Archive for August, 2011

Missouri teachers sue over new ‘Facebook’ law: Would it really hurt their ability to communicate with students?

A Missouri teachers’ union said Friday that it will be challenging a new measure that restricts teachers’ use of social networking sites and their contact with students, saying it violated their Constitutional rights. The measure is set to go into effect on Aug. 28.

The law was proposed after the Associated Press found that 87 Missouri teachers had lost their licenses from 2001 to 2005 because of sexual misconduct. Some of the conduct involved explicit online messages with their students.

From The Huffington Post:

“Under the law, school districts must establish policies by January that outline “appropriate use of electronic media such as text messaging and Internet sites for both instructional and personal purposes.” Teachers are barred from having “exclusive access” online with current students or former students who are minors. That means communication through Facebook or other sites must be done in public.”

“The law restricts non-work-related websites that allow …

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‘An American Girl in Italy’: Better for women traveling alone today?

One of my favorite photographs turns 60 today: “An American Girl in Italy.”

You’ve probably seen it before – a black and white shot of a young woman walking down the street in Italy tightly grasping her body as Italian men catcall and even grab their crotches as she passes them.

(Click here to see the famous photograph and the woman today!)

From The Today show blog:

“The iconic 1951 image “American Girl in Italy” turns 60 on Monday. As its anniversary approaches, the stunning woman in the photo — Ninalee Craig, now 83 — is speaking up about it. She wants to explain what the photo represents, and what it doesn’t.

“Some people want to use it as a symbol of harassment of women, but that’s what we’ve been fighting all these years,” Craig said in a telephone interview from her home in Toronto. “It’s not a symbol of harassment. It’s a symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time!”

“Back in 1951, Craig was a carefree 23-year-old who had chucked her job in New York and …

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Nearly 90 percent moms judge other moms: But why?

A TODAY Moms/ survey of 26,000 moms found what we here on the blog know to be very true: Moms judge each other constantly and about almost any minute aspect of parenting!

The survey found that nearly 90 percent of moms in fact admitted to judging other moms.

Other findings from the survey — Which parenting behavior might lead you to judge:

Her kid is a brat — 66.4 percent

She breastfeeds a 3-year old -42.6 percent

She has an overweight child – 36.9 percent

She gives junk food – 34 percent

She lets kids have too much screen time 31.8 percent

She co-sleeps with child 23 percent

She works too much 19.7 percent

She didn’t try to breastfeed 18.1 percent

I don’t judge other moms – it’s not my business 12.6 percent

So why do we do it? TODAY Moms explains:

“Parenting expert Wendy Mogel, author of “The Blessings of a Skinned Knee,” says part of what’s fueling the mom judge-a-thon is what psychologists call “displacement.” The world is a scary place, and we can’t control …

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Mom on trial: What constitutes an unreasonable punishment?

A mom in Alaska is on trial for squirting hot sauce in the mouth of her adopted son and then making him stand in a cold shower.

Jessica Beagley, of Anchorage, videotaped the punishment and showed it on the “Dr. Phil” show last year. The mom went to the show to get help for herself and her son, her lawyers say.

From The Associated Press:

“Why did you lie to me? Does it work to lie to me?” she asks the child.

Beagley asks the boy what happens when he lies. “I get hot sauce,” the crying boy replies.

The video shows Beagley leading the boy into a bathroom, where he sits on the counter next to the sink and she squirts hot sauce in his mouth. “Don’t spit it,” she says.

“Are lies supposed to be out of your mouth?” she yells, her arms braced on either side of him. When he admits to lying, she allows him to spit out the hot sauce.

(Click on the link to read the entire description of what happened in the video)

I would like to know more information about the video taping. Was she being …

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Tips for sending your kid off to college — happy!

For the last 25 years, Emory Psychology professor Marshall Duke helped ease the separation process for parents with his orientation seminar “Parenting a College Student: What To Expect.”

(What are must-haves for college students in 2011?)

Here’s some of what he tells the parents in his session:

•  Think about your parting words.

‘The closing words between parents and children are crucial. Whatever wisdom you have to offer, whether it is ‘I love you,’ ‘I’m behind you,’ ‘I’m proud of you,’ say it. If you can’t express yourself verbally, write your thoughts down and mail the letter to your child immediately after you arrive home. Your children will remember your messages and hold on to them.’

• Your lives will change.

‘Younger siblings may be quite happy to see the older child leave home. I’ve heard stories of younger children who usually have stayed in their rooms suddenly appearing at the dinner table. If the college-bound student is your youngest, you’ll begin to reestablish …

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15 signs of a great preschool!

We are loving Lilina's new preschool and the methods they using to teach and have fun.

We are loving Lilina's new preschool and the methods they using to teach and have fun.

Lilina started a new preschool last week in the 4-year-old class and even from the meet-the-teacher night we have been so impressed with the teachers and the school.  Here are 15 signs, in no particular order, of a great preschool:

  1. They incorporated writing and letter recognition immediately – Even in the quick visit to meet the teachers they incorporated the kids writing their names and letter recognition in two activities. When the kids come into class, they pick out their names out from a grouping of class names on the desk. It helps them learn their names but also learn other names. On Monday, they were working on puzzles made of the other kids’ names.
  2. Her teacher is actually a certified teacher – You can tell that L.’s teacher knows how to run a classroom and is making lesson plans as if she was with a regular elementary class. She’s innovative with her activities and does things I …

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Creepy or OK: French ‘loungerie’ line for tiny tots to teens?

A French clothing line is drawing fire for developing essentially a lingerie line for kids – although they are calling it Loungerie.

Jours Apres Lunes, which translates into “Days after Moons” was created by Sophie Morin, a longtime lingerie designer. On her web site she says her goal was to borrow from adult lingerie trends to create underwear for toddlers to adolescents.

Little girls were shot wearing makeup, sunglasses and in poses that make them look like women, not kids.

From The Daily News:

“Marilisa Racco, fashion writer and author of Le Snob Lingerie, said that the clothing itself wasn’t the problem – it was the target age and the way the girls were photographed.”

” ‘It’s cute when a little girl dresses up in her mom’s clothing and jewelry and high heels,’ she told the Daily News. ‘These pictures are not cute. It’s entirely inappropriate to put a 4-year-old in a bouffant like she’s Brigitte Bardot in “And God Created Woman.’ ”

” ‘It’s inapproprite to sexualize …

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Florida teacher’s essay rallies educators for respect

A Florida teacher’s essay has gone viral on Facebook and become a rallying cry for respect. The National Education  Association has picked her essay up on its Web site.

From the NEA’s site:

“(Jamee) Miller, a National Education Association and Florida Education Association member who has been teaching for seven years, wrote the essay a year ago largely for herself and then put it away. But when the controversial Senate Bill 6 was recently careening through the GOP-controlled legislature, she dusted it off and posted it on Facebook. Education experts said SB6, which Gov. Charlie Crist ultimately vetoed last week to support teachers, would have made Florida one of the most teacher-hostile states in the country. Even though it was vetoed, similar anti-teacher efforts are cropping up in other states from like-minded opponents.”

“ ‘I was just getting so enraged because there was such ignorance from the people attacking teachers,’ says Miller. ‘Especially these misconceptions about …

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Do you feel like you have to defend your homeschooling?

I have a friend that started homeschooling last year and loved it so much she has pulled her other child from school to homeschool as well.

She’s using the Georgia Cyber Academy (which starts back today) and overall was very happy with the program. Her child excelled and will be taking even more challenging classes this year. Both mother and child enjoyed the time and the program so much that the other child wanted to stay home too.

But despite that great experience, my friend is worried about seeing her old mom friends from school and having to defend her choice.

She asked me last week, “What do I tell them?” I said, “You tell them your child excelled and you both enjoyed it so much that you’re adding your other child to your home classroom.”

I do think that homeschooling mothers get asked a lot of questions about why they are doing it and what materials they are using. I know I quizzed a high-school friend who homeschools about her program this summer. I didn’t mean my …

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What happens when mom heads back to work?

After a hiatus of 10 years, I will be working a part-time job in an office this fall. I will be teaching a college journalism course about online media this semester covering blogging, social media, photo and video editing and web design.

I have worked pretty much since giving birth to Rose but it’s always been at home and completely around my schedule as a mom.

With this new position, I actually have to attend meetings, have office hours and be in a classroom.

I only have to be at the college for 5 hours a week to teach my class and can plan my lessons and grade their projects from home. Lilina will be in preschool 15 hours a week so I am hoping to get everything done while she’s at school.

It is a rite of passage for many stay-at-home moms that once the last child becomes school-age they start working some or full-time outside the home. I’ve had many friends who were at home with me head back to work in offices in the last few years, and it has been quite a change for their …

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