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YES! Magazine

May 2012 :: Great Teachers Change Lives  

“A good teacher is like a candle. It consumes itself to light the way for others.”—Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, translated from Turkish

Dear Educators,

Last week was National Teacher Appreciation Week. It was an opportunity to spotlight how great teachers change students’ lives.

In this newsletter, we are honored to feature resources StoryCorps. You’ll find National Teachers Initiative stories from students, curriculum, and an archive of interviews that illuminate what it is to be alive. Also in this newsletter are a story on teaching students with dyslexia, a feature on the documentary American Teacher, essays from our writing competition winners, and more teaching tools on de-corporatizing your money.

I also want you to know that you can request FREE copies of our Fall 2009 issue, Learn as You Go, for you and your students. That issue brings you the voices of Parker Palmer, John Taylor Gatto, and Ron Miller, as well as lots of examples of great teaching. Simply email me with the number of copies you want, your mailing address, and contact phone number. Limited supply available.

Jing FongBest,
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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine


Bob Broudo portrait Changing the Course of Dyslexia

In nautical terms a landmark is a sign for a change of course on the ocean. And so it is fitting that Landmark School bears this name as it represents a positive change in the lives of students with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Bob Broudo, who heads Landmark School, passionately believes that it is not a question of whether these students can learn, but rather, of how they learn and how they are taught. This is Bob’s story.    MORE »


StoryCorps logo StoryCorps

Every voice matters. This is the heart of StoryCorps, one of the largest oral history projects in the country. Since 2003, its mission has been to give people of all backgrounds the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their stories.

YES! Recommends StoryCorps because it values, above all, listening—what founder Dave Isay calls an act of love. StoryCorps has an abundance of resources for you and your students. Hear student stories from its National Teachers Initiative about the impact great teachers have had on their lives. Sharpen your students’ interviewing skills with a one-lesson workshop. Plus a Do-It-Yourself Recording Guide, and all of the StoryCorps interviews aired on NPR’s Morning Edition.
   MORE »

National Student Writing Competition  

Portraits of the winners of the Winter 2012 Writing Competition Winners of the Winter 2012 Writing Competition

We’re delighted to feature four winning essays from our winter competition. Participants read and responded to the YES! article, “What’s the Harm in Hunting?,” answering the question, “Is hunting moral?” Congratulations to our essay winners, and a big thank you to all writers who submitted an essay.    READ THE WINNING ESSAYS »


Cat Illustration 6 Tips for Green Pet Care

Jennifer Kaye

Sustainable, low-cost, and natural ways to care for your critters—even those chickens you’ve had a hankering to make part of your backyard.    MORE »

Monopoly Illustration By the Numbers: The Myth of the Overtaxed Corporation

Doug Pibel

How did Verizon, Wells Fargo and General Electric pay no taxes between 2008 and 2010? Have your students follow “Monopoly Man” in this clever graph to learn how corporations get out of taxes.    MORE »

Money Laundry Line 8 Ways to De-Corporatize Your Money

Debit or credit? Your hard-earned money should be exactly that—yours. Here are 8 tips to help your money work for you and your community, instead of filling corporate pockets.    MORE »


The Teacher Salary Project The Teacher Salary Project

A great teacher can change a student’s life. The Teacher Salary Project’s feature-length documentary American Teacher tells the powerful story of how little our country values its teachers and the effect it has on how our children learn. Screenings, online resources, and national outreach campaign information are available on its website.    MORE »

What’s a Co-op?: Co-ops in a Nutshell What’s a Co-op?

Most likely, your students know something about how a nonprofit or typical business runs. But what do they know about cooperatives or co-ops? The Cooperative Teach-in is a nationwide initiative that offers free lessons and other classroom resources, plus a network for campuses to connect on projects, events, and much more.    MORE »

2012-13 Social Justice Planner: 2012-13 Planner NEW! 2012-2013 Social Justice Planner

The Planning to Change the World planner is designed to help social justice teachers translate their vision of a just education into concrete classroom activities. You’ll find quotes, lessons, essential questions, and more gems in this indispensable planner. Order by June 30, 2012, for a special discount through Rethinking Schools, and pay only $14.    MORE »


Still from Most Astounding Fact video What’s the Most Astounding Fact About the Universe?

The universe is in us. In this beautifully orchestrated video, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will help your students feel “big” knowing that the atoms in their bodies came from the stars.    MORE »


mother and son by Joe Newman You Have My Permission to Wear a Hoodie Every Day

Rasha Hamid

“… Trayvon did nothing wrong.
Being brown is not wrong.
Going to the store is not wrong.
Wearing a hoodie is not wrong.
You have my permission
to wear a hoodie
every day
if you like …”

When teacher Rasha Hamid heard about the death of Trayvon Martin, she immediately thought of her own young, brown son, Jibreel, and wrote him this poem. Read the complete poem and consider using our discussion questions to explore your students’ own experiences and opinions on what this killing is about—and not about.
   MORE »


Plastic Bag Monster It’s in the Bag

Ask these three questions about this photo so you and your students can understand the image, its message, and why it’s interesting (or not): What do you notice, What are you wondering? And, after uncovering some facts, What’s next?    MORE »

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Each quarter, we take on today’s critical issues with a fresh and positive point of view. Our stories fuse powerful ideas and practical actions, and inspire people to create a better world.