I Want to Get Better at… Social Emotional Learning Next Year

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How would you describe your perfect classroom?

I imagine you’re thinking about a classroom where deep learning happens because your students feel supported, understood, and inspired; everyone gets along, respects one another, and manages their emotions and behavior with ease.

Maybe you’re picturing an oasis of calm or a classroom that runs like a well-oiled machine. All of your students are responsible and accountable and you’re wrapped up in a warm cocoon of “Teacher Zen.”

Sound impossible? Well, maybe just a little… But when you have resources and support, it’s definitely a bit easier.

Whether you want to incorporate social and emotional learning into your classroom or explore SEL as a dedicated class — we’ve got the tools for you!

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I Want to Get Better at… Classroom Management

Summer 2017 - I want to get better at...

Does anyone not want to get better at classroom management? Even the most experienced teachers can find ways to make their classrooms more welcoming and productive places. But for new teachers, classroom management can feel make it or break it.

If you’ve had a rough year, congratulations on getting through it!

This summer, let’s settle in and learn how to get better at classroom management.

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I Want to get Better at… Growth Mindset Next Year

Summer 2017 - I want to get better at...
As you pack up your classroom, filing away lessons and deciding whether to keep or scrap student work samples, your mind may already be racing with ideas about ways you can make next year even better. You’ve probably heard about how having a growth mindset helps students to persist through challenges and take risks — and you may be thinking about how you can help your students do just that next year.

Want to learn more about growth mindset? We’ve got you covered!

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I Want to Get Better at… Organization Next Year

Summer 2017 I want to get better at...

The daily craziness of being a teacher can make it hard to stay organized. Just when you’ve got your desk cleared off, stacks of papers come flying in. Or right after you spent time tidying up, in come students to mess everything up again.

This summer, you won’t have students in your classroom. You won’t even be in your classroom! But that doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about how to make classroom organization go more smoothly next year. In fact, taking a step back and planning systems that work can be more productive than acting reactively to every pile of papers.

If you’re looking to get better at organization, these resources can help!

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Hacking Education: 5 Key Elements For Implementing New Ideas

Think back to a time you implemented a new idea with a group of your peers. What made it successful or challenging? For me, this process is both exciting and intense, wanting the idea to work and also understanding the stress that such changes bring about.

Hacking EducationThis school year, I’m trying a new role on for size — Instructional Coach. In this role, I’ll be bringing a lot of new ideas to the table. I’m nervous, energized, and filled with hope. Yet, I needed some reminders on how to successfully implement new ideas within systems that may or may not have equivalent buy-in from all members.

Enter Mark Barnes, author of Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School (special thanks to Mark’s co-author, Jennifer Gonzalez, as well). This summer, a group of 50 educators and I embarked on a journey as we read their book. Now, we’re preparing to implement hacks as individuals at our respective schools. In talking with Mark via Google Hangout, he guided our thinking with five key elements that will help provide focus and direction as we implement new ideas in our systems. Read more

Six Ways To Improve Your Practice In The Teacher Off-Season

If you’ve ever taught in a classroom, you get what few other people understand — there is no such thing as summer vacation. Yes, we do receive that precious eight to ten weeks (depending on where you live) of time without children in the months of June, July and early August. But, depending on where you are in your career and whether you’re working summer school, those months can look drastically different.

I’ve always loved the summer; not just because of the weather and the holidays (Hello, 4th of July!), but because of the time it gives me to rest, recover and reevaluate what happened in the past academic year. Each summer of my career has looked different, and this one is no exception.

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Tch Video Lounge: Choose Your Own Summer Learning Adventure

Choose Your Own Summer Learning Adventure

Summer. A time to breathe a little more deeply. A time to let your shoulders relax. A time to wear your jammies til noon! And often, a time to do some professional learning. Why not wear your jammies and do a little learning at the same time? This summer you can do just that in Tch Video Lounge.

This year, Teaching Channel opened the doors to Tch Video Lounge, a place where you can watch, learn, and talk about Teaching Channel content together with colleagues from around the world. These lounge videos are layered with prompts to focus your thinking so that you not only learn from watching the video, you also learn by sharing your noticings, reflections, and wonders with other educators. And best of all, you can jump into the conversation at any time, from anywhere.

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Summer Math Reading: Five Days of Favorites

At the end of the school year, I always find myself in such a weird space. I’m exhausted, need a breather, and know I should take some time to get off the runaway train that is teaching.

PinterestHowever, that need to disconnect, decompress, and check out of education thinking for a bit is quickly followed with the excitement of finally having time to catch up on all the great educational reads I can’t seem to get through during the school year. As I start to make my list — and question whether I’m a workaholic unable to disconnect from teaching — I find so many teachers and coaches on Twitter asking for book recommendations. Whether it be recommendations for the following school year’s professional learning or simply for personal learning, I’m relieved to see I’m not alone!

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Hack Your Summer: Join The Hacking Education Book Study

Hacking Education book study

In my experience as a teacher, I find that nearly every day I face a disconnect between what I perceive to be a challenging problem, and how the educational system responds to my needs. The system, as a whole, tends to focus on massive, overarching changes. However, it’s more often the case that what I need is a small adjustment, crafted from creative thinking, to help me work more efficiently and in so doing, increase my efficacy and productivity.

Hacking Education book cover

With this dilemma in mind, I recently encountered the book, Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School.

Why “Hacking?”

At first, I questioned the term “hacking.” I thought it only pertained to illegal, malicious computer hacking. After delving into the book, though, I learned that a hack is a clever procedure that helps to solve a meaningful problem. Furthermore, hacking is a way to develop agency in a situation by creating individual or collective solutions to an existing problem. Through creativity, one artfully identifies a problem, devises potential pathways to overcome it, explores the feasibility of those solutions, and implements and refines it along the way.

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