A Most likely to succeed MOVIE!

ShiftED, Lumen Touch, & KCedu presents…

A screening and discussion of Most Likely to Succeed that is free & open to the public!
A lot of things have changed tremendously since 1890 for the better, except for schools. We have had the same model and expectations for our students for centuries (literally). This movie exposes the outdated flaws and issues we are still facing today. Not only do they find the issues, they already have the answers. In fact, their solutions are so good that they’re named “most likely to succeed”.
We invite everyone who can possibly attend to come see this film. It’s completely free to see and is appropriate for all ages. Come see what will probably change everybody’s lives in this country and maybe even the world. After the screening, we will have food, drinks, and open conversations about the movie. 
Sal Khan from Khan Academy said, “the 21st century is going to be all about building, creating, and innovating. This remarkable film shows a path of how we can empower all of our children to do that.” For more information on the movie, please visit http://mltsfilm.org/. We are looking to move KC education forward from this screening with goal-oriented action tank groups.
WHEN:Wednesday, December 9, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (CST)
WHERE: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – 4801 Rockhill Road Kansas City, MO 64110
RSVP: http://tinyurl.com/kcedumlts
We hope you are able to join us to preview one of the “best edu-documentaries ever produced” (Education Week).

Letting Students Make Their Own Classroom

Elementary ClassroomLast Tuesday, during another amazing Lumen8 Session, we discussed letting students walking into an empty classroom and spending the first week of school designing their own space based on their own needs. We were thrilled to hear that two teachers in the Kansas City, Kansas School District were piloting just that idea.

There are many benefits to this. First, the students feel a sense of ownership over their own learning. All teachers understand that controlling the classroom space has a strong effect on students’ learning. Having students take ownership over that process will have an even greater affect.

Second, it will let students have a deeper understanding of how they should and want to act in a classroom. This way, the learning deviates from a “teacher gives and student takes” model to a more “teachers and students are partners in learning” model.

A great blog post on Edutopia outlines this even further, and gives some good research validation.

As the school year gears up, happy classroom set up!

Some Guidelines for Recruiting a Diverse Faculty


Having a diverse faculty is really important, especially in today’s more diverse and global world. But oftentimes it is difficult to recruit diverse faculty because there need to be shifts in the systems of hiring.

Over at the National Association for Independent Schools, they have a great set of guidelines to use, but most notably they talk about trying to understand that diversity recruitment is a different animal. It is a form of recruitment that deals with image, history, implicit bias, and many other things.

Read on!

Student Centered Learning

Our intrepid Lumen8ers, discussing 21st Century Learning!
Our intrepid Lumen8ers, discussing 21st Century Learning!

We talk a lot about student centered learning. Not just the education community at large, we specifically mean at the Lumen Touch office. This summer, we have a cohort of some amazing Lumen8 Educators spending the summer with us to bridge the gap between the community and the classroom!

We spoke a lot about letting students own the classroom, counting on them to present to the outside community, and have other be the final arbiters of grades.

Read on for more techniques, on the classroom, building, and district level!

Understanding the Local: Summer Reading

Make sure you visit the local library this summer!
Make sure you visit the local library this summer!

There are many people who follow national politics vigorously but ignore the local. They understand American history, but not their local history. They vote in national elections but not in their municipal ones.

This is wrong. Teaching has taught me that the bread and butter of American democracy exists on the local level. Local politicians make many decisions that affect our daily lives directly.

To that end, I have been trying to understand Kansas City history much more critically. Thankfully, KCUR has compiled the perfect summer reading list for local understanding! This list encompasses race, Native American history, cultural and political history, and even some locally set fiction.

Read on for some happy rainy day couch reading!

The Hard Road Ahead for Teachers

Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, recently gave an amazing commencement address at Bank Street Graduate School of Education in New York, where he outlined the challenges facing teachers today. But this was not a negative speech. It clearly outlines the issues and gives a call to action, one that is powerful and succinct.

He starts by highlighting the extraordinary nature of teachers:

With courage, you have chosen to enter or advance in the nation’s most critical profession, at a time when selfish and misguided elites have made public education, and its teachers, scapegoats for the unacceptable racial and economic inequality that those elites have permitted, indeed encouraged, to persist and grow in America.

Then he poses the difficult questions that he proceeds to tackle:

This leaves you, the graduates, with a burning question you will spend your teaching careers, at least for the foreseeable future, pondering: How do you do the good work for which Bank Street has prepared you, within a system that may undermine your efforts and thwart your students’ education?

The call to action is short and sweet:

Dedicated teachers devote a lot of attention, and anguish, to considering these ethical dilemmas. They do so mostly in private, sometimes with their colleagues, sometimes only with their spouses or partners, sometimes only to themselves. If I can summon up the arrogance to make any recommendation to you, it is to consider how you can make your anguish more public.

It is important for teachers to be part of the public conversation, have open dialogue and speak truth to power. Join the conversation below in comments, or contact us at avoleti@lumentouch.com.

The full transcript of the speech was published by the Washington Post.

The Ins and Outs of Teaching English Abroad


Teaching English abroad is an amazing opportunity for educators to learn critical skills in culturally responsive teaching and we at ShiftED know many teachers in US classrooms who bring back a world of knowledge from their time teaching abroad.

There will be a feature on one such teacher later, but for those considering teaching abroad Amy over at teachertravelermoneysaver gives a great run down of the pros and cons of teaching abroad as a

1. Volunteer

2. Intern

3. and ELL Teacher.

However, regardless of path, teaching abroad is always recommended. It opens up the classroom to today’s global landscape. Read more for the full details. And if your passport is not yet ready to be stamped, try applying for the Lumen8 program instead, where you can broaden classroom horizons on a local level.

Have you taught abroad? What did you think? Let us know in comments or at avoleti@lumentouch.com

Growth Mindsets in Early Childhood

Deborah Farmer Kris, a lifelong educator, has written a great primer to getting young children to develop a growth mindset over at the KQED blog. She offers (and elaborates) on three simple tips for adults:

  1. Replace generic praise with process praise.
  2. Harness the power of yet.
  3. Tell stories of resilience.Bike

Read more to find the fleshed out details and start changing your interactions with kids today!

How do you encourage the little ones to keep trying after they fail? We would love to hear from you at avoleti@lumentouch.com.