Building Relationships

Charts: The Enormous Power of a Teacher’s Words


My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson, was a pudgy little lady with hair cropped close to her head. She looks mean in the yellowed class picture near the front of my school days’ scrapbook. But I can’t recall a single angry word ever spoken. I do remember that Mrs. Thompson was allergic to chalk. And I […]

Playful Teaching: School Is Supposed To Be Fun


I recently started reading the book Playful Parenting by Dr. Lawrence J. Cohen, a psychologist from Massachusetts. In his book, the author talks about teaching rather than punishing our kids. He claims, and I must admit that it makes a lot of sense to me, that we can best achieve that through “Playful Parenting.” Playful […]

Contemplation Music Writing for Educators

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For the new school year, why not try a little “day music” to get educators acquainted with themselves, colleagues, and students in a professional development session? My Contemplation Music Writing Project helped students find inner peace and I believe it will work with teachers. But you might be wondering how I can make this leap […]

Innovation Doesn’t Have to Be Complex: A Simple Tip to Make Practice/Review More Meaningful

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How can I learn about my students and help them review concepts in a way that is engaging, empowering, and helps them build relationships? Help students review and practice while observing students’ skills as formative assessment by using a technique called “Answers Around the Room”. Students complete a worksheet-type practice set, and the answers to […]

An Open Letter to My Former Self


As I enter my eleventh year in education, I have spent a lot of time reflecting back to my first year. A decade into my career, I am making a transition from the classroom to an instructional coaching position. This has caused much thought about what I know now and what I knew way back […]

Thirty Attitudes to End of the School Year Positively!

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1. Be moderate in your approach. You do not have to be the world’s best teacher all the time. You just have to be a very good one. 2. Spend your energy on large problems first and allot less of your energy for the small ones. Choose to deal with the problems that will give […]

Time To Get Real…

Transparency Open source

I was recently a guest on the “My Bad” podcast (check it out here)with Jon Harper (follow this guy on Twitterand check out hisEdWords blog, he is the real deal!) and he asked aboutmy new role as a featured blogger forBAM! Radio Networks: EdWords. He asked me if I would be as transparent with my […]

A Different Call To The Office


It’s May. While all eyes turn to the end of the year, I think it’s time we start counting up some of the end of year conversations we need to have before summer starts and we’re not seeing our students each day. I’ve written before about my belief that we are wired up so that […]

Young Children: Capable, if given the chance!


“It’s necessary that we believe that the child is very intelligent, that the child is strong and beautiful and has very ambitious desires and requests. This is the image of the child that we need to hold. Those who have the image of the child as fragile, incomplete, weak, made of glass gain something from […]

And That Is Enough


Fists balled. Jaw clenched. Nostrils flared. It was going to take more than the usual calm down speech to bring him back. After a minute or two it hit me. I knew exactly what I had to get. I was fairly certain it was in my office, but I wasn’t quite sure where. Luckily, I […]