From Burnout Into Ignited Passion: How Blogging, Information Overload, and Running Made Me A Better Teacher

May 28, 2013 Joel Wagner 1
This article has been viewed 8,182 times.

I don’t care if it’s your teaching job or your personal habits or your social life or what it is, we all face burnout at one time or another. Or another or another or another. At times, I can feel like we are in a dark tunnel with no escape and we don’t have the energy to escape. Ummm, not that I have ever experienced that, of course.

ANYWAY, you may or may not be struggling with this now. I would guess at this point in the school year, none of us in the United States are wanting to ever teach another school year. It happens. So I present to you an autobiographical short story that addresses this concept.

Once ...

50 Things Every First Year Teacher Should Know

September 2, 2012 Joel Wagner 3
This article has been viewed 26,979 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 beginning of a new school year would be a great time for something like this. I’m sure there are tons of other things that first year teachers should know, but here are a handful of tips.

  1. Persevere
  2. Learn from the wisdom of others
  3. Avoid gossip
  4. Work diligently
  5. Leave room for a personal life
  6. Live on less than you earn
  7. Students are a reflection of their parents
  8. Students are a reflection of their teacher
  9. Persistent problems are usually caused by something you are doing/allowing/omitting/forgetting
  10. Find a
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Make This School Year Amazing!

July 27, 2012 Joel Wagner 0
This article has been viewed 6,268 times.

How is this year going to be different from every other year you’ve taught before? Do you have a specific plan to ensure that it will be? Here’s a simple suggestion that I aim to implement in my own teaching this year. Ready?

Plan
Each Sunday, I am going to think about what has happened in recent weeks and identify one weak area that needs to be addressed. It doesn’t have to be the biggest problem area. In fact, sometimes targeting a seemingly insignificant problem that I know I can rectify helps me gain confidence to attack the bigger, more ominous ones later on. Perhaps I can tackle one specific element of a larger problem area. The whole “one bite ...

10 Years of Teaching: A Reflection

June 4, 2012 Joel Wagner 3
This article has been viewed 2,019 times.

I started this blog more than five years ago. I have now come to the conclusion of my 10th year of teaching. It strikes me that there is a lot of information contained in here (especially in the older articles) that is just flat out wrong, misleading, or easily misunderstood. In the upcoming weeks and months, I aim to readdress some of those same issues from my new, far more patient and friendly mindset. At the same time, there are some core beliefs I held to in those early days that are ever strong in me and I want to really bring those out as well.

Over the last two school years, I have been in a situation where I ...

Where Have YOU Been?

October 13, 2010 Joel Wagner 0
This article has been viewed 1,487 times.

This school year is turning out to be pretty crazy in a lot of ways. I’m now in my ninth year of teaching and am working firsthand with a third year teacher on a regular basis teaching 6th grade beginner band. I also have the opportunity to work alongside a first year strings teacher, a second year choir teacher, and also in the same district as a first year band director. So my hands have been pretty full trying to fill the role of mentor in some ways with these folks.

In addition, my efforts at running have slowed down substantially as I got a stress fracture on my foot in July, continued trying to run despite the pain (and ...

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