Articles for Teachers



Response: Teachers Should Dress As Students' Advocate, Not 'Peer' by Larry Ferlazzo (Education Week). What are useful guidelines for teacher attire? Larry Ferlazzo offers a compilation of advice from experienced educators, who say that the answers matter more than people might think.




3 Lessons for Teachers From Grant Wiggins by Jay McTighe (ASCD). The start of the school year offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the life and work of Grant Wiggins, an extraordinary educator and author who died unexpectedly at the end of last school year. In this Inservice blog post, Wiggins' longtime collaborator, co-author, and friend Jay McTighe shares three of Grant's lessons for teachers to use in 2015-16. This advice is offered so that each student can continue to benefit from Wiggins' teachings and wisdom. 

Back to school: It’s what’s up front that counts! by Ed DeRoche (SmartBlog). Teachers are reminded in this blog post that they are the ones who are "up front" and able to make a difference in students' classrooms. Among the suggestions from Ed DeRoche, a former teacher, administrator, school board member and dean, are to be caring, controlling and clarifying, but also to be challenging, captivating and consolidating. 

Back-to-School: Timeless Wisdom for Educators by Steven Weber (ASCD). "We need to have the courage to continue transforming teaching and learning in order to meet the needs of today's students and their future employers," writes ASCD EDge community member Steven Weber. In a recent blog post, Weber shares timeless tips to help teachers and administrators focus on student understanding.

New term, new you: how to start the year with a positive mindset by Judy Willis (The Guardian). If you’ve already got an impending sense of doom about going back to school, check out neurologist Judy Willis’ tips on beating stress and boosting optimism.

Tips and tricks for back to school by Tisha Shipley (ASCD). In this blog post on Inservice, Tisha Shipley offers her favorite tips and tricks for teachers to make this a successful school year. Her tips include how to organize your classroom; how to build your classroom culture; procedures, routines, and transitions you must teach your students; and more. This is an exciting time of year for teachers everywhere, and these ideas are sure to help you make the most of it! 

What to Do the First Day of School (and Why) by J (EdWeek). Teaching is the profession that makes every other profession possible. It all starts that first day of school, Justin Minkel writes. 




3 Quick Ways to Check for Students’ Prior Knowledge by Barbara R. Blackburn (Middle Web)




Improving Our Schools From the Inside Out by Steven Kushner (Edutopia). Teachers who are committed to remaining in the profession must "become the epicenter of change," rather than wait for change to happen, teacher Steven Kushner writes. In this blog post, he shares seven actions teachers can take to enact meaningful changes. 

What would you do differently now? by Harrison McCoy (SmartBlog). What one educator learned from his mistakes. Learning from mistakes can lay the foundation for future success, Texas business-education instructor Harrison McCoy writes in this blog post. He shares several things he would do differently if he were starting his career today, such as focusing on classroom innovation.




'How to avoid classroom cheating' by Dorothy Mikuska (eSchool News).




An Administrator's Guide to Co-Teaching by Wendy W. Murawski and Philip Bernhardt (ASCD). Follow these five steps to support a vision of successful co-teaching in your school. In this Educational Leadership article, Wendy Murawski and Philip Bernhardt share five steps administrators can follow to support a vision of co-teaching throughout a school. Some of their advice includes providing professional development on inclusion, collaboration and co-teaching; establishing scheduling strategies; and partnering the right teachers. In the end, the authors encourage leaders to collect feedback from students, parents and other stakeholders to find out about co-teaching success and provide reasons why this step is important. 

Create Viable Co-Teacher Instruction Cycles by Elizabeth Stein (Middle Web). Educator offers 4 models of co-teaching instruction. Co-teachers should try various models to find what works to meet the needs of all learners in the classroom, instructional coach Elizabeth Stein writes in this blog post. She offers an overview of four co-teaching models, how they work and links to resources. 

Eight Tips For Making the Most of Co-Teaching by Ariel Sacks (Education Week). An effective co-teaching partnership enriches learning opportunities for students and teachers, educator Ariel Sacks writes in this commentary. She shares eight tips for improving the working relationship, including an outline of how she and her teaching partners work together. 




Collaboration: A Necessity, Not An Option by Umair Qureshi (ASCD). "Teachers deal with brains every day, and they want their students to excel as lifelong learners and perform well on tests and assessments," writes Umair Qureshi in this Inservice blog post. He states that teachers cannot be successful working in isolation and, even though most teachers already recognize this, we need to delve deeper into a system where teachers collaborate with one another to optimize their teaching and benefit all stakeholders. 

Effective professional conversations (AITSL). Conversations between education professionals happen every day, but how do you know the conversations you’re having with your colleagues are as effective as possible?

Research: Collaboration Is Key for Teacher Quality by Michael Hart (The Journal). Teacher collaboration is improving teaching and learning in the Miami-Dade County Public School System, according to a survey by University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University professors. Of the 9,000 teachers surveyed, 90% said working in instructional teams had a positive effect on student learning. 

Stop Sending Emails, and Other Tips for Building Positive Relationships in Schools by Paul Barnwell (CTQ). Effective collaboration is only possible when strong relationships exist between teachers, administrators and staff members, teacher Paul Barnwell writes in this commentary. His tips for developing positive relationships at school include reducing the use of e-mail, following colleagues on social media and expanding professional circles. 

Strategies for Effective Collaboration by Kriscia Cabral (Scholastic). Educators should consider adding "collaboration" to their back-to-school to-do lists, teacher Kriscia Cabral writes in this blog post. She shares several strategies to help teachers initiate and sustain effective collaboration, including the development of a working agreement.

The Case for Collaboration Days by Heather Wolpert-Gawron (The Huffington Post). Peer collaboration is essential for teacher development, middle-grades educator Heather Wolpert-Gawron writes in this blog post. She addresses criticism by some about the model, and shares 10 ways educators use the time to boost teacher and student learning. 




How Do You Survive the Co-Teaching Marriage? by Tom Morrill (Teaching Channel)




5 Communication Tips For Educators by Steven Weber (ASCD). "If education is viewed as a relationship with students, families and the community, then good communication should be a priority," writes ASCD EDge community member Steven Weber. In a recent blog post, Weber explains why effective communication is so important in education. He also provides five communication tips that will help educators positively impact student achievement, family engagement, school culture and teaching and learning.

Sarcasm RULES by Robert Ahdoot (ASCD). Why teachers should avoid sarcasm. Student learning is driven in large part by the relationships they form with teachers, high-school math teacher Robert Ahdoot writes in this blog post. He advises teachers to avoid using sarcasm, noting that it can foster resentment. 




5 Great Teachers On What Makes A Great Teacher by Anya Kamenetz (nprEd). Five educators share their insights in this article into the qualities that make great teachers. They suggest apprenticeship, passion and the ability to give and receive feedback as some keys to being a great teacher. 

One Dozen qualities of Good Teachers by Elliott Seif (ASCD). 12 qualities of good teachers: "I want to try to bring back the discussion to what is really important to think about with regards to good teaching and good teachers," writes ASCD EDge community member Elliott Seif. In a recent blog post, Seif shares a list of twelve qualities of good teachers that don't get discussed very often, but are important and relevant to consider in order to improve teaching excellence.

Report: Low Impact 'Distractors' Weakening Ed by Dian Schaffhauser (The Journal). Teachers are the key to improving education, report says!  Focus on smaller class sizes, school choice and funding are weakening education, according to a recent report published by Pearson Education. A separate report by the same researcher asserts that teachers are the key to improving education, and the focus should be on supporting teachers and building collaborative systems. 

Three Strategies to Become a Highly Effective Teacher by Jeff Marshall (ASCD). "Highly effective teachers are part archaeologist, part homebuilder, and part astronaut," writes Jeff Marshall in this Inservice post. "As archaeologists, teachers unearth the hidden greatness in all their students; as homebuilders, they develop self-confidence and perseverance in their students and create a foundation that encourages students to tackle what previously seemed insurmountable; and as astronauts, they guide journeys to places otherwise thought impossible." Read Marshall's strategies to become successful in these roles.




More Exercise May Improve Boys' School Performance by Nancy Maleki (Daily RX). A recent study found that all students who were active performed better in school. Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland in Kupio found that the improvement was most noticeable among male students. 




New Studies Find That, for Teachers, Experience Really Does Matter (Studies Cite Gains by Veterans) by Stephen Sawchuk (Education Week). Findings from two recent studies challenge the notion that teacher effectiveness begins to decline after the five-year mark. Data show teachers in the classroom beyond five years continue to boost student achievement. The findings call for a re-examination of some assumptions, said Segun Eubanks, with the National Education Association. "The idea of teachers maxing out in five years was so contradictory to what we know about other professions," he said. 




What Goals Will You Set in the Coming Year? by Starr Sackstein (Education Week)




Eight Student-Friendly Strategies to Develop Emotional Skills by Todd J. Feltman (ASCD). Just like graphic organizers, anchor charts and other cues help students navigate and work independently with the concepts we teach, brief, kid-friendly strategies for handling emotional situations can help our students develop healthy social and personal habits. In this ASCD Express article, Todd J. Feltman shares eight strategies students can use to develop their emotional skills, along with an explanation of the purpose of each strategy and a few helpful reminders to guide students. 




5 Activities for the Last Day of Class by Ryan Thomas (ASCD Edge)




8 Responses to Late Work To Use Right Now by Jennifer Davis Bowman (ASCD Edge)




Seven big myths about top-performing school systems by Andreas SchleicherOECD director of education and skills (BBC NEWS)








Plagiarism: An ounce of prevention by Cheryl Mizerny (ASCD). Discussing plagiarism is the best way to prevent it from happening in students' work, writes middle-school educator Cheryl Mizerny. In this blog post, Mizerny recommends stopping plagiarism before it begins by defining plagiarism on a personal level, crafting assignments that are not easily copied, adding a personal reflection element to assignments, breaking an assignment into several parts and designating a particular source that students must use for the assignment.




How Well Do You Forget-Proof Your Lessons? by Jennifer Davis Bowman (ASCD). "As educators, much of our time is spent assessing student needs. Before we can truly help our students, an understanding of our own learning is key," writes ASCD EDge community member Jennifer Davis Bowman. In a recent blog post, Bowman shares a brief quiz that will allow you to examine how your teaching strategies impact student forgetfulness. Take the quiz!




Better Student Relationships (ASCD). Relationships are not incidental: they are central to what happens in the classroom. Last fall, an episode of the Hidden Brain podcast shared research demonstrating the effects positive teacher-student connections can have. For example, sharing the results of a simple survey of teachers and students to find common interests prompted students -- especially minorities -- to perform better in class. This issue of ASCD Express shares research-based and teacher-tested techniques for building the bonds that buoy everything in schools.

Building Good Work Relationships (Making Work Enjoyable and Productive) by the Mind Tools Editorial Team (MindTools).The article explores how you can build strong, positive relationships at work; why it's important to have good working relationships; and considers how to strengthen your relationships with people you find difficult to enjoy a relationship. Building better relationships involves developing people skills, investing time in building relationships and focusing on emotional intelligence amongst other important facts outlined in the article.

Building Relationships That Transform Futures by Rachel Garfield (ASCD). "I used to hide my mistakes from students; as a result, they didn't trust me. This came to a head when I taught a rough group of 7th graders. When one shouted, 'You're such a liar!', I knew my empty threats and hidden vulnerabilities had created an atmosphere of distrust," writes educator Rachel Garfield. In her recent ASCD Express article, Garfield explains that by working as a community and emphasizing four important elements of relationship building, educators can reach all students. 

Perspective: A Game Changer in the Classroom and in Our Lives by Lori Desautels (Edutopia). A change in perspective about a colleague, a student or a classroom routine can help improve relationships, instruction and classroom learning, education professor Lori Desautels writes in this blog post. Desautels offers three suggestions for this practice, such as recognizing a trigger for a challenging student and figuring out a new approach for working with him or her.

Saying What You Mean Without Being Mean by Marceta Reilly (ASCD). How to give a colleague feedback that will both promote change and preserve your professional relationship. In this Educational Leadership article, Marceta Reilly shares ways to give a colleague feedback that will both promote change and preserve your professional relationship. Conversations involving difficult feedback are never easy, she notes, but good frames can help you enter them without immediately igniting defensiveness. "By speaking your truth honestly and listening to the truths of others, you'll help the conversation become more authentic and your relationships become deeper and more trusting."




7 Tips for Re-doing the Student Re-do Process by Jennifer Davis Bowman  (ASCD Edge). "I love a good old re-do because they are wrapped in hope, second chances, and all things warm and fuzzy," writes ASCD EDge community member Jennifer Davis Bowman. In a recent blog post, Bowman discusses some of the pros and cons of the student revisions process and offers a list of seven strategies to facilitate the process and in turn encourage student participation.




10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout by Ben Johnson (Edutopia)

Blue Light Exposed We all know how important it is to protect our eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays; but what about the harmful effects of blue light rays?

Five Habits That Hurt Teacher Motivation by Roxanna Elden ASCD). Teachers know that motivating students and engaging families is part of the job. Sometimes, however, just keeping yourself motivated can feel like a full-time job. In this ASCD Express article, National Board certified teacher Roxanna Elden, author of "See Me After Class: Advice for Teacher by Teachers," shares five reasons why teacher enthusiasm might lag and some tips for making it through the slump. 

How Do We Teach and Have a Healthy Life? by Cheryl Mizerny (MiddleWeb). Teachers must take time to take care of themselves, veteran teacher Cheryl Mizerny writes in this blog post. She highlights how job and personal pressures, along with holiday preparation, landed her in urgent care. She also shares her new stress-management plan. 

Like a Wood Duck: Finding Peace in the Classroom by Ben Johnson (Edutopia)

Nurturing the Whole Teacher by Emily Hoyler (ASCD). "We all know the value of reflection. We also know all too well the pressures of the school year, and that something's gotta give ... That is why inspirational, reflective, and restorative summer professional work is so essential to nurturing the whole teacher," writes teacher and curriculum specialist Emily Hoyler. In a recent Inservice post, Hoyler reflects on the length and pressures of the school year and explains the benefits of allowing your summer months to be a necessary period of reflection and revitalization. 

Remember how important you are... by Erik Palmer (ASCD). In this blog post on ASCD EDge, author Erik Palmer describes the emotions he felt during a recent professional development presentation when thinking about how each of these teachers would be responsible for educating his own grandson. He encourages educators to take a step back, every once in a while, to remember how important they are to children and how noble and wonderful their job is. 

Six Signs of—and Solutions for—Teacher Burnout by Wendi Pillars (Education Week Teacher)

Student ordered to pay teacher $105,000 for defamation on Twitter by Michaela Whitbourn (Essential Kids)

Teachers: 10 Tips for Slowing Down  by Elena Aguilar (Edutopia)

Teachers, Remember We Are a Work in Progress by Starr Sackstein (Education Week)

The emotional workload of teachers is too often ignored by Jean Hopman (The Conversation). Research shows nearly one in three Australian teachers are so unhappy in their profession they consider leaving within their first five years of employment. That means 16,000 teachers currently in Australia’s classrooms are finding the challenge of managing their professional lives too great.

VIDEO: One-Minute Mindfulness Strategy (ASCD). In their research, "The Mindful School Leader" authors Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson found that most educators are overwhelmed and often don't take the time for self-care. In this ASCD Express video, they demonstrate a quick, 30-60 second breathing strategy that is an easy way to incorporate mindfulness and repose throughout a busy day. Try incorporating this exercise whenever you can find a free minute, whether first thing in the morning, at the close of the day, or anywhere in between. Related article HERE.




Avoiding "Learned Helplessness" by Andrew Miller (Edutopia). Great article!!

Back to Basics: From Quick Fixes to Sustainable Change by Kevin Parr (WHOLE CHILD BLOG)

Education builds character by Jim Dillon (SmartBlog)

How Do Teachers Learn to Teach? by Nancy Flanagan (Education Week Teacher)

How To Be Relevant In Our Students’ Lives by Allen Mendler. "If you cannot find a way to make the lesson relevant, at least try to relate to your students for a few seconds every day on something you know they find interesting," writes ASCD author Allen Mendler. In a recent Inservice post, Mendler shares ways educators can build trust with their students and become relevant in their lives

Just a Teacher by Rebecca McLelland-Crawley (ASCD Edge). "What defines us is our work, our empathy, our light, and our legacy that lives on in all of the people we help," writes ASCD EDge community member Rebecca McLelland-Crawley. In a recent blog post, McLelland-Crawley shares her thoughts about leaving a supervisor role and heading back into the classroom. 

Restoring Humanity to Teaching, and Delight to Our Classrooms by Justin Minkel (Education Week). In a time when some 1st graders can recite their test scores but can't tell you what they want to be when they grow up, classrooms deserve more humanity, Justin Minkel argues

Still Inspiring After All These Years by Sandra Jameson (Huff post). Teacher shares the value of being "real". English teacher Sandra Jameson recalls the inspiration she drew from a teacher's ability to act "like a human being." In this blog post, she maps how this shaped her decision to become an educator and how she tries to keep it real in her classroom. 

The perfect scenario? by Jim Dillon (SmartBlog). The perfect school scenario, in which all students behave and perform ideally, is likely unattainable in education, asserts educator Jim Dillon. In this blog post, Dillon suggests that teachers can get closer to ideal by focusing on the "why," which is necessary to drive teaching and learning and gives meaning and purpose to teachers and their students. 

The Seven Habits of Highly Affective Teachers (Want to make your school a better place for everyone? Make emotional health a habit) by Rick Wormeli (ASCD). In this Educational Leadership article, Rick Wormeli writes, "Teachers who deny the emotional elements of teaching and learning can become exhausted from ceaseless confrontations with students' emotional states, often blaming their personal stress and students' failure to learn on students' lack of motivation or maturity." He explains, though, that it doesn't have to be this way. Borrowing and modifying the premise from Stephen Covey (1989), Wormeli explores the seven habits of highly affective teachers.

What I've Learned During 10 Years In The Classroom by Paul Barnwell (CTQ)




Super Power Your Time Management Strategies by Barb Golub (ASCD). "Although we may have very little control over how time gets organised across an entire building, or whether the school day gets extended or shortened, we do have control over how we can make each moment in our classroom count," writes global literacy consultant Barb Golub. In a recent ASCD Express article, Golub shares three strategies that teachers of kindergarten through 8th grade students can use to make the best use of instructional time. 




'Should I teach problem-, project- or inquiry-based learning?' by Lauren Davis





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