As teachers, we face the reality that our job is never really *done.* There is always more planning to do, more work to be assessed, and more organizing that could be done. There are parents to call, meetings to attend, and paperwork to be completed. The idea of setting a resolution this New Year that relates to the job is...well, a bit overwhelming. But I've got you. I'm here with some ideas. I'm setting one (or two...three...six) of these for myself this year, because even though there is always SOMETHING else to do before you head home to your family on a Monday afternoon, there's always room to grow, too.
We wrapped up our first writing unit at the end of November and they were eager to show off their published narratives. This year, I wanted students and their audience to place more focus on the process of writing and less so on the published piece. It took many days, revisions, self-assessments, and mornings of goal-setting to complete this beauties! SO, I changed things up a little this year.
The book pockets revolve around the characters of the book, author's purpose, the setting, metacognitive work, and the plot of the story. Students must infer, draw evidence from the text, and explain their thinking using their own schema to answer the questions within the book pocket.
TRUTH: teachers want what is best for their students. As I write this blog post and as I have interacted with other educators online, I hold this truth at the forefront of my mind. I know we are all coming from a place of love and when I ground myself in that, I can see the concerns of educators coming forward in this issue.
Whether it's the beginning of a unit and you want to review expectations from a previous year, or it's the end of a unit and you want students to review content, WebQuests are amazing tools.
We're headed back to school in the blink of an eye, teacher rockstars. While you savor these last several weeks of summer, check out the handful of resources below that I consider my back to school MUST HAVES!
The conversation goes the same almost every time, an equal split between genders: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "A YouTuber," the student replies. A YouTuber. I need to remember that to make meaningful connections to our learning across the curriculum. "What type of YouTube videos do you want to make: streaming video games? Toy testing? Daily vlogs? Something entirely different?"
Teachers LOVE coffee shop gift cards. It's science. We're a people who are extremely caffeinated and we love that about ourselves. Perhaps, though, you're looking for something a bit more trendy but inexpensive to gift your kiddo's teacher for the end of the school year. I've got you covered (with insider information, at that!).
My news feed has been blasted lately with teacher mental health and wellbeing articles. Recently, ASCD posted this article, "Emotional Resilience: The Missing Ingredient," about fostering emotional resilience in educators. EdWeek posted an opinion article this month, "Who Is Taking Care of Teachers?" that speaks to the emotional weights teachers are carrying day-to-day. Another great article to check out, in the form of a podcast or blog post, is Jennifer Gonzalez's wisdom in "Why It’s So Hard for Teachers to Take Care of Themselves (and 4 Ways to Start)"
Each year when spring arrives in the classroom, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed with the thought of my current students moving on to the next grade. Of course, I'm excited for them, but I'm also ALWAYS wondering, "What will these kiddos remember from this class? What was their favorite moment from this year? How have they grown as small humans?"