Stories related to teaching on all levels, from pre-K through college.

Science fiction always perches on a tightrope of believability, and that tightrope is no fun place to stand. It's ill-defined (what makes something believable, anyway?), badly designed (it changes according to the perceptions of each individual reader, notoriously flaky though such perceptions may be) and invisible to the walker (who must intuit its arc from clues). And yet the penalty for a single stumble is horrifying: Beneath that wavering rope lies the quicksand of readerly scorn. It's a miracle, really, that any would-be worldbuilder ever places a trembling foot on the line.

As a teacher, father and children's book author, Jon Scieszka avoids books full of lessons. "Since the beginning of kids' books ... it was like: learn your alphabet, learn the colors, or learn morals, learn proper behavior," he says. But the author of the kids' classic The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales says books for small readers don't need big lessons.

Friday News Roundup - International

21 hours ago

Researchers around the world warned of the escalating toll of climate change this week. Carbon dioxide emissions around the world are reaching record highs. Global emissions grew 1.6 percent in 2017, reported The Washington Post. The rise in 2018? A projected 2.7 percent. This is a bad sign as world leaders gather at the COP 24 summit in Poland to talk about ways to prevent global temperature increases.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

21 hours ago

Lawmakers, friends, colleagues and family members memorialized President George H.W. Bush in Washington on Wednesday.

The public mourning for the 41st president included a number of reminders of a way politics used to happen — or at least how it seems like it used to happen. Here’s what The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser wrote about the service:

Posters for the film Mary Queen of Scots label Mary Stuart "Born to Fight," and Elizabeth I "Born to Power." But this rivalry is so famous we already know those taglines are applied to the wrong queens.

The Albuquerque public school district is apologizing for a teacher who allegedly cut one Native American student's hair during class and called another by a racial slur.

"It breaks my heart," said Superintendent Raquel Reedy at an Albuquerque Public Schools board meeting on Wednesday. "It truly saddens me so much to think that these students, that any of our students, may feel disrespected or unappreciated or unaccepted."

The incident happened at Cibola High School on Halloween, when teachers and students were dressed in costume.

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A for-profit college chain mired in financial troubles announced on Wednesday it is shutting down dozens of campuses across the country by the end of the month. The abrupt decision comes a day after the company lost its accreditation and funding, leaving frantic students scrambling in the final days of the year to enroll in new schools.

If you have friends or family members who insist they have "no time to read," poet Tess Taylor says you should consider giving them poetry for the holidays: "We are all busy, and poetry is short," Taylor explains. "So you can actually reroute your day productively in like five minutes with something that really captures your imagination, takes you to a different place, and then allows you to return a little altered — which is I think what we all want from reading."

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