Question of the Day: “Why am I so excited to start the school year?”

If you read my blog for the last two years, you will know I have contemplated leaving teaching. You would have read all about how miserable I have been and how hard it has been. These last two years took a tremendous toll. It was not just me. There is now a considerable teacher shortage…

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Teaching #101: Teaching Reading Strategies in the Content Areas

Despite what many content area teachers believe, it is really important to teach reading strategies in their content area. Sixty percent of US high school students are performing “basic” or “below basic” on standardized state tests. This is unacceptable, but it is nothing new. US students have been scoring this low in reading for years.…

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Teaching #101: Who was your favorite teacher?

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William A. Ward Every student who is training to be a teacher is asked to write about your favorite teacher. This rather creative assignment is often followed by a similar one that asks you to write about your…

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Teaching #101: “Tough love for people who are going into teaching”

My life as a teacher started officially when I was 26. It metaphorically began when I first started giving spelling tests to my stuffed animals. Twenty years later, I can say I have learned many things, and I have had many preconceived notions of what it means to be a teacher ripped away. It took…

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Teaching #101: Please be aware that our kids/students are struggling.

I have seen a lot recently about teachers not being okay. This is absolutely true, but I think it is overshadowing the struggles of our students, our children, during this time. I am a teacher in a public school in a very wealthy district. The vast majority of my students are motivated, well-behaved, and “capable”…

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Teaching #101: The Importance of Teaching Reading in Our Classrooms

As an English teacher, I once believed I was helping students develop good learning habits by making them read a certain number of pages of an assigned novel. Oh, don’t worry. I didn’t just make them read at home. I made them annotate as well. When they would return the next day, I then tested…

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Question of the Day: “How do I bring joy to my classroom?”

In recent weeks, I came to a sudden realization. If I wanted to feel joy while I am teaching, I need to bring joy to my classroom. For many months, I have been unhappy at my job. My disconnect has disrupted my life in a way that was uncomfortable. Every time I wished for something…

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Question of the Day: “Am I a writer?”

My newest read Still Writing is splayed open and upside down next to me. My mom bought the book for me last summer, and yesterday I picked it from the pile, despite the stack of unread books I just received as Christmas gifts. Reading is my habit. I read constantly, but I have been struggling…

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Teaching #101: Why it is so important to keep your ego under control

There are various times throughout the school day when I want to completely lose my mind while I am teaching. Students disregarding the rules. Parents questioning. Administrators, well, doing whatever it is they do. There is a constant litany of reasons and motivation to lose it and retreat into a deep, dark world of why…

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Question of the Day: “Are we all teachers?”

I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I was young, I propped up my stuffed animals and created imperfect spelling tests. I enjoyed grading them with my red marker. Stickers were placed on the outstanding ones. The methodical grading felt peaceful. A good teacher must believe in the ideas he teaches, but he…

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