It's time for me to reconsider and get creative. Chalk, no chalk. Computers, no computers. Cell phones or not, kids can learn and the more we recognize that, the more likely we are to move them forward in the ways we can.


Read on to share the letter I've written to myself at the beginning of my 15th year. What message would you write to yourself in a letter?


Every year I go into the school year not really knowing what to expect. And since this year is so drastically different, not just in the specific perimeter of my job but also in the school community I will now be a part of. Rather than let fear consume me, (there have been moments throughout the summer that it has), I choose to stay really centered in what I know and can do. Because I know when I keep myself open to the miraculous occurrences that exist within this world, many opportunities show themselves in the most unlikely places. I ...


Whether in a club or on a school newspaper looking to raise awareness about perceived injustice, students have the power to take action and the first amendment supports their right to do so. We must continually engage students in meaningful dialogue that encourages them to take big risks that can can potentially change the way the system runs. At the very least we need to help them find that thing that inspires them to want to make change by not being afraid to do it ourselves.


Children's books often share major life lessons that morph into more complicated plot lines as fiction grows longer. Seeing things simply does have it's place. As the world grows more crazy, we can take solace in the wise words of children and continue to understand that our imaginations never stop working if we choose to continue to exercise them.


When we move away from a teacher-centered coaching relationship toward a student-driven one, we shift away from punitive structures and toward collaborative engagement to ensure student success beyond teacher success. Let's face it, doesn't matter how good a teacher is in the classroom if the students are getting what they need. It's all about applying the best strategies for the specific kids who are in front of us to help them achieve.


Students thrive in learning environments that value them as learners. The more control we relinquish to students in that learning process, the more we encourage them to own the outcomes that they progress toward. School shouldn't be about predetermined curricula and testing, it should be a student-directed/driven experience that empowers kids to embrace their successes and failures.


Podcasting can be a great way to engage readers with a text. One podcast that employs great strategies for reading a text is Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Read on to see how this particular podcast can be a launching point for using podcasting in your classes.


There are so many responsibilities students have once they leave school that we often don't give any room for their own personal interests and/or family time. We can respect those boundaries and value their home time by adjusting some practices we have during the day and what we expect once they leave to keep learning going.


Shifting this mindset about grades is a challenging one. Don't give up if it doesn't go well right away. Be ready to do the dance and redirect students, parents and colleagues as needed.


The opinions expressed in Work in Progress 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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