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February 16, 2017

Using Data to Determine When a Do-Over Is Necessary

There will be times when scrapping what happened altogether may be the best plan and just starting over or moving on and then circling back at another time, but more often then not, it's worth it to just pause and reflect. These moments can yield a great deal of learning for everyone, including us.

February 09, 2017

How to Survive the Pre-Observation Frenzy

Ultimately, I am very confident that I capable to helping my students learn the way each of them need to. Despite the hoops that teachers have to jump through to prove that we can do that, it really comes down to the kids. Continually, I strive to better improve my practice, forfeit control and empower students to own their own learning in an authentic and meaningful way. When it works, I like to reflect on why and keep pushing harder and when it doesn't I have to examine what can be done differently. This is the only way I'll grow and that's what these observations are about... growth.

February 07, 2017

Motivation for Learning: Competition Vs. Collaboration

If we truly want to change the world (and/or education), we have to work together; it's just too big of a project for any one person to take on alone. So if you have a great idea, share it. Find the right people who will lift you up and build it out and then make it happen. We are so much better together.

January 26, 2017

Educators Want Voice and Choice in Professional Learning

Adults can often be the hardest students to please, ironically. We don't alway behave the way we'd hope our students would and sometimes teachers and administrators can be the worst offenders. However, if we make the learning personalized and continue to adjust as needed, the flexibility and choice will go a long way.

January 24, 2017

Reflections on a Classroom 'Gallery Walk'

Overall, it wasn't a complete loss. I'm not giving up. Sometimes I expect so much from my students and myself that I skip steps and when it fails I'm hard on myself, but this is such an opportunity. I may even share this observation with students.

January 22, 2017

'Mysteries at the Museum' Offers Engaging History Lessons

It's amazing where ideas come from when it comes to be creative as a teacher. As I'm watching this program and writing this post, I've had a million other ideas of how I could differentiate this one idea for the particular students in my class. If my goal is to get students engaged with story telling and doing research about their personal history and tying that personal history to larger history, then by providing choice and voice, I'd hope the students would strengthen valuable skills while learning new content.

January 19, 2017

Too Many Rules Can Hinder Curiosity in the Classroom

In many cases, when we are afforded opportunities to make our own decisions about where and how we learn or how we teach, that level of ownership naturally connects with curiosity. However, when someone else dictates how and why we MUST learn or do something, regardless of how interesting it may be, there is a level of control that kills whatever possible curiosity that could naturally occur.

January 17, 2017

Why Do I Teach?

Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that there is no other profession that I can really see myself in. I've tried a few others out, so it's not a default and I'm certainly not doing it to have the summers off (as I'm not usually off during that time.) Teaching is both noble and challenging. It takes a long time to truly nurture and grow.

January 10, 2017

It's Time to Streamline Writing Expectations From Secondary to Higher Ed

In the past I've been fortunate enough to collaborate with some higher ed professors of writing and try to streamline expectations between their composition classes and what I was teaching in 12th grade English. What we learned was that not just the content but method of delivery were wildly desparate. How can we expect students to be successful in college if we aren't having these important conversations and then adjusting our pedagogy and expectations accordingly to suit the students? It is their needs that should be driving instruction and not just our thoughts about expectations.

December 26, 2016

Wrapping Up 2016: A Blogging Year in Review

From the #1st5days to Harry Potter, this year marked a journey that I'm luck to have endured. Review the year in posts and share your experiences from the year about any or all of the topics shared.

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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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