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August 17, 2017

Five Things to Appreciate About a New School Year

"I am viewing the start of school from an unfamiliar distance. But I want to share what I see as so special about being a K-12 teacher."

May 09, 2017

Interview Tip: Don't Be Negative About Your Teaching

Getting a job requires you to be both principled and strategic. There is a fine line between being appropriately honest, and well, shooting yourself in the foot.

April 28, 2017

Planning a Demo Lesson: Critical Thinking Is Key

In a demo lesson for a teaching position, make sure to create opportunities for students to think critically. This may sound obvious, but it can be difficult to maintain that space when you don't know the students and you're working in such a high pressure situation. For the members of the hiring committee I was on recently, this became a crucial factor in our decision. Here are some suggestions for making sure the students are doing higher order thinking in a demo lesson.

April 17, 2017

Interview Tip for Teachers: Be Prepared to Be Specific

Be specific. Know examples of your work. Be articulate. Ariel Sacks gives tips for teachers going through job interviews.

December 28, 2016

When Real Reading Isn't Happening ... Four Ways to Respond

One of the most fundamental routines in an English or any literacy-based classroom is the practice of reading. So what do we do when we give students a reading task, but we see that real reading is not happening? I'm talking about those moments when it seems like we're stuck repeating directions, redirecting off task behavior, and even struggling to stay focused ourselves. Maybe it's just a wonky moment--or maybe it's time to step back, evaluate what's really going on, and change course.

November 18, 2016

Simple Ways to Hold Students Accountable for Bringing Materials

It's the start of class, and the opening task is to read quietly. "Can I go to my locker to get my book?" a student asks. I give a disapproving look, because she should have her book with her, but I say yes. I have no extra copy to offer, and I don't want her to spend the period unproductive. Another student asks to get her book from her locker. I'm irritated, but I say yes.

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