Why you need a Classroom Mission Statement

A mission statement. The best businesses use them to guide direction and lead to success. Our classrooms are definitely not businesses -- but I believe, like in business, that a classroom mission statement can lead us and our students toward a clear outcome, guided by a defined purpose. I’ve created a teaching philosophy before. I’ve [...]

Traveling Teacher: National Museum of African American History and Culture

I was recently able to attend a conference earlier this February in the nation's capital, and the hottest ticket in town is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or NMAAHC for short. In the span between its opening (September of 2016) and Valentine's Day, 2017, 1 million visitors have walked through the [...]

Fostering Responsibility

My class still works off of a weekly job chart. I have always tried to incorporate community responsibility into our classroom lives. We have the basics listed as jobs, such as computer helper, line leader and light helper. But I also have not-so-standard jobs listed as well, jobs like trash helper, a vacuum-er and a [...]

10 Steps to a Positive Classroom Culture

Creating a positive classroom culture is hard work. We are living in a time of high anxiety and our students can feel that tension. Many no longer feel safe or welcomed in their communities just as many no longer feel safe expressing themselves. As educators, it is our responsibility to create classroom environments that are [...]

Dealing With Personal Tragedy In the Classroom

I experienced quite a lot of personal tragedy last year. And as a result of my stress, my students experienced them too. I tried so very hard to keep my personal life from affecting my students, but I’m convinced that sometimes no matter what you do, some events just can’t be disposed of at the classroom [...]