the issues that many students and educators must face on a daily basis. A plethora of research exists showing the link between these… Read More

Some schools have such a positive school culture that you can see and feel it as soon as you enter the building. It’s evident on the walls, in the students and staff, and in every classroom you visit. How can school leaders foster such a rich and positive school climate? It starts by first understanding… Read More

School Leaders: Tips for Improving Communication

By Jennifer Gunn June 12, 2018

Like any other business or organization, good communication is key to a school’s success. With so many involved in a school’s community — staff, leaders, parents, students — and a busier-than-ever world, getting creative with communication is not only good practice, but imperative. Here are some use-right-now ideas for school communication that works. Enhance your… Read More

Hunger Pains: Teaching Hungry Students

By Jennifer Gunn May 29, 2018

Cranky. Tired. Lethargic. Moody. Sick. Failing. These are just a few things that happen when students are hungry. Schools — and especially classroom teachers — can play a vital role in helping kids stay healthy and learn. Here’s a look at how. The problem of hunger In our nation’s suburbs, urban areas, and rural towns,… Read More

Powerful Resources for Teaching Through Trauma or Tragedy

By The Room 241 Team May 23, 2018

School shootings. Tornadoes. Floods. Neighborhood violence. Abuse. It’s estimated that 26% of our nation’s children will witness or experience a traumatic event before they turn four (1). When students face trauma and tragedy, educators need practical resources to facilitate difficult discussions and support their learning communities. Here are some powerful resources for teaching and counseling… Read More