You are here
Home > Search Results for "mentor"

Find A Mentor – Again (Total Teacher Transformation Day 6)

This is an article in the Total Teacher Transformation series. Click here for a complete table of contents. I hope that this series so far has been useful for some of you. I'm not getting an overwhelming amount of feedback specifically on the series, but I guess I really can't complain about over 40 (non-spam) comments in the last week, even if they were not entirely devoted to the Total Teacher Transformation series. I find that it's always nice to get feedback when you are trying to do something important. In thinking about this, I am actually reminded of the early days of my Total Teacher Transformation back 5 years ago. I didn't have anyone there saying, "You're doing a great job"

Find A Mentor (Total Teacher Transformation Day 3)

This is an article in the Total Teacher Transformation series. Click here for a complete table of contents. Let's play a game I want you to think about your classes right now. Think about the four biggest trouble-makers on your roll sheet. Now imagine, what it would be like if they all got sent to another school. You wake up tomorrow and those four kids are gone. What a great day! But you know what? With them gone, four more kids will step up and strart ruining your life. There is no end to the number of children who will misbehave if given the chance! Even if you only have one kid, they will still act up when given the

4 Digital Safeguards For Modern Teachers

I started my teaching career in 2002. Our world and the digital landscape have changed dramatically since then. Navigating this new landscape can be challenging for teachers who want to engage students with the latest technology, but also protect themselves from some of the pitfalls that this always-connected world brings with it. Here are four digital safeguards you can easily get started on this week that could help your teaching life. 1. Create a free "school-only" Google account "But my school provides me with an email address, why would I do that?" That's a great question. Why should we even bother doing this? Once upon a time, this was a non-issue. Now, the idea of opening a browser window on a projector in

10 Things To Do Before The First Day of School

As the new school year approaches, many new teachers find themselves entering the ranks of professional educators for the first time. Maybe that's you. Or maybe you're a college student beginning your student teaching process. Or a new teacher who experienced a bit of frustration last year. Whatever the case may be, the new school year brings with it a certain sense of excitement and nervousness. This article explores 10 things to do before the first day of school. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail Any experienced educator can tell you that the best school years are those that start off on the right foot. And those same people have just as many horror stories of problems that stem from poor planning. As

Failing Forward: Turning Setbacks Into Triumphs

Another school year has come and gone. For many of us, it was a year of a few huge successes, a few colossal failures, and a whole lot of in-betweens. This article discusses how those colossal failures can propel you toward being a much better version of yourself. Every failure is an opportunity I love least after it's all over. I don't love failing. In fact, failing at stuff is one of my least favorite things. But I love what failure does to a person. It means I did something. It means I tried. It also means, I have a new opportunity to learn a great lesson. Often, the bigger the failure, the more valuable the potential lesson. The tough part about being

Should Teachers Provide Great Customer Service?

This is an updated version of one of the first articles written on this blog about treating education as a part of the customer service industry. The article was originally posted on February 24, 2007. It was edited and updated on June 15, 2016 to reflect a maturation in my approach to teaching as well as writing. You can read the original along with a handful of comments here. In the beginning When I was in college, I was assigned for one of my classes to write out own philosophy of education. It was somewhat noble (“I teach children to be better people through music” or something like that). It was substantially trite. Most importantly, it lacked any passion and it lacked depth. After all, I had not

Quitting Teaching, A View From A Former Teacher

In this article Lucas Allen, a former math educator from Illinois writes about his experience quitting teaching and the transition into the corporate world. Why I Left About 18 months ago, I quit teaching for a job in the corporate world. This wasn't a decision I made lightly. I had been a high school mathematics teacher at a couple of different schools in downstate Illinois over the course of 13 years. Lest you think I was longtime disgruntled employee of the public school system, let me assure you that was not the case. Over the years, I had thrown myself into numerous school activities, coaching the chess team, the volleyball team, and my favorite, the math team, eventually coaching my team to the 2012 Illinois

5 Steps That Took Me From “I Hate Teaching” To “I Love Teaching”

See if you can relate "I regret choosing this profession! I wish I was still back in college! I just want to go live at home and never have to work again! Oh wait, teaching provides insurance benefits, so I guess I'll just stick it out." Ever been there? It doesn't have to be that way. This can all change TODAY. It did for me. Here's how. An introduction Without a question, one of the top search results that sends people to my blog is "I Hate Teaching." It was #2 over the past 12 months. #1 was "Classroom Management Skills", which is essentially "Help! Want To Love Teaching, But I Hate Teaching." So, since I actually do not hate teaching at this point, I used to. For this reason, and

Just A Little Bit: 29 Tweaks That Help Me Gain The Respect of My Students

Why don't my students respect me? We've all been there at one time or another. For me, it was nearly every day during my first two years . Since then, I have grown as a teacher, but even as I look back on what I wrote in this blog eight years ago, I am struck by how differently I have come to view things. Those early years of struggle were good, and Lord knows I still continue to find my share of struggles, but as far as student respect, I generally find that I have a much easier time than I did once upon a time. Here is a quick list of things that work to help me gain respect from my students. They may not work for

Why Experience Is The Best Teacher

Why Experience Is The Best Teacher

"You'll understand when you're older." We tell that to our students, and they don't like. We hear it when we start out in the teaching world and we don't like. I remember an experienced band director told me once that he would tell me how to be a better teacher if he knew. He just knew that experience would help me get better. That frustrated me to no end. I'm a step-by-step guy (if you haven't noticed by reading other articles on this blog). "Just figure it out" is annoying to me. The way I like to figure things out is to look up the answers and work from there. "Experience is the best teacher" didn't quite do that for me. But...he was

What To Do When You Hate Teaching

Disillusionment is common to most of us involved in the teaching profession. We all deal with it at one point or another. But what do you do when you hate teaching? From dream to reality Here's the general path many of us take: You major in education because you want to change the world You realize that in order to teach, you need a find a job You go through disappointing interview after disappointing interview and are told if you had more experience, you would be perfect for the job You get frustrated that the only way to get experience is to get the job they won't give you because you don't have experience Some school district that was not your first

50 Things Every First Year Teacher Should Know

The first year teacher is often a very lonely and isolated person. They often feel like everyone else has everything already figured out, and they are the only one struggling. That is not the case. In fact, so many of us are in survival mode and dealing with our own issues that we forget to help the first year teachers out. Below is a list of 50 things I picked up in my first 10 years of teaching that can hopefully help you through some of those lonely times. I am in my 11th year of teaching now. Where did the time go? One of the top search results that sends people to this blog is "First Year Teacher" so I thought that

The Good Part of Sad by Teachermum

The Good Part of Sad by Teachermum

Teachermum is a mum, a wife and a special education teacher. She also believes in the "Crumple Effect" and loves sharing her ideas, experiences, philosophies and successful strategies on her blog. Read more of her posts at Sad. That is what I am feeling right now. I can give you a good number of reasons why I am sad, but that is not the intention of my blog post. I can also add a whole bunch of other emotions such as frustration, disappointment, anger and exhaustion into sad, but for now, I will umbrella them all under sad.  I hope, as I start out writing this, that I can ultimately express my message clearly and use my sadness as a tool to

10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Teaching Job

10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Teaching Job

I participated in the Reform Symposium recently and hosted a session entitled 10 Things I Wish Someone Had Explained Before My First Teaching Job. Go to the link here. A lot of these things are topics I've covered before, but here is what looks to be the outline for now. Professional Sanity Get a handle on classroom management early Practice selective ignorance Don’t argue with students The phone is your friend Learn from the experience of other teachers Ask questions When someone offers you advice, try to implement the suggestions; if they don’t work, figure out why not and try again Learn to listen Have fun Kids feed off of whatever energy you transfer One of the top ways to fight burnout is to