News for Teachers From the
U.S. Embassy, London
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Back to school

Back to School: 7 Ways to Help Kids Transition Back to the Classroom
With summer winding down, the new school year begins. Here are some tips and activities to ease kids’ transition back to the classroom and to help prepare kids for the new school year.

U.S. Census Bureau: Facts for Features Back to School
This edition of Facts for Features highlights the many statistics associated with the return to classrooms by our nation’s students and teachers.
78 million The number of children and adults enrolled in school throughout the country in October 2012 —from nursery school to college. They comprised 26.4 percent of the entire population age 3 and older.

10 September 2014 - Take a look at our latest edition of You and the U.S. – the second part of our National Park series. Also, try to complete our puzzles, trivia, and read some fun facts on the U.S.A. Download the newsletter (PDF) »


USA College Day and US University Advisor Conference
Do you advise students interested in studying in America?
Invite them to USA College Day (26-27 September) - the largest American university fair in the UK! Also, be sure to mark your diary for our University in the USA Advisor Training Conference on 26 September.

USA College Day
This free event provides students, parents and advisors with the unique opportunity to meet representatives from over 170 American universities and educational service providers in London. It is the largest US university fair in the UK.

Date: Friday, 26 September 2013 (4:30 pm - 7:30 pm) & Saturday, 27 September 2014 (10:30 am - 3 pm)
Venue: Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX
Cost: Free to attend if you register in advance

Register for USA College Day
About USA College Day: In its 37th year, College Day is being held in partnership with the University of South Florida and The Student Room. Visit the USA College Day page of the Fulbright website for more information including a video preview of the event.

Help us promote College Day to your students- Hang up this College Day Flyer in your school. (You should have also received promotional material via our recent UCAS mail out).
University in the USA Advisor Training Conference
This conference has become a must-attend event for any school with students interested in applying to the States! We have assembled admissions experts from top American universities who will be offering parallel sessions covering every angle of the process. Whether you are a seasoned expert or the new kid on the block, there will be a range of sessions on specific areas of financial aid, the application process and a glimpse behind admissions office doors. From plenaries to breakout workshops, three tracks of sessions will allow you to tailor the conference to your interests and let you get the most out of this line-up of speakers.
Date: Friday, 26 September 2014 (10 am - 4 pm)
Location: Kensington Close Hotel (closest tube: High Street Kensington in Central London)
Register for the University in the USA Advisor Training Conference


U.S. colleges and universities differ widely in the academic programs and degrees they offer, as well as in campus life. Some campuses are huge, some tiny. Some are urban, some rural. Some have warm weather, some have cold. But all U.S. colleges strive to provide students a safe, secure environment for studying and learning, with good food and housing and activities outside the classroom. Many schools offer opportunities to meet Americans from all regions of the United States as well as students from around the world. Find out more on studying in the U.S.


Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a non-profit that works with teachers to transform instruction so that children can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers.


World Teacher's DayIn 1994, UNESCO proclaimed 5 October World Teachers’ Day, in celebration of the great step made for teachers in 1966 when a special intergovernmental conference convened by UNESCO in Paris in cooperation with the ILO adopted the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This recommendation sets forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions. It also contains many recommendations for teachers’ participation in educational decisions through consultation and negotiation with educational authorities. Since its adoption, the Recommendation has been considered an important set of guidelines to promote teachers’ status in the interest of quality education. For more information


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Why Do Americans Love to Blame Teachers?
Healthcare has its critics, but few of them are calling for doctors to be replaced. Education is different—and as a new book reveals, it has been throughout U.S. history
Noah Berlatsky
The Atlantic Sept 2 2014
The focus on testing to evaluate teachers, then, is not based on a rational look at the research. Instead, one could argue, it's based on the logic of the moral panic, and the created identity of teachers.

Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post July 8
The Centers for Disease Control tells us that in recent years there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 and to 11 percent in 2011.

Testing Reform Victories: The First Wave
by Lisa Guisbond
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing September 2014
This new report on growing resistance to high-stakes standardized testing around the country finds that the movement is growing and meeting some success in numerous states where officials have decided to cut back on the numbers of tests students must take and/or the consequences for students and educators.

Residency: Can it transform teaching the way it did medicine?
As the nation examines teacher preparation, the time is ripe for exploring how the profession can create a teacher residency process modeled after medical preparation.
By Ronald Thorpe
Phi Delta Kappan September 2014

Universal teacher residency would benefit the teaching profession and ultimately the education of our children. We have yet to work out the fine details, but there is nothing more important than developing robust residency schools where young educators go between their undergraduate preparation and their arrival in the classroom as autonomous practitioners. The change won’t happen overnight, but eventually it will redefine the profession.
Available in hardcopy only. Email your request to, you must be resident in the UK.

Dispelling the Myth of Deferred Gratification
What waiting for a marshmallow doesn't prove
By Alfie Kohn
Education Week September 9, 2014
Underlying self-discipline and grit is the idea of deferring gratification—for example, by putting off doing what you enjoy until you finish your "work." The appeal to many educators of transforming kids from lazy grasshoppers to hardworking ants explains the fresh wave of interest in a series of experiments conducted back in the 1960s known as the marshmallow studies.


In the U.S. Black History Month is in February chosen because the birthdays of two influential figures - Abraham Lincoln, US president and Frederick Douglas - fell in February. Frederick Douglass- the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher.
We have pamphlets on "Stories of African-American Achievement" and a Rosa Parks poster. If you'd like the pamphlet or poster and you are resident in the UK, then email the IRC with your request at:
Benjamin Banneker
If you don't know who Benjamin Banneker is you can read all about this fascinating African-American from the 16th Century on the Embassy's Education blog.

Teachers Newsletteris produced by the Information Resource Center at the United States Embassy in London
Inclusion of any of the items listed above, especially those from sources outside the U.S. Government, should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein or as official U.S. policy.