positive class atmosphere

7 AM


Why on Earth would anyone do a Google Hangout with students at 7 am? Well, before you begin jumping on my case about the fact that students need more sleep and that their optimal thinking times are later in the morning, let me explain. First, know that the class I did the Google Hangout with […]

The Little Things


All I wanted was to finish my last bit of dinner in peace. Resting my head in my hands wasn’t really easing the pain but it wasn’t making it any worse. As my head continued to throb, I alternated between food and water. My family knew my head was killing me and they gave me […]

When Kids Just Don’t Want to Participate

preschool behavior

You plan your activities and lessons to be as exciting, fun, and meaningful as possible. And when most of the children engage in them, you feel a sense of pride and success! But what about those kids who simply don’t want to participate? Have you failed, or is there something going on with the kids […]

The Prize Box


If I had been looking the other direction I would have missed it. That would have been a shame. But I was fortunate enough to witness it. So I considered myself lucky. The timer was getting ready to go off and for a moment it seemed uncertain if he was going to be able to […]

Stop Distracted Teaching: Students Should Come First


Classroom distractions are not limited to students. We teachers can be just as off task as our studentswithout being fully aware of the extent of problem. It is not always easy to be completely focused on teaching or even our students all class long.We all experiencelegitimate distractions from time to time—an illness in our families […]

How to Move Beyond “Please, Please Don’t Torture the Sub”


Missing school is harder for teachers than many other professionals because not only do we have to leave appropriate plans and information so that substitute teachers can manage our classes while we are out, but also because even the best of students tend to have the classic, “Oh boy! We have a sub!” reaction. Unless […]

How to Create a Partnership Based on Student Strengths


Excerpted from Discipline Survival Guide for the Secondary Teacher “It is no secret that the relationship we build with our students affects their success. A positive relationship with our students is one of our strongest defenses against disruptive behavior. Often we try to stop misbehavior with a flurry of negative commands and injunctions against behaviors […]

Creating Trust and Personal Connection with Students


More and more research indicates that relationships matter in classrooms. Relationships between you and the students and among the students themselves. They foster more academic success and can change the way kids feel about coming to school every day – for the better. I hope you’ll listen to the wonderful discussion I had with Dawn […]

How to Successfully Overcome a Negative Group Identity


One of the most important responsibilities that all teachers have to manage successfully when they meet their students for the first time is to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere where students are made to feel valued, capable, and eager to return for a second class. This responsibility becomes even more crucial if you teach […]

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