Best Practices


October 2020

Rigorous teacher preparation programs prepare educators to assume teaching and leadership roles in P-12 schools, nationwide. So, in the United States, what actually does signal a quality teacher? Is it school location? Is it educational levels? Is it test scores? The answer is: preparation! Teacher preparation is a continuum, it begins with a quality program of preparation and continues as teachers seek higher levels of preparation and attainment. Dr. Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell authors this month's issue of LSU School of Education's Best Practices.

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September 2020

As we begin the fall semester, incoming students are beginning their journey at higher education institutions all over the United States. Simultaneously, college admissions offices and high school seniors are already thinking about next fall, as a new cycle of the college admissions process begins. The process of enrolling in college involves many steps, many of which begin well before entering college.

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August 2020

After about six months of wearing pajamas all day, children interrupting Zoom meetings, and simply wondering what teaching jobs will be like when we return, as we prepare for the fall, we all know we are about to embark on the journey that is the "new normal" in schools. Whether your school is fully operational, using a hybrid model, or virtual, this year is most likely a major change for many of us. We are creatures of habit, and change can be scary at times. We all need to take a deep breath and embrace the challenge for our students and our school communities. This is also an opportunity to become better educators. Personally, I am no tech wizard. I learned more in the last six months than I could have imagined. The pandemic has definitely caused me to reevaluate some of my teaching practices, and I have become a better teacher through this sometimes-painful process. As an experienced PE teacher, I frame this this article through the lens of physical education, but many of concepts discussed can be applied to any educational domain. I must promote this content area that is very near and dear to my heart. Physical education is awesome!

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July 2020

We all experienced a variety of strange, shocking, and sometimes traumatic changes in the past few months. After months of shutdown, as the world begins to open up again, you may be surprised by the reactions of friends, co-workers, family members. You may be surprised by your own responses to the world as you reenter. Our daily routines have been disrupted and it's hard to know how to adapt. So if we are struggling with all of the changes and confusion, imagine what it must be like for young children. They are now living in a world full of masks and curbs, stickers on the floor, and hand sanitizer at the door. There are new musts and new nevers. In this world, children live and these changes can be alarming and challenging. Teachers, parents, doctors, and counselors are all concerned about children's experiences during the recent pandemic and the impact this experience will have on their development and learning in the future.

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June 2020

On March 7, 2020, the LSU School of Education held its second annual World Language Teaching Practices and Techniques. This conference brought together 96 World Language, ESL, and Immersion teachers from across the state to learn new techniques to support our students on the path of language acquisition. The excitement of so many dedicated teachers ready to learn and gain insight into new ways to enrich their students' classroom language experiences was a joy to see. The nation has begun to recognize the importance of knowing more than one language, and we must equip our students need with multiple language skills to be successful in a global society.

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May 2020

May's Best Practices is authored by Leslie Blanchard, executive director of the LSU Leadership Development Institute. "When I was first asked to be a guest author for the May 2020 issue of Best Practices, I thought "YESSS!" That should be an easy gig, right? Schools will be wrapping up, all of the alternative universe pandemic chaos should be winding down, and educators will be ready for a hearty helping of humor and humanism mixed with some tips to de-stress during their summer break. We've just been through a real crisis, and we survived it as best we could and we are ready to move forward with some self-awareness and improvement. This'll be AMAZING! But then I remembered exactly what the Leadership Development Institute has made its core mission: to work with educators to strengthen their dispositions so that we can prevent or reduce the indicators of burnout and turnover. And I paused for a second. And I realized how hard this was going to be."

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April 2020

LSU School of Education's Dr. Eberts, in collaboration with school counselors from University Laboratory School, shares resources for schools, teachers, adminstrators, and parents as we navigate coronavirus. When we received word on March 13th that LSU and Louisiana schools would be closing for several weeks, I do not think any of us knew what to expect. You may have had a period of intense stress while you and your family figured out how to manage our new reality. Here we are six weeks later, still trying to figure out what to do. It turns out that the sprint to move classes online and adjust to a new way of living has progressed into a marathon, and some of us may be feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, while others may be settling into our new routine and regaining some of the energy that we felt was lost when we first started social distancing.

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Idea for future topic


October 2020
teacher leaders, quality, national board certified teachers, education policy, workforce, teacher shortage

September 2020
college access, helping students go to college, college opportunities, preparatory programs, college financing, #WhyApplyDay, resources for college access

August 2020
teaching, physical education, values, motivation, innovation, teaching virtually, teaching with social distancing

July 2020
play, COVID-19, school reentry, parents and teacher resources, listening, supporting a child's sense of wonder

June 2020
world language conference, remote teaching and learning, world languages, innovative teaching techniques and practices, online learning environments

May 2020
dispositions, engagement, reflection, teacher burnout, preventing burnout, COVID19, professional development

April 2020
COVID19, coronavirus, trauma-sensitive schools, school re-entry plans, grief, coping strategies, mindfulness

March 2020
research, principal, superintendent, hiring, autonomy, accountability, mental health, rural

February 2020
career development, play, extracurricular activities, soft skills, academic choices, work-based learning, volunteering, post-secondary choices, career book list

January 2020
education profession, accreditation, growth, continuous improvement, quality, teacher preparation programs

December 2019
why higher education, social, cultural and economic prosperity, higher education

November 2019
homeless youth, national homeless youth awareness month, homelessness and schools, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, classroom library, relationships with parents, gaps in academic preparation

October 2019
bullying prevention, national bullying prevention month, bully resources, types of bullying, teacher preparation

September 2019
transforming education, BESE, best practices, critical issues in education

July 2019
education law, First Amendment, free speech, censorship, speech codes, higher education, postsecondary education

June 2019
online learning, experiential learning, mixed reality, technology leadership in education

May 2019
arts integration, research-driven, standards-based, student teachers, adapting arts requirement for college courses, cognitive and noncognitive skills, educator preparation

April 2019
poetry, spoken word poetry, ELA educators, making poetry accessible, verse novel, poetry podcasts, poetry resources

March 2019
globally engaged, empathy, study abroad, communication, 360-degree processing,
service-learning, internationalization, pre-service teachers, Chile, culturally adept

February 2019
Black men and boys, African American educational success, relationships with students, building community

January 2019
counseling, depression, anxiety, teenage girls, resilience, body image, social media

December 2018
curiosity, love of learning, early childhood, choice, creativity, Reggio Emilia philosophy, long-term projects, documentation

Introduction to Best Practices
Our intent is to share concepts, issues, and research supported in the literature in an accessible and meaningful way. We work best with you. If you have an idea for a future topic, please click the button at the top of this column to submit.