A Teacher’s Power of Positivity

I've spent enough times surrounded by negativity. I've gone the other way when the "negative teacher" walks down the hallway. I've watched people publicly belittle my profession and union over and again. I've led that union and had to open far too many negative emails of plea / help / disdain. I've hoped for that [...]

How My School Attained Blue Ribbon Status

On Thursday, September 28th, Good Hope Middle School (the school where I teach) was one of 342 schools (35 of the middle or junior high institutions) designated a Blue Ribbon School. Since then, a few of my fellow teachers asked me "How did we earn such a distinction?", "What does your school do differently?", or, [...]

Dear Administrators: Let’s Not Make Meetings Suck

It's 3:30 pm and all of the students have finally cleared campus. You start to gather your belongings to do some grading when the dreaded voice on the intercom comes on. "Faculty and staff our faculty meeting will start promptly at 3:45 pm. Please do not be late as we expect to go until 5:00 [...]

10 Ways to Be a More Productive Teacher in the New School Year

Being a productive teacher felt like the impossible goal. I had a million to-dos and only so many hours to do it in. Anyone out there feel my pain? Usually, my preparation time turned into me doing the things I liked the most first. Then, I’d chat with a coworker for a bit and scramble [...]

No Screaming: Classroom Management Strategies That Work

Screaming can be an effective classroom management strategy if your goal is to get scared children to obey your words. It also could cause students to revolt. Why do we do it? We scream because we’re upset. We scream because it’s effective... well the first few times. The other day I led a group of [...]