When Choice Literacy was launched in 2006, we never imagined that wellness and balance would be a part of the conversation here. Yet how can anyone take care of students if they don't learn how to take care of themselves? These features are all about being kind to yourself so that you can show grace and compassion to others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ruth Ayres explains why writing a manifesto may be the best way to learn what you truly believe about teaching, learning, and literacy.
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.
Andie Cunningham deals with the tension of welcoming an unhappy parent into her kindergarten classroom.
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.
Gretchen Taylor finds giving up television enables her to reconsider many habitual behaviors.
Shari Frost finds before and after “snapshots” are a wonderful way to celebrate learning and get closure at the end of the school year.
Suzy Kaback remembers saying goodbye to her first group of students as a young teacher.
Gretchen Taylor explains why it’s important to get less “judgy” of the colleagues around us.
In a new podcast, Meenoo Rami talks about ways teachers can bring energy and joy back into their teaching.
Ruth Ayres has advice for moving forward, staying positive, and focusing on what’s important.
Ruth Ayres answers the question of why writing matters for busy teachers who struggle to find time for their own writing notebooks.
Suzy Kaback writes about the pleasures of slowing down and being inefficient sometimes in teaching and relationships.
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.
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.
Julie Johnson writes about renewal and staying centered during tough teaching times.
We can’t forget the importance of being kind to ourselves. Ruth Ayres explains how small pleasures add up to big delights.
Andie Cunningham shares challenges and practical strategies for how literacy leaders can stay child-centered.
Mary Lee Hahn reminds herself (and us!) of the qualities we have that inspire trust in ourselves and our ability to teach well.
Ruth Ayres explains how she sets realistic goals for her own learning during the year.
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.
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.
Shirl McPhillips celebrates high summer, friendship, and handwritten notes in this poem and reflection.
Heather Rader shares the essential elements of successful literacy coaching in this first installment of a month-long series.
Ruth Shagoury and Andie Cunningham beautifully weave together poetry and storytelling in a potent professional development activity for teachers.
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