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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.

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.

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.

Trust

Mary Lee Hahn reminds herself (and us!) of the qualities we have that inspire trust in ourselves and our ability to teach well.

On Perfection and Goals

Ruth Ayres explains how she sets realistic goals for her own learning during the year.

Notes from the Mad Teachers Liberation Front: Create Your Manifesto

Start your school year off right (or get it back on track) with a manifesto about who you are and what you value. Ruth Shagoury provides a mentor poem, guidelines and samples.

Volunteered: What I Learned from Cleaning Out the Barn

Andie Cunningham is "ticked and disgusted" when her boss volunteers her for yet another committee.  Cleaning out the barn clears her head, reminding Andie of all the tools and strategies literacy leaders have for dealing with whatever is flung their way.

Lines Written at Lunchtime Above Tintern Abbey

Shirl McPhillips celebrates high summer, friendship, and handwritten notes in this poem and reflection.

The ABCs of Literacy Coaching (Part 1)

Heather Rader shares the essential elements of successful literacy coaching in this first installment of a month-long series.

Write Today

Ruth Ayres describes her own experiences as an author, blogger, and teacher. She shows how possible and essential writing is for even the busiest educators.

Telling Our Stories

Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham beautifully weave together poetry and storytelling in a potent professional development activity for teachers.

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