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July 2016 On SYWTT

July 2016 was a great month as I continue getting back into the blogging groove of things. Below are some highlights.

2016-08-01 08.08.15

I discovered Pinterest and began to see that many of the articles on my site don’t look so great on there. As a result, I began making images to go along with my new articles. Additionally, I have begun going back through the archives to create images for some of the more popular older articles. As time progresses, I will get to more and more of them.

Along with that, I continue going back and adjusting formatting of old articles, as web standards have changed quite a bit since 2007. I have also started work on curating some of the articles by creating resource posts. The first one was Finding A Teaching Job, which includes a selection of resources that I have put together over the years.

And of course, content was added to the blog. Here’s a summary of each of the articles that were published this month.

Article summaries from July 2016

10 Things To Do Before The First Day of School
Far and away the biggest surprise of the month was this article. I knew that it was timely, but had no idea that it would bring in over 2,000 views in the last three days of July. The article also includes a quick reference infographic. The article goes much more in depth into these 10 things, but they are:

  1. Organize your classroom
  2. Structure your class flow
  3. Establish concise rules
  4. Prepare a simple paperwork plan
  5. Begin a list of questions
  6. Meet with peer teachers
  7. Meet with veteran teachers on your campus
  8. Build a yearly calendar
  9. Begin work on a day-to-day schedule
  10. Plan your first week of school

How To Avoid Arguing With Students
Have you ever noticed how you can walk into a classroom and hear the teacher talking, and the students being quiet? They are given directions, and nobody challenges the assignment. What is it that makes that happen? This article includes a few suggestions that I have found helpful over the years.

  1. Great teachers don’t accept excuses
  2. Great teachers use the broken record method
  3. Great teachers are patient
  4. Great teachers choose their battles wisely
  5. Great teachers formulate plans

101 Ways To Make Students Hate Your Class
We’ve all had our share of students whose purpose in life seems to be making our own life miserable. If you haven’t, well you’re in luck. Here is a list of ways to make students hate your class.

Obviously this article is a bit sarcastic, but there plenty of things that can be gleaned from it. I am convinced that many of the best lessons I learned about teaching were from some of the weakest teachers that I have seen throughout the years. Learning what not to do is often more instructive than learning what to do.

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35 Inspiring Quotes

35 Inspiring Quotes About the Power of Music
As music educators, we often focus our advocacy attention on the curricular benefits of music and gloss over many of the aesthetic benefits. The power of music is tremendous. I collected 35 Inspiring Quotes About the Power of Music and made a series of images. I have a couple of authors, traditional classical, jazz, classic rock, and modern musicians represented and ordered them by birth date.

Highlights from the list include: Mozart, Beethoven, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillsepie, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift.

Curiosity May Kill Cats, But Conformity Kills Creativity
In the recent blog post 10 Habits of People Who Always Have Great Ideas, Ideapod author Lachlan Brown highlights 10 characteristics of creative people. I encourage you to go read the article. As I was reading through the list, I was struck by two thoughts: “Hey, those are all habits I cultivate in my life!” and “Wow, wouldn’t it be great to have students like that in my class?” This article explores how I nurture creativity in my life as well as in my students.

The Many Benefits of Music Education [Infographic]
Research abounds regarding the incredible benefits of music education. The University of Florida has put together an infographic called “Why Music? The Many Benefits of a Musical Education.”

10 Teaching Myths Busted [Infographic]
I came into my first teaching job with some beliefs that I have since learned were not true. This article explores ten of those teaching myths. These myths include:

  1. Teaching preparation programs produce prepared teachers
  2. When I get my own classroom the students will respect me
  3. Students come to school primarily to learn
  4. I teach an elective class, surely all of my students want to be there
  5. If I have problems with a student, [SOME ACTION] will solve everything
  6. If I have problems with a student, I can request a schedule change
  7. The best teachers treat all students equally
  8. Teachers get three months off in the summer
  9. Teachers don’t get paid well
  10. Standardized tests are horrible for education

The Impact of Great Teachers [Infographic]
Many people live their lives without impacting more than a few hundred people. Teachers often make that kind of impact over the course of one year. This kind of responsibility can be intimidating, and is one of the main reasons that I continually encourage my readers to strive toward being great teachers. This infographic below looks at some of the qualities of great teachers. Keep aiming higher, my friends. The world needs great teachers like you!

Guest contributions

Additionally, we had some guest contributions this month.

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Things High School Students Can Do Right Now To Go To College Debt-Free
Tuition is a major concern for anyone who has plans to attend university, whether that be for undergraduate study or graduate programs. As teachers, we want to guide our students in ways that will help them have the best chances for success later on in life. Today, Rachael Everly brings us some suggestions that we can offer to the future college students in our lives that will reduce costs and even allow them to attend college debt-free.

Professional Email Etiquette For Teachers
As an educator you know that in this increasingly digital world, email is a primary source of communication between colleagues as well as with students. Communication through email is no longer a luxury but a necessity for working. We often create and respond to emails without considering the appropriate etiquette involved with professional emails. Being familiar with the professional email etiquette is necessary not only for your professional relationships as a teacher but is also useful for teaching to your students.

5 Ways To Make Your College Application Stand Out Beyond The Essay
As we approach the beginning of the new school year, high school teachers will undoubtedly be approached by seniors for help with college applications. What do you tell them? How can you help? Writing a great essay is a good start, but there are other ways to make any college application stand out, and the best time to begin addressing that is now. In today’s article, Vera Reed explores some other ways we can guide our students toward making their college application stand out.

3 Ways Classroom Tech Can Boost Education Results
As we advance further into the 21st century, increasingly more educational institutions are realizing that advanced technology can be put good use in the classroom; rather than ignore its potential, teachers should welcome and embrace it but use it wisely for students to reap the benefits. Laptops and iPads are slowly but steady replacing the conventional textbooks, not to mention that the internet is a pool of information. Students can gain access to online libraries, dictionaries and encyclopedias with just a click of a button.

How To Stay Up To Date With The Job Market: Tips For Teachers
As a teacher, the job market can be a tough place. In a field where competition is high and landing your ideal placement takes patience, you won’t want to fall behind on shifts and general goings-on in the job market. If you do fall behind, you may miss out on opportunities or professional development that are critical to your career as an educator. Check out these tips to make sure you stay in the game.

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Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.