It’s Time to Build The Case for More Vo-Tech Classes

A recent PDK poll shows that 82% of Americans support job-skills classes, even if it's at the expense of academic classes. Additionally, 86% believe schools should offer certificate / licensing programs that lead to jobs. But they're forgetting one very big thing: this type of education already exists. It's just that everybody forgets vocational-technical training. And [...]

Keep That Smartphone Out: Teaching in the Age of Technology

Most educators in today's world remember a time when access to technology was difficult to come by. For instance, my family didn't have internet access until I was in junior high, and even then, those were the days of "dial-up", where things took forever to load and where you couldn't be on the phone and [...]

Back To School Hacks: Digitize Your Syllabus and Lesson Plans!

This year I'm going back to school with a twist - I'm going to digitize my syllabus and lesson plans! A few years back I experimented with different ways to engage students on the first day - and first weeks - of school. Building relationships, engaging my classroom and creating a sense of excitement helps [...]

What’s in Your Teacher Desk Drawers? Building a Survival Kit

Do you happen to have 63 pipe cleaners (aka chenille sticks)?  Or a bottle of ketchup?  You never know what you may find yourself needing as a new teacher.  We are masters of thinking on the fly, especially when it comes to putting together a bang-up lesson, which means a lot of unexpected supplies.  As [...]

Making STEM Matter in Schools

I just got back from a fascinating conference about the state of STEM in U.S. schools, sponsored by U.S. News and World Report. I was compelled by the idea of making STEM matter in schools; as a middle school teacher, I know this is the prime time to hook kids into STEM. This is the [...]