Teaching isn't just a job to an educator, it's a calling. It's passion and commitment and a desire to amplify the voices and dreams of the many children whose lives touch them as much as the educator touches theirs. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

To shift grading mindsets, it's important include students in the conversation about their grades.

Effective communication is a skill required in life, but not everyone is cut out to be an author. The qualities embedded in the writing process, however, are ones we all strive to use in our lives: tenacity, clarity, honesty, creativity to name a few

This is a shout out to any teacher who knows a tool worth sharing. Please take the time to share your favorite tools

As we plan our classes for students, we must consider their role in the learning. What are we putting in their hands and how can we do it as often as possible? All of school should be elective.

Teachers can learn a lot from asking students to reflect and self-assess against the standards and we do the students and ourselves a disservice by not making it an expectation. Perhaps writing a reflection like this isn't appropriate for every class, maybe a video or voice recording would be better. Know your students and differentiate and scaffold reflections to best suit their individual needs.

Students will love the idea of being in charge of their learning for the most part, but they may not be ready to do it on their own. So you will need to scaffold the experience until they can do it successfully by themselves. Be aware that you may encounter students who aren't interested in these kinds of freedoms. Often times, honor students want to be told what to do so they know how to get the grade they want. If time is spent de-emphasizing the importance of grades, this can start to shift as well.

If you're like me, there's always something to do and never enough time to get it all done. So the idea of taking a break is almost foreign. Being both a parent and an educator fills my life with an abundance of important tasks and learning that certainly keep me busy and that doesn't include my professional life outside of the classroom. Recently I've noticed that I have to give myself permission to let things sit. Reminding myself that the world won't end if an email doesn't get answered immediately or a blog post doesn't get written. Taking care of ...

Although it may seem hard to let go of old lesson plan books or materials, in order to keep ourselves fresh, no matter how many years we have been teaching a subject, we should always take the time to rethink the way we teach for this year's students. As we improve our practice, so too should our ideas for classroom learning grow and our plans should be updated accordingly.

Try to imagine the following student: He or she is extremely bright but doesn't necessarily represent well on paper because his/her level of commitment doesn't read in the test scores or transcript. You've taught this student once, maybe more and have developed a rapport with him/her. You know he/she will be successful in college, especially if it's a school of his/her choosing. But acceptance letters have been sent and you notice that that student is not looking as excited as the rest of his/her peers. "What's the matter?" you ask. "I've been wait-listed," he/she ...


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