Welcome to My New Advice Blog for Teachers!
This weekly "advice" column will be a place where educators can ask questions about K-12 classroom management, professional development, instructional strategies, English Language-learner instruction, school reform, and any other challenges facing teachers and administrators in their professional lives.
I'll be providing answers, as well as responses from colleagues I invite from around the world and readers of this blog. Unlike some in the education world (and in other areas of our society), I'll be reluctant to prescribe solutions on topics that I know little or nothing about and, instead, will often be relying on other educators to share their thoughts and experiences. Because of that, feel free to ask questions related to any and all subject areas, grades, etc. - I haven't taught at the elementary level, but I know many other talented teachers who have and are ready to respond. And the same holds true for all subject areas, all instructional strategies, and more. ... If it has to do with K-12 education in any way, feel free to send me a question about it.
Every Friday I'll be posting a submitted question, and inviting readers to share their responses. A post sharing my response, along with selected ones that readers left and thoughts from invited guests, will be posted the following Wednesday.
You can send questions to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. When you send in your question, let me know if I can use your real name if the question is selected or if you'd prefer remaining anonymous or have a pseudonym in mind. Anyone whose question is selected for this weekly column can choose one free book from a selection of 12 (including mine) published by Eye On Education. I'm not a big believer in using incentives, but just thought this might be a nice way to get good books in the hands of teachers.
And, now, for a little about me. I teach ESL, mainstream English and social studies classes at Luther Burbank High School, Sacramento's largest inner-city high school. I also teach an International Baccalaureate course. I've been a teacher since 2002 and was previously a community organizer for nineteen years. I write a popular blog for educatorsand have written three books: Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges; Building Parent Engagement In Schools; and English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work. My next two books -- The ESL Teacher's Survival Guide (written with my colleague Katie Hull) and Part Two of Helping Students Motivate Themselves -- will be published in 2012. Finally, I am a member of the Teachers Leaders Network.
On a personal level, I'm married and have three kids and two grandchildren. I play basketball regularly, though my skill level peaked at mediocre about 35 years ago. And though I was born and raised in New York City (except for high school in Milwaukee), I've been happily living in various parts of California for over 30 years - the weather is a whole lot nicer here than in the Northeast!
I think this blog should be fun and informative, and I hope we can all learn a lot from it...