Seeing My Students by: Laura McDonell
Listen Looking and seeing are two different things. (John Paul Caponigro) Allowing someone the opportunity to be seen and noticed is a gift. When I think about how many times I have quickly glanced around the classroom to “see” that my students are present and what they are working on,...
“Fine” is A Terrible Word by Laura McDonell
Being Honest Does Not Necessarily Mean You are Negative It is okay, to be honest. It is okay, to be honest, but it is not okay, to be honest and unwilling to look for a way to move forward. While it is true that the more positive we are, the...
Remembering What it is Like to be a Student by Laura Mcdonell
Listen How learning how to play chess made me a better teacher. There is No Limit to What We Can Learn. I choose to believe in a growth mindset and have confidence that I can learn almost anything. Learning does not come without challenges, and there are times when...
What does it Mean to Seek The Next Level? by Laura McDonell
Listen How Observation and Choosing the Struggle Allow us to Become Fearless Identifying the Next Level What does the next level look like? Our family loves to play Pacman. My sons and my husband are very good at playing the game, so their next levels look quite different from mine....
Change the Behavior, Change the Class (Part Three) by Hollie Hamaker
Listen When I think of the word "mentorship," I think of some ideal mentors. Professor Dumbledore and Gandalf are some of the first mentors that come to my mind. However, I should start putting my fellow teachers on that list. In the final installment of "Change the Behavior, Change the...
Student Reflections on Virtual and Hybrid Learning
Listen There is no question that this has been a very challenging year for teachers and administrators (OK, understatement doesn’t even begin to describe that statement). But, our students are facing these challenges without the benefit of maturity, life experience, or a college degree! Let’s not forget that...
Reformation: Embracing the Outdoors
Listen In this article, we’ll take a step away from our eleven leaders and reach a bit further out, because there are many schools around the world who have used the opportunity the pandemic has provided to be outdoors more. Pre-pandemic, many schools and districts in the U.S. added more...
Part 1: Reformation: Indoor Learning Environments
Listen We thought we were breaking boundaries with flexible seating. The reality is, though, we’re probably still doing everything the same. The only difference is just that we’ve offered our students “fun” chairs. Reforming education is no more about offering the same old, tired content to kids sitting on bouncy...
Checking in on Mental Health
Listen We have written a lot about mental health in the last 6 months since the world seems to have gotten turned upside down, but that’s just how important of a topic it is! While most of this seems to have started with the COVID-19 pandemic back in March, the...
The Class Is Half Full
Listen There is a lot for us to complain about when it comes to where we find ourselves as teachers these days. This is arguably the most difficult time to be a teacher in several decades. We are all relearning how to teach. Anxiety and stress are at all-time highs...
Teaching Culturally Responsive Literature: Part 1, LGBTQ+
Listen It is not appropriate as educators to tell students what to believe, but it is our duty to foster an environment that welcomes every individual and provides a safe space where they can learn. Schools are to be a microcosm of society at large in which students can practice...
Preventing PTSD Among Educators
Listen As the stories of teachers pour in from around the country of their return to their classrooms to clean them out, end the year, and get ready for summer, one thing is resoundingly clear: teachers have suffered some deep emotional trauma this year. Although trauma is widely accepted as...
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