Compassion as a Classroom Management Tool

In the Edutopia article "Compassion as a Classroom Management Tool," I discuss the benefits of being empathetic to your students needs.

"When I entered the ninth-grade English classroom, I had a clear vision of the first-year teacher I wanted to be: a strict, but thoughtful, educator who held students accountable for their behavior in the classroom. While my intentions were not flawed, the execution of this teaching style was poor, and left my students with a different impression of me: apathetic."

3 Fun Strategies for Note Taking

The conversation in the Edutopia article "3 Fun Strategies for Note Taking" centers on taking a traditional classroom strategy and reviving it with physical movement, critical thinking, and student engagement. 

"There are few things my students hate more than taking notes—and I don’t blame them. Hardly anyone enjoys taking notes. No matter the energy of the teacher or the diligence of the student, it’s extraordinarily easy to lose focus while listening to long, uninterrupted lectures."

Thriving in Your First Years as a Teacher

I wrote the Edutopia article "Thriving in Your First Years as a Teacher" to help all early career teachers who struggle to maintain the time consuming expectations of teaching, yet still want to improve.  

"It is a universal truth that early career teachers are overwhelmed. Between classroom management issues, lesson plans, and grading, we’re oftentimes drowning. With all the pressure to simply survive our first few years of teaching, doing anything else in the name of improvement may seem impossible. As a second-year teacher, I have days when I find myself treating life’s necessities, like sleeping, as if they were optional activities."

Radio Interview with Larry Jacobs on EduTalk Radio

On this episode of EduTalk Radio with Larry Jacobs, he and I discuss my Edutopia article "3 Fun Strategies for Note Taking," which won the SmartBrief Editor's Choice Content Award. This award is given by SmartBrief Education to two outstanding education related articles every month. 

During the show, Jacobs and I delve into important topics such as boredom in the classroom, assessment practices, and the National Writing Project.

5 Ways to be a Good Teacher Leader

In this Smart Brief Education article, "5 Ways to be a Good Teacher Leader," I address how teachers can be a leader among their peers in a productive way. 

"For teachers, being asked to be a leader to our peers seems like a loaded question. What does being a teacher leader mean? We don’t want to direct our fellow teachers, demand they complete tasks or offer unwanted feedback. Fortunately, being a teacher leader requires none of those things. Instead, teacher leaders are characterized by their ability to support their peers."

7 Grading Tips for New Teachers

Grading is such a struggle, but for new teachers, it can be earth shattering. I wrote the article, "7 Grading Tips for New Teachers," to help those who are floundering amongst all of the assignments, papers, and graphic organizers. You are not alone!

"New teachers have a lot to be excited about. They’ve embarked on a fantastic journey of meeting students, creating lesson plans, and beginning an extremely meaningful career. On the downside, one aspect of teaching that causes more dread than excitement for early career teachers is grading."

How Teachers Benefit from Writing

Writing is one of my absolute favorite activities. I wrote "How Teachers Benefit From Writing" to help others find their joy with writing.

"When I started writing a blog, I felt like an imposter. It was as if I was pretending to be a 'writer.' When I hit the publish button on my first post, I was sure that some sort of writing police were going to burst through my webpage with red pens clutched in their hands. 'You’re not a writer!' they’d bellow. And I would have agreed—I did not feel like a writer."

Writing Makes Me a Better Teacher

Struggling and learning are synonymous.  When I go through the struggle of writing, that process makes me a better teacher of writing. I explore this idea in the article, "Writing Makes Me a Better Teacher."

“It’s too hard. I can’t think of anything to say. I’m just not a writer. These are the comments I hear when my students are faced with writing. I’m not alone. From elementary to secondary, all teachers have encountered distraught students who felt defeated when their writing did not come easily."

Who Can You Trust? Teaching Online Research Literacy

The internet has changed the way we talk about research. Is it for the better? In "Who Can You Trust? Teaching Online Research Literacy" I discuss the new role of teachers in this Google-focused world.

“Google and I have a complicated relationship. Living in these futuristic times, I turn to Google regularly for my questions. I am no stranger to yelling  “Hey, Google!” at my innocuous Google Home to find out the correct pronunciation of whomst, if it’s supposed to rain today, or prove my partner wrong—or right—over simple controversies."

Speak, Trigger Warnings, and Listening to Student Needs

Listening to student feedback is one of the most important parts of being an effective teacher. This article addresses how uncomfortable, yet rewarding, that process can be. 

“I loved giving my students the chance to write about and discuss hard topics in my classroom. On the days when we cleared out the mumbo-jumbo of normal class expectations, when we simply talked and wrote about real world issues, it was those days that were special. They were meaningful. My kids asked for more days like them, and I tried to honor that request."

Strategies for Teaching Argument Writing

Teaching students how to advocate for themselves through argument writing is critical for their longterm success. This Edutopia article explains more.

“My ninth-grade students love to argue. They enjoy pushing back against authority, sharing their opinions, and having those opinions validated by their classmates. That’s no surprise—it’s invigorating to feel right about a hot-button topic. But through the teaching of argument writing, we can show our students that argumentation isn’t just about convincing someone of your viewpoint—it’s also about researching the issues, gathering evidence, and forming a nuanced claim.”