positive classroom environment

The Importance of Building Capacity in Schools

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There exists little evidence as to the direct effects school leaders have on student achievement (1). The reading expert Kelly Gallagher (2) asserts that the “Teacher is the X factor” in the classroom.  What, then, can school leaders and education researchers do to provide direction for a school improvement collaboration? We look to the context […]

Summer Strategies for Teaching Success

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Once the school year starts, there’s hardly a moment to breathe. The pace of school life, particularly at the early-childhood and elementary levels, is marked by significant time-on-task with large numbers of children and tremendous responsibility for coaching, leading, and responding to students’, families’, and system-wide needs, expectations, questions, and requirements. Summer gives you the […]

Removing Barriers to Peer Acceptance

It is important for teachers to make it easy for their students to work well together—an undertaking requiring diplomacy as well as dedicated effort. Social inclusion is such a vital aspect of any student’s life that the effort often results in beneficial dividends. What are some of the most common barriers to social acceptance in […]

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 […]

The Space in Between…


My daughter Annie did not get up and get ready for school with me today. Yesterday was her last day at AmityMiddle School and today she is sleeping in. This year Annie talked about school non-stop. Every time I got into the car with her I would hearaboutMr. Goldstein‘s experiments, we now have a Sons […]

Part 5: Building a Classroom Community: Helping Students Relate Well to Each Other

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At its most fundamental level, a classroom community will be defined by the commonalities that students share, the presence of courteous behavior, and appropriate ways to solve conflicts. These positive relationships all pave the way for a united classroom where students can thrive instead of simmer in various types of disruptive conflicts. When students can […]

6 Unique Ways Teachers Can End The Year By Creating Memories

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SIMPLE TRUTH: The power of a teacher is truly known when we allow a child to be truly known RESEARCH TELLS US: The end of the school year. Yes, this is a time that evokes so many feelings for students and teachers alike. Summer vacation is knocking at everyone’s front door, and this annual knock […]

6 Ways Extroverted Teachers Can Support Introverted Students


“She just needs to talk more in class.” Those were the words a frustrated mother shared with me during one of my first parent-teacher conferences. The mother’s goal was for her child to speak up more in class. That was it. In her mother’s opinion, that’s all the daughter needed to be more successful in […]

7 Ways Teachers Can Have A Growth Mindset


SIMPLE TRUTH: The behaviors teachers model speak louder to students than any words teachers use. RESEARCH TELLS US: Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, made a splash in the education world with her recent book,Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Sheassertedthat “students’ mindsets, how they perceive their abilities, played a key role in […]

Teaching With Intention: A Weekly Checklist


Simple Truth: We don’t learn from our experiences.We learn from reflecting upon our experiences. Wow, where did the week go? Inside the world of education, teachers know this feeling all too well. Our responsibilities to our students, colleagues, leadership, and stakeholders are intense and ongoing. It’s due to these responsibilities and the fast-moving nature of […]

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