Thursday, December 13, 2018

Help for Teachers with TEACH Grants

Many have become teachers and were part of the TEACH Grant program.

They became teacher and agreed to teach in certain low-income, certain subject shortages, and under-served districts. For doing this, the teachers were given grants for their education.

But there was a catch. Each year for four years following, as they teached, they had to complete paperwork that verified their employment. Sounds simple. But the details of the paperwork not only got lost in translation, many times it just got lost. How and when to complete the paperwork sometimes went unnoticed, undone, and just undoable. Even the Department if Education admitted this. The result?

Many teachers had these grants turned into loans, and now were saddled with payments. If the date was missed for verification, there was little recourse for the loan payments that were now due.

There was no way to stop the loan conversion. Starting teachers in many states and districts don't make a whole lot. And many teachers were now burdened with making loan payments. Even as they thought they might be debt free. And we know the economy has just recently been getting better.

What happens now? The Department of Education has agreed to allow anyone who could not meet deadlines or complete paperwork, a second chance. They will now be given an opportunity to submit paperwork that verifies past employment.

If you are a teacher under the TEACH Grant program, have completed four years of teaching in the subject or place that was designated to be part of the program, you should now be able to get the loan forgiven.

Don't expect this to be done automatically. If you are a teacher that fits this scenario, start applying today.

And there are warnings. You only had eight years to complete the four. If you went elsewhere before the four years, or you never had a total of four years at the right location or subject, you will be out of luck. You will be saddled with the loan.

Here is the link to apply: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach#teach-reconsideration

Getting student loans is never a good thing! For more information about making college cheaper and more affordable, go here: http://needycollegestudents.com



Friday, January 26, 2018

Teachers: Protecting Yourself in the Classroom

In this day of social media, classroom teachers need to be on their game more than ever. They need to take steps to not only protect their careers, but also their students. Here are some tips:

 1. Never allow cell phones to be out. You never know when you will be filmed at the footage uploaded. Not a good situation. Your school should make sure students keep their phones either at home or put away.

 2. Don't turn your back on students unless absolutely necessary. Standing at the back of the class, or a corner, is good classroom management and discipline anyway. You should not be so lost at the board, back to your students, that you lose concentration on your students. It only takes a second for things to get out of hand.

 3. Watch what you say and do. In the past, teachers could joke and it was not problem. They could make comments and it was laughed off. You can't do that anymore. Mentioning dress, looks, make up, jewelry, talk, music, etc. may get you big trouble. Just teach. Well, that's what you are supposed to be doing anyway. You need good rapport, but very careful not to cross the line

 4. Don't befriend students on social media. It might be against your school rules anyway. You are asking for trouble if you do. It is not a good idea to even be on it so people can find you.

 5.Watch what you say, do, post, upload, film, etc. on places like youtube, twitter, and facebook. What you say can and will be used against you.

 6. Dress modestly and appropriately. Ignore comments from students and steer them away from making them.

7. Don't offer to take students home or to school events.

 8. Never be in the classroom alone with any student, male or female, even with the door open. Yes, in the past it was good to have a door open, but that's not good anymore.

 9. Call and email parents, NOT students.

 10. Last but not least, do not put yourself in any position during or after school that could be construed as immoral or just plain bad. People have been filmed in public places doing crazy things that have gotten them fired.

 Yes, this takes a whole other level of thinking when it comes to teaching today. The natural and nurturing ways that teachers react, may now get you in trouble. You can still be a loving, caring teacher. Work on it!

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