At the beginning of the school year, we spend a lot of time and energy building class culture. And with good reason: once we get into the school year, having a positive classroom environment goes a long way.
But as you settle in with your new class or classes over the first few weeks, you begin to move away from community-building activities and spend the majority of your time teaching content. When that happens, it’s time to turn your attention to planning. Follow these five tips and get inspired to create engaging lesson plans.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
This Won’t Be Easy
Important conversations never are. But our students — and colleagues — learn as much from what we do (or don’t do) as what we say (or don’t say). The events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia are likely weighing heavy on your students’ hearts and minds, just as they are on yours. You haven’t had the opportunity to learn their names, set up a structure, or lay the foundation for learning this year, but you can still create a space for your students to begin to unpack race, face history, and grapple with the lasting legacies of the past.
When events like those in Charlottesville, Virginia happen, we watch the news in disbelief and despair. We scroll endlessly through our Twitter feeds — tweeting, retweeting, sharing resources, and keeping abreast of the latest developments. Maybe what you saw invoked anger, maybe sadness, maybe fear.
The question that remains is, what are you going to do about it?
Teachers need to talk with their students about race, but before you begin to explore race, bias, and identity in your classroom, you’ll need to do a bit of work to be sure you’re prepared.
When you’re ready, the resources below can help spur discussions about implicit bias, privilege, and systemic racism, and empower students to work toward a more just society.
Back-to-School time is the perfect opportunity to take a look back at some of your favorite Teaching Channel videos. Start your new school year off right by watching our most popular videos of 2017 (so far).
It’s almost the end of July, so that means:
- You’re still having fun in the sun and enjoying some well-deserved downtime
- You’ve already begun your preparations for the coming school year
No matter which category you find yourself in, this fun and upbeat collection of resources — all crowdsourced from the Tch Team — is sure to keep your mind sharp and put a spring in your step!
Teaching Channel was founded on the belief that giving educators a chance to see and reflect on classroom practice in action would have a profound impact on the profession.
You, the million-strong Teaching Channel community, have borne out that vision. You come to our website and watch our videos to learn from one another, to add to your teacher toolkit, to engage in meaningful inquiry using our Teams platform, and to share concrete ideas via our blog.
We at Teaching Channel have been humbled by your sustained and ever-growing support of our mission.
Now, to keep Teaching Channel thriving and producing the kind of content you find so valuable over the long-term, our Board of Directors, after careful consideration regarding the sustainability of our mission, has made the decision for Teaching Channel to become a for-profit company.
What does this transition mean for you?
What Does One Million Mean?
Metaphorically, one million represents an incomprehensibly large number, as in “Never in a million years” or “You’re one in a million.” We might say, “I’ve walked a million miles” to depict an extreme, or pronounce, “That’s the million-dollar question” to articulate a crucial need for a solution.
But today, one million means even more
Today, the 1,000,000th teacher registered to be a member of our amazing Teaching Channel community. This is no small feat — and this remarkable moment warrants celebration.
Click to enlarge.
“High school students hate history. When they list their favorite subjects, history always comes in last. They consider it “the most irrelevant” of 21 school subjects, not applicable to life today. “Borr-r-ring” is the adjective they apply to it. When they can, they avoid it, even though most students get higher grades in history than in math, science, or English. Even when they are forced to take history, they repress it, so every year or two another study decries what our 17-year-olds don’t know… “
And so begins James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.
The study of society and our collective past is important. It helps us understand ourselves, how we got to the present, and the world around us. It’s interesting that, as a society, we show a great interest in our culture and history. Whether it be historical novels and nonfiction, games, television programs, feature films, museum exhibits, or Broadway shows, American audiences — young and old — are fascinated with the “story of us.”
Yet our students sleep through the classes that present it.
Over the past few weeks, Teaching Channel has been offering up ideas for getting better at something this summer to prepare for the next school year. We’ve given you suggestions for learning about classroom organization, growth mindset, classroom management, and social emotional learning. This week, we’re offering you ideas for learning alongside other educators in the Tch Video Lounge.
If you’ve never visited the lounge before, summer is the perfect time to join us in our redesigned space! We now have 30 interactive videos for learning, organized by topic area. Each video is layered with prompts to focus your thinking and inspire you to share your ideas with other educators.
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!