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September 06, 2017

Social-Emotional Skills Should Be an Integral Part of Every Lesson We Teach

As I have come to understand and teach social and emotional skills, I've learned they can't be—indeed, should not be—viewed as something separate from our lessons, or something to be taught one hour a week. These skills are part of everything we do.

August 28, 2017

What Families Really Need From a Teacher's Back-to-School Letter

Now isn't the time for reminders about materials and copying and pasting your district's tardy policy. Now is the time to let parents know what is most important to you as a teacher, what big goals you have for their students, and start forming the team that will get you there.

August 21, 2017

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Teach Social Justice

As educators, we recognize that cannot stand by and say nothing while acts of racism and hate are perpetrated against our citizens by our citizens. Each of us must decide whether or not we will be a bystander or a resistor, one who condones or one who resists.

July 11, 2017

Student Trauma Is Real. But Connection Can Heal.

Restorative Practices are flexible and responsive approaches to establishing, developing, and restoring relationships that enable people to develop a shared sense of community in an increasingly disconnected world.

June 01, 2017

Sometimes Calling Teachers 'Valued Professionals' Just Feels Empty

Teachers are often told that we are "valued professionals" who "change the lives of our students every day." But we are also micromanaged to immobility, not trusted to make the simplest decisions that affect students' learning and well-being. When students have to work in classrooms in silence because the teacher knows that the loud and messy learning is often seen as ill-managed instruction, the walls close in.

May 17, 2017

What Happens When a Student Is Put Out of Class?

When I leave school to go home, I often see an older man who just sits on the broken part of a guard-rail next to the street. Cars crawl by during rush hour, but he is too tired to even beg for change anymore. He just sits. Put out. Like the trash. I wonder: When was he first put out? Where was he first put out? Will he ever come back? Who will be there for him when he returns?

May 03, 2017

What I Want From My Next Teaching Job

My best times as a teacher, as a learner, the best things that have ever happened in and around my room, have happened with groups who were not racially homogenous..As a White teacher, I can say unequivocally that having a classroom that centers the voices of People of Color is crucial to good teaching.

April 26, 2017

Take After-School Programs Off the Political Chopping Block

Afterschool experiences provide much more than just a safe place to go; students have an extended opportunity to socialize with their peers and engage in problem solving activities. Schools often use 21st Century funds to host family math and literacy nights, where parents feel welcome in the school. There they engage in similar problem solving with their kids and take home resources to bridge the learning in their homes.

April 19, 2017

Fighting for the Dreamers in and Out of the Classroom

There are some moments as a teacher that just never leave you. They remain burned into memory like still photos. These images have stories that all elicit their own emotions, varying widely from invigorating and awe-inspiring to sad and demoralizing. Amid news that a DACA protected student was just deported, I am reminded of one of the single bravest acts performed by one of my students: disclosing his undocumented status to the entire class.

March 27, 2017

Lessons From the Garden: What Teachers Can Do to Help Vulnerable Students Thrive

The national mood reminds me of the plants I had expected in my abandoned raised beds. The soil is shallow and the fertilizer isn't good, so not much good is growing but weeds.

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The opinions expressed in Teacher-Leader Voices are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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