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What if I told you there’s a new teacher out there struggling who needs you — would you share your story?

I remember my first year like it was yesterday. I accepted an interview for a permanent position on September 30th. I thought this was strange timing, given the new school year had just begun; however, to me, it was also serendipitous.

There was no question in my mind that I would take the chance to sit for an interview and teach a lesson to what would become my first class of students.

I was so excited to learn I would have a real job, I hardly took the time to wonder why several teachers left this position in the short month since the school opened its doors, or what it meant when a series of administrators and faculty characterized the group of sweet, cooperative adolescents I met as “challenging.” In fact, it didn’t even phase me that, after announcing what my new salary would be, my then-superintendent asked, “So, do you still want the job?”

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PodcastPodcastTch Talks 8: Sarah & Friends with Sara Kadjer

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Sara Kadjer, professor of English Education at the University of Georgia, discusses her distinguished career, from middle school teacher to higher ed faculty. A pioneer in digital literacies and new media education, Sara talks about the greater complexities of the world today and the important role teachers play in helping young people navigate those complexities. Through it all, Sara is inspired by the joy of working with children and witnessing their learning. “Real innovation is not in response to anyone’s edict.”@skadjer

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PodcastPodcastTch Talks 7: Sarah & Friends with Meenoo Rami

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Meenoo Rami has taught high school English in Philadelphia, written the book Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching, and is now the Education Manager for Minecraft, the wildly popular virtual building game. Sarah Brown Wessling talks with Meenoo about her work in education over the years, with a special emphasis on being new to the profession.

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What Do Teachers Really Do During The Holiday Break?

The excitement of the holiday season is in the air and winter break is just around the corner. Amid all the hustle and bustle, a few days can seem like an eternity. Distractions come easily; that is, if you’ve managed to find focus in your classroom at all. Desks are messy, school bags are bulging, and everyone is counting the days — maybe the hours — until the final school bell rings to signal sweet, sweet freedom.

Imagine how the students must feel!

We know you’ve been working hard for the past few months to create the best possible learning experiences for your students. You’ve earned this brief time away and we’ve been wondering how you plan to spend it. In true Tch fashion, we asked our outstanding community of educators to find out.

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#TchWellness: Declutter for Clarity and Focus

Getting Better Together

This entry is the sixth post in the series #TchWellness.

Every September, my desk and office space begin as blank canvases. As I purchase supplies and create materials, I place each item in an organized location. However, as the year progresses, I’m often overwhelmed by paperwork, post-it notes, books to read, projects to complete, and more. Somewhere in all of this, my desk becomes a space for my expansive educational collections and to-do lists rather than a clean, organized retreat where I can mentally focus and be creative.

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PodcastPodcastTch Talks 5: Sarah and Friends with Shawn Sheehan

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In this Tch Talk Series “Sarah and Friends,” Tch Laureate Sarah Brown Wessling catches up with Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year Shawn Sheehan to hear his advice to his first-year teacher self.

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PodcastPodcastTch Talks 3: Sarah & Friends with Leah Alcala

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Leah Alcala, well known to the Teaching Channel community from her popular videos such as My Favorite No and Highlighting Mistakes: A Grading Strategy, talks with Sarah Brown Wessling about her teaching journey. Now a Math teacher at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California, Leah recounts what she’s learned over the years about the craft of teaching.


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What Do Rising Educators Need to Know and Be Able to Do?

Editor’s Note: The questions throughout this post are from the Rising Educators in Jennifer Wolfe’s course. We invite you to click on the questions to respond to them directly.

As a 20-year veteran high school social studies teacher, I don’t get nervous anymore when the first day of school draws near — I get excited. I wonder who my students are, what they’ll talk about, how they’ll take to the content, what challenges and celebrations we’ll have this year, and of course, if they’ll like and respect me.

educator question 1I only just realized that I’m more excited in September these days than nervous, when I was hired to teach my first graduate-level education class, Foundations in Education 602, this past summer. I felt the butterflies in my stomach almost immediately after I was asked to send in copies of my degrees and was assigned a university faculty email address. Amazing, me, an adjunct professor. Awesome! Now what in the hell was I going to teach them? The university gave me some basic guidelines, but the course was mine to create. I could design a foundations course of my own.

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Break Away From Perfection

The Big Tent

As a new teacher, I’ve struggled in my classroom this last year. I’ve had lessons that don’t go as planned, students that I can’t seem to reach, and days where no matter how much I prepare, it doesn’t seem to be enough. I had this idea that I needed to be the “perfect” teacher. But let’s face it, there is not enough time to always be perfect, and perfect is boring.

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