September 28th, 2012
03:23 PM ET

Pictures inspire school lunch boycott

By the Schools of Thought Editors

(CNN) New federal guidelines are requiring school lunches to be healthier, but many kids say something is missing: Quantity, and more importantly, taste.

In this video from CNN affiliate WDIV, a student's pictures of unappetizing school lunches have led to a brown bag movement in his school.

CNN Student News asked its audience of middle- and high-school students and teachers if they've noticed changes in their school lunches this year, and if those changes were for the better or worse. Here's a sampling of their responses:

Jonas: I have seen a huge difference in my school's food this year. I don't have enough food to eat and as an athlete, I need all the energy I can get. I feel sluggish and tired. I feel I was better off with the old food. Don't get me wrong, people do need to change their eating habits, but the government doesn't have to tell us how to eat.

Maddie: I completely agree with limiting school lunch calories. People are consuming calories, but not working them off. This can cause obesity... and I cringe at the percentage of American obesity be 2030.

Alivia: At our school we have to take fruit and milk even if we don't eat or drink them and just throw them away. This is partially a waste because some people just throw them away, but on the other hand it is good to tempt kids to try fruit and get that in their system for the day.

Ryan: Our school lunches have changed for the worse. Do they really think that one piece of pizza and an orange plus milk would feed us? Well it didn't feed me; I would still be hungry right after lunch was over, so now I bring my own lunch. That way I won't be starving at my football practice.

Mr. Hartrick's 2nd period class: We think that school food is not enough to eat because sometimes the school food is not very appetizing and some children will throw their food away and be hungry later. Most students bring their lunches nowadays because they don't like the food that the school serves. In a way the school is losing money because less kids are getting school food.
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Despite deadly risks, Afghan girls take brave first step
Children walk to school Monday in Afghanistan, where girls are often violently targeted by people who oppose their education.
September 28th, 2012
12:50 PM ET

Despite deadly risks, Afghan girls take brave first step

By Allie Torgan, CNN

(CNN) - For many girls in Afghanistan, the simple act of walking to school can be a life-threatening journey.

"You close the door behind you, and you enter a war zone," said Nushin Arbabzadah, an American-based author and scholar who was raised in Afghanistan.

There were at least 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals in Afghanistan last year, according to the United Nations, and the majority of those attacks were attributed to armed groups opposed to educating females.

But "the walk from home to school is - and has always been - the most dangerous part," Arbabzadah said. "You are told to stay covered, keep your head down and walk quickly ... and stare at your toes."

The life of a schoolgirl in Afghanistan is a far cry from reading, writing and arithmetic. Some girls have been maimed by acid attacks. Others have had their drinking water poisoned or been targeted by bombers who think females should be forbidden from school - as they were during the Taliban's rule.

"It is unfathomable that anyone would want to hurt them. But that is the reality," said Beth Murphy, a documentary filmmaker who recently traveled to Afghanistan to work on a feature film about girls' education.

Amid the violence, however, there is promise: In a country where just 6% of women 25 and older have received any formal education, millions of girls are at long last enrolling in school.

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Filed under: International education • Issues
September 28th, 2012
08:35 AM ET

Teacher earns a cool million by selling lesson plans

By Martin Savidge, CNN

(CNN) - If you want to get rich, let's just say teaching is not the career.

Make that wasn't the career.

Deanna Jump is turning such thinking upside-down. A couple of weeks ago it became official for the first-grade teacher from central Georgia: She's a millionaire, and teaching got her there.

Her specialty is kindergarten and for most of her 17 years at the head of the class, she and her husband, also a teacher, struggled to pay the bills.

I dropped in on her class of 14 students at Central Fellowship Christian Academy the other day and it's hard not to get caught up in her excitement, both for teaching and success.  Like a lot of teachers I know, she's good, with a natural ability to enthuse her students about learning. She had them singing about spider anatomy. Her classroom is filled with colorful, cute displays and messages that she created to teach concepts that could be tough for anyone. For example, on the back wall, three construction paper trees stood out with red and yellow apples, each with a worm. She uses them to teach data analysis.

The goal is to make learning fun, she says. And she says every teacher does something like that.

Life changed three years ago when another teacher told Jump her stuff was so good she should share it on TeachersPayTeachers.com. The friend sent her a link, which Jump admitted just sat in her email in box for weeks. Then she tried it - and became rich.

TeachersPayTeachers was started by Paul Edelman  in 2006. As a former teacher, Edelman knew that teachers were often stretched by long hours and limited budgets, not to mention pressure to improve learning performance. They often shared ideas and teaching strategies.

Then the light bulb went off:  Why not let them make money sharing their ideas?
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Filed under: Lesson plans • Practice • Teachers • video