May 10, 2019
My colleague and I recently formed a bilingual parent group to strengthen our relationship with our Spanish speaking families. Parents repeatedly explained that the language barrier caused them to feel that they did not have a voice. Each parent expressed a desire to feel more connected to our school. Hearing this made me think, “How can we give a voice to the voiceless in our schools?” To overcome this barrier, we brought families together to record a video. Parents shared the importance of education in their families and then expressed what they wished teachers knew about them. The video has made such a strong impact in our community that it is now shown throughout Wisconsin.
May 03, 2019
I have always been passionate about reaching the student that no one else feels they can reach or the student that is typically considered the underdog. I began to lose interest in school when I was in 7th grade. I could study and do the work if I put my mind to it, but I lost motivation quickly. I did not get that motivation back until I was a junior in college. I finally realized that I needed to get my life together. I feel like there are so many students out there like me who are lost and looking for direction. I want to be the teacher I needed at that point in my life. I wasn’t stupid, but I needed guidance to reach my full potential. Having a relationship with your students and knowing them well enough to recognize and respond to their needs is so important.
Apr 26, 2019
“I can’t do this, Ms. Boomsma. I just can’t.” A student of mine said this to me while we worked in the back of the room. “Kimberly can, but that’s because she’s just smarter at this kind of stuff than me.”
“You are smart! You can do anything! We’ll keep trying and working!” I said with determination.
Apr 19, 2019
“Ding, Ding, Ding.” The sound of the bell signals morning meeting—a great start to each day. A strong sense of community is built, and it sets students up for social and academic success. Every morning, students and teachers gather together in a circle for 10 to 20 minutes and purposefully interact with each other.
Apr 12, 2019
Each month we publish several newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in March.
Apr 05, 2019
As teachers, we must check our systems for equity each time we walk into our classrooms. The key word here is “systems,” for without thoughtful practices, even the most well-intentioned among us fall into the old traps of expediency, implicit bias, and tradition. Here are a few practical structures I use as equity checks that take very little time to implement.
Mar 29, 2019
By Stacey James McAdoo
“Poetry didn’t save my life; it saved yours.” This quote has been dancing around in my head for several days now. The poet who spoke these words meant them quite literally. If it had not been for the countless hours he spent developing, drafting, and delivering his words, he very well could have been out in the streets up to no good. Additionally, without the impact of his poetic words, someone else’s life may have been negatively impacted or even lost. This sentiment, though on the negative end of the spectrum, still communicates an important message: poetry is powerful, and it changes and saves lives.
Mar 22, 2019
Each month we publish blogs and several newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in February.
Mar 08, 2019
International Women’s Day has provided us with an excellent opportunity to highlight organizations that promote education for women. There are many groups that strive to provide girls and women around the world with important resources, which they may not otherwise have access to. Here is a list of five organizations helping women in their educational pursuits.
Mar 01, 2019
I am an ELL teacher at a public high school. Of the 1,200 students who attend, about 150 of them are refugee and immigrant students who come from more than 20 countries, including Nepal, Liberia, Iraq, Somalia, Vietnam, and Mexico. I have a mix of ninth to twelfth graders in all classes. I emphasize writing and speaking in the curriculum through an intensive writing and public speaking project called Journey to America.
Feb 22, 2019
A year ago, I boarded an airplane and took my window seat next to a middle school girl and her mom. We were about to take off and travel the length of the country when I heard delighted laughter coming from my row mates. Of course, I wanted to know what was so funny, so I listened a little closer, which is not hard when you are seated on a crowded airplane.
Feb 15, 2019
Each month we publish blogs and newsletters full of digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned to the most in January.
Feb 08, 2019
I've had the opportunity to speak at various colleges around my state this year. Although each campus has its own flavor, I am guaranteed to be asked one question at some point in my visit—usually from a student teacher. Although it comes in many forms, it goes something like this: “I'm student teaching. Whenever other teachers in my building find out I’m going to become a teacher they ask why. They say get out while you still can.”
Although I disagree with the statement, the question is necessary—why are you teaching? My why comes in two parts: it’s for myself and my students.
Feb 01, 2019
By the time students reach high school, they have fully embraced a particular idea of themselves as a learner. I frequently hear students say things like “I’m not good at math,” “reading is too hard,” or “I don’t do well on tests.” These comments are made by bright young people who are too young to give up. What I know for certain is that they want and need a teacher to tell them they are wrong.
Jan 25, 2019
I almost shortchanged Shakespeare this semester. And I love him. I love the excitement in his plays; I love his characters—especially those strong, “saucy” females! I love the pomp and illustriousness of it all. I love the linguistic rhythm and how dance-like it is.
But I am a harried English teacher returning from a yearlong sabbatical and teaching two preps I have never taught in prior years. I am rushed and frazzled in ways I haven’t experienced since I was a first-year teacher.