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The Joyful Toolkit for Literacy Leaders

Vivian Chen is inspired to create a joyful toolkit for educators. While there can be a certain draw to wallowing in killjoys in education, ultimately, we need to disrupt the downward spiral for our own mental wellness.

Dealing with Overwhelm

Julie Cox offers three actionable ideas to fight frustration and take small steps to beat overwhelm.

Stay Sharp: Christy Rush-Levine

Christy Rush-Levine shares tips on how teachers can stay sharp.

Stay Sharp: Bitsy Parks

Bitsy Parks shares the importance of reading professionally to stay sharp.

Stay Sharp Series: Seek Out Others

In our Stay Sharp series, Dana Murphy shares the ways she seeks out educators who help her stay sharp. Her key sources are Twitter, the educators in her school, and reading the Big Fresh.

Maintaining an Adult Reading Life

Are you wondering how to maintain a reading life as a busy adult? Dana Murphy shares her secrets and insights that will have all of us prioritizing our own reading lives.

Books to Fuel Creativity and Imagination

Stella Villalba shares books that will fuel your creativity and nourish your imagination.

Pausing for Renewal Throughout the Day

Stella Villalba shares three strategies teachers and literacy coaches can use to pause, re-center, and renew themselves throughout busy stressful days in schools.

Doing the Writing in a Unit

One way to keep your instruction fresh in a required writing unit is to take on the tasks and topics yourself. Dana Murphy finds completing the assignments herself is well worth her time, and gives her a treasure trove of notebook entries to use in her conferring.

Flipping Negative Teacher Emotions

Gretchen Schroeder struggles to understand the meaning and value of her teaching when two former students overdose and die in separate incidents, and another is indicted on murder charges. These events lead to deep reflection on how teachers can move beyond feelings of sadness, apathy, and envy.


Three-Word Meditation

Mark Levine depends upon a simple meditation strategy during the required moment of silence in his classroom to begin each day with a calm sense of purpose.

Recharging with My Tribe

Stella Villalba uses the inquiry and reflection skills she has developed as a teacher to pore through her planner and journal for clues to why her energy flagged in the winter and spring, and what she can do differently next year.

Creating a Manifesto

Ruth Ayres explains why writing a manifesto may be the best way to learn what you truly believe about teaching, learning, and literacy.

A Place to Belong

Andrea Smith reflects on preparing to say goodbye to students and her teaching partner of many years. If you have a favorite colleague who is retiring, you may want to get a hankie ready before you read this one.

Channeling Monet

Andie Cunningham deals with the tension of welcoming an unhappy parent into her kindergarten classroom.

New Words for the New Year

Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris have a fresh take on goals for the new year.

Making Space: Entering Lessons Mindfully

Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris explain how to slow down and enter lessons more mindfully. This is the first installment in a three-part series on mindfulness in classrooms.

Giving Up Television

Gretchen Taylor finds giving up television enables her to reconsider many habitual behaviors.

Before and After Pictures: Documenting Progress

Shari Frost finds before and after “snapshots” are a wonderful way to celebrate learning and get closure at the end of the school year.

A Case of the Perennial Annuals

Suzy Kaback remembers saying goodbye to her first group of students as a young teacher.

Love the One(s) You’re With

Gretchen Taylor explains why it’s important to get less “judgy” of the colleagues around us.

Finding Meaning and Joy in Teaching: A Podcast with Meenoo Rami

In a new podcast, Meenoo Rami talks about ways teachers can bring energy and joy back into their teaching.

Keep Going

Ruth Ayres has advice for moving forward, staying positive, and focusing on what’s important.

Why Write?

Ruth Ayres answers the question of why writing matters for busy teachers who struggle to find time for their own writing notebooks.

Laundry Line Luxuries

Suzy Kaback writes about the pleasures of slowing down and being inefficient sometimes in teaching and relationships.

SPREAD: Teaching and a Balanced Life

Are you spread too thin? Kelly Petrin uses the acronym SPREAD to remind herself regularly of what she needs to lead a balanced and joyful professional and personal life.

Teachers’ Night Out: Reclaiming Our Fearlessness

It's hard to keep your teaching mojo high when standards are grinding you down. Gretchen Taylor is inspired by watching an aerial performer to consider harnesses and fearlessness in a new way.

Nourishment: Making Time and Space for Little Joys

We can’t forget the importance of being kind to ourselves. Ruth Ayres explains how small pleasures add up to big delights.

Staying Child-Centered When You Work with Adults

Andie Cunningham shares challenges and practical strategies for how literacy leaders can stay child-centered.

Teacher Vulnerability

Julie Johnson writes about renewal and staying centered during tough teaching times.

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