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.
Jan 18, 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 December.
Jan 11, 2019
I can remember the feeling of dread resting heavy in my stomach as I sat in my first grade classroom. I remember the taste of the green medicine I had to take to combat the ulcers I developed from stress and the overwhelming feeling of not being good enough. I remember crying at home and not wanting to go to school, and lying in bed at night completely consumed with anxiety and fear. I remember my teacher lying to my parents and the principal about me and feeling completely helpless. I remember having no friends and feeling like a failure. I remember the power that first grade teacher held over me—shaping me into a nervous, anxious child who took absolutely no risks and focused solely on being perfect. Yet no matter how hard I tried, I never was. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up as I finished first grade, I never would have said teacher. I didn’t think very highly of teachers at that point.