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5 Things You Should Know

1. Be a caring adult.

One caring adult who steps up to stop bullying on their campus can make a huge difference, research shows. Be that caring adult! “NEA's Bully Free: It Starts with Me,” is NEA’s campaign against bullying—and you can join it by taking the pledge .   In doing so, you agree to identify yourself as a caring adult who will listen and act on the behalf of bullied students.

2. Tie a blue ribbon.

Nearly 70 million school-aged children around the world can’t read or write, and will never realize their potential because of their lack of schooling. You and your students can show your support by participating in the 2011 Lesson for All during Global Action week, May 2-8. Ask your students to make and wear blue ribbons and consider why education might be important to all. For more information, go to

3. No excuses!

“A poor economy is no reason to back down during living wage negotiations,” say education support professionals, in Oregon and Washington. In Junction City, Oregon, where district officials were hoping to win rollbacks in salary, ESPs held firm. “We know that whatever we give up now, we won’t get back,” said Jill Schmitt, an instructional assistant. And, even if salaries aren’t budging, well-organized locals are still winning better health benefits and more working hours for their members. Remember: Without unions there wouldn’t be a middle class in America.

4. Test this.

Taking a test actually helps people learn and retain information, according to research published this year in the journal Science. Compared to students who either studied repeatedly or “concept mapped” through detailed diagrams, the test-taking college students in this study retained 50 percent more information.  It’s possible that sitting down and retrieving information from the brain helps “make it stick,” researchers theorized. Asking students to verbally explain what they know also is effective, according to additional studies.

5. Race and Culture.

In a survey done by the author, UCLA Associate Professor Tyrone Howard, he found that more than 90 percent of Black and Hispanic high-school males agreed with this statement: “My race plays a role in how teachers perceive me.” Moreover, more than 80 percent said their race causes teachers to view them negatively. The ability to talk honestly, thoughtfully, and respectfully about race is “sorely needed in school setting,” Howard wrote.

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