How teachers can bring self-care into the new school year

Summer Self-Care All Year Long

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Do you have a way of living during the summer that’s different from the rest of the year?

We do. We spend time outside grilling and going for walks. We read more books. We get in a nap while our children are off at their summer activities, we see friends more often, and we get more writing done than in any other season. And it’s not just us. We have a friend, a seventh grade English teacher who’s also a mixed-media artist, whose summer days mostly involve gluing unicorns to painted canvases. Another teacher friend spent one summer road-tripping from New York to Panama. Many teachers catch up on professional development, reading articles they’ve been saving, and if their school budgets allow, attending summer institutes. And because our profession is not the most lucrative, we know plenty of teachers who have temporary summer jobs—but they too go might into summer mode during their afternoons, evenings, and weekends.

What is it about summer that allows us to live so fully? More to the point, what is it about September that stops us? Read more

Reflection for collaborative teams using the Rose, Bud, and Thorn technique

Learning from Our Year as a Team: Reflection Questions for Collaborative Teams

Categories: PLC

At the end of each school year, I like to ask questions to create a “pause and reflect” moment as my children and I eat around the dinner table together. This year, my two oldest children finished their junior and sophomore years in college, and my son finished his sophomore year in high school. The questions ask (1) what they did during the school year that they were most proud of, (2) some areas that they are still working on, and (3) one specific action they need to fix before they head back to school next year. Listening to my adult children this year was amazing, as I witnessed how well they are in tune with plausible growth and stretch areas for the upcoming school year.

This same thought process applies to mathematics collaborative teams and has become a tradition for the teachers I support. Read more

Each student's brain is different.

Developing Effective Learner Outcomes Using RTI

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Designs, flowers, ideas, strength, and plans develop. An artist reworks a sketch, a flower is watered, ideas propagate, a weak muscle is exercised, and plans develop over time and circumstances. In the same fashion, learners’ minds are also developed and strengthened through a process known as RTI or response to intervention (NCLD, n.d.). Read more

Common assessment is key to improving student learning.

Improving Student Learning: Together, We Can!

Categories: Assessment, PLC, School Improvement

Teaching can be exhausting. You work hard to create meaningful lessons, assessments, and interventions. You manage students in class with varying learning needs, behavior needs, and experiences. You grade papers and answer emails and phone calls. You participate in parent-student conferences, IEP meetings, and serve on committees or leadership teams. You manage duties on campus and fill out report cards. And all with little fanfare for the effort.

And, on top of everything, the hard work can be made more frustrating when high-stakes assessments show consistently poor student performance or little student growth. What is a teacher or school to do? Read more

The Rise of the Global Digital Citizen

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Instruction, Technology

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

When we woke up one August morning in 1991, the World Wide Web had officially been introduced into our lives. It seemed like a novelty at first, but then it began to attract more and more curiosity and interest as we explored its potential. Today our level of global interconnectedness is staggering, and the Internet has been incorporated into many facets of human life. We have become very aware of the need to understand this continuous rapid change and forecast parameters of safety for our most vulnerable users. Read more