hot topics

dealing with parents who want to transfer their child to another teacher's room

Having a parent ask to move a child to a different classroom can be a huge blow to a teacher’s confidence. And it’s an issue that nearly every educator will face at some point–if not at multiple points–in their career. Sometime parents don’t like the fact that you are forcing them to address issues they’ve tried to […]

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highly decorated classrooms study

You’ve probably read some version of the study that has gone absolutely viral on social media in the last few days: Heavily Decorated Classrooms Disrupt Attention and Learning In Young Children. But have you seen the classroom used for the study? The bottom image shows the researchers’ idea of “highly decorated,” which looks like a pretty typical […]

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Take the one question survey and share your opinion, plus see how other educators voted.

One of my favorite things to do on the blog is to pose questions about various issues in education, including controversial topics, and read the viewpoints of teachers from across the world. Over the years, we’ve talked about whether teachers should complete school work during holidays, use collective punishment, and sell the materials they create. We’ve discussed when does […]

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summer break countdown

In recent years, I’ve tried to stop counting down to anything, actually: days until a family vacation, days until a holiday, days until a special event. Though some people find it motivating to know how many days they have left, the countdown mentality just hasn’t served me well, especially when I’m anxious for summer break. […]

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alternative careers for teachers

You love to teach and you love making a difference for kids. You can’t imagine working in any other field but education. But what happens when you start to feel burned out by the profession or want a different challenge? What other meaningful careers exist in education besides classroom teaching? I’ve created this list of […]

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Spread the word to students that they are more than a test score

The following true story made the rounds in social media this fall, but I wanted to share it with you now in the spring as so many of us suffer through “testing season” and anxiously await the return of standardized test scores. An elementary school principal sent this message to all her students during the week […]

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psychology of pverty

One of my first teaching experiences, over a decade ago, was in a HeadStart program located in a dense urban area. I loved working with my students’  families and became pretty friendly with a parent who would often confide in me about personal and financial issues. She told me how she had trouble paying her […]

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understanding introverts

I’ve insisted on having some quiet time built into my day for as long as I can remember. I’d drop the class off at P.E. and retreat to my classroom, breathing a deep sigh and reveling in the silence. I always built down-time into our daily schedule, following up an intense period of direct instruction […]

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Sunday Night Blues

Have you ever wasted half the weekend worrying about the week ahead? Even if you love your job, you might still wake up on Sunday mornings with a feeling of dread and spend the evening in a total state of anxiety simply because there are so many pressures associated with teaching. Here are 7 tips […]

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lesson planning on the weekend

I was going to write about a post about how teachers should relax, enjoy the Thanksgiving break, and not think about school even once. Family is more important than work, and ultimately, taking a break from school stuff can make you a more relaxed and energized teacher. But, there’s a problem. Choosing not to grade […]

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Taking notes with camera phone

What’s your first impression of this image? When I shared it on Facebook recently, some pretty passionate responses were sparked. A number of teachers thought that students taking notes with phone and tablet cameras was a useful strategy, but they were far outnumbered by dissenters. Some commenters viewed it as evidence of bad teaching, kids’ […]

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Tips for teachers on dealing with negative coworkers

Whether it’s in the teacher’s lounge, staff meetings, or just passing one another in the hallway, even a short conversation with a negative teacher can be totally draining. Everyone complains from time to time, of course. But what about those colleagues who never have anything positive to say and seem determined to tear everyone else […]

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How to keep from burning out by expecting too much of yourself as a teacher!

Do you have a tendency to make gigantic to-do lists for every new school year? Do you promise yourself each fall that this year will be different, and expect yourself to suddenly become organized and top of all the tasks you’re given? If so, you’re not alone. August and September can be such overwhelming months for […]

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When does the pressure to have a perfect-looking classroom become a distraction from what really matters?

I recently received not just one, but two emails from teachers informing me that my classroom “wasn’t cute” in the pictures I’ve shared on this site. Commentary on cuteness (or lack thereof) is something that seems to be happening more and more frequently in education-related discussions. And what’s really interesting is that in many cases, […]

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Resources to help get a teaching job: questions about job searches, ideas for answering interview questions

A few years ago, I wrote a page on this site called Job Interview Tips for Teachers, and it’s proven to be so popular (it was pinned on Pinterest over 75,000 times–sheesh!) that I kept updating it every summer. On that page, you’ll find info on what to wear to a teaching interview, interviewing tips, […]

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standardized testing

So last month I ranted a little bit about product placement on the new standardized tests in New York (as in, the brand names of cartoons and sneakers and soda being embedded in reading passages.)  Now that “testing season” is officially over in most schools, I’m really eager to hear from more educators who have […]

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Four years ago, I had an experience where I believed that there were advertisements on my students’ standardized tests. (Please, read that story. It’s one of my favorites.) That nightmare actually came true this week. Yes, my friends. The new standardized tests in New York feature plugs for commercial products. Supposedly, none of the companies paid […]

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This is another one of those highly divisive issues that seem to plague large schools all across the country, yet I don’t see a lot of conversations about it online. Anytime there are multiple classes per grade level or subject area, teacher reputations spread throughout the community and parents (as well as students) begin to […]

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The success of public schooling in Finland has been a huge topic of discussion in the education community over the past year. I’ve read a few good articles about it, including Why Are Finland’s Schools So Successful?, and was impressed with what I learned. So when the image to the left started circulating on social media, […]

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That’s according to the 29th annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, an always fascinating analysis of teacher and principal perceptions of their work. The fact that teachers are increasingly less satisfied with their jobs is probably not surprising to you, but MetLife found that teachers’ satisfaction levels have dropped 23% since 2008, and that, to […]

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