Motivating The Unmotivated Middle School Students

I have been working as an RTI Specialist in my current district for seven years. This means I have helped students who perform below average, or are very close to performing below average (based on Standardized test data) for seven years. Over the course of these seven years, I have noticed a few things about [...]

Changing Schools: How do you know when it’s time to go?

How do you know when to leave? When to change your job, school, district, profession? There is only one thing that is unfailingly true: no matter what, someone will disagree with your choice. I am not talking about the obvious stuff: total misery, incompatible supervisor, burn-out, moving for love. I am talking about the times when [...]

Teacher Awards Student “Most Likely to Become A Terrorist”

Like many students at the end of the school term, Lizeth Villanueva brought home a superlative from one of her teachers. However, when her mom further examined the award, CNN reports, she saw that it said "MOST LIKELY TO BECOME A TERRORIST." Seriously. Villanueva, a 13-year-old 7th-grade student at Lance Cpl. Anthony Aguirre Junior High [...]

6 Tips on Teaching Social Studies in a Politically-Charged Era

I've been challenged by parents plenty of times in my career. However, one that often protrudes in my mind is a 12-page email I received 7 years ago. In teaching about the post-Civil War Reconstruction, I shared both the late Abraham Lincoln and Radical Republican plans for what the South would look like as the [...]

Teaching Writing With Hyperdocs

If you’re looking for a new approach to teaching writing, you’ve got to try teaching with hyperdocs. What are hyperdocs? According to their creators, Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis, hyperdocs are “a transformative, interactive, personalized engaging too to help facilitate student creativity and collaboration” (The Hyperdoc Handbook). And I can testify that hyperdocs [...]