The Most Common Teacher Pitfalls… And How to Avoid Them

Teacher pitfalls

Don’t you just love those teachers that are boundless wells of optimism?

You know the ones I’m talking about; they are easy to spot. They believe they can change the world from their classrooms. They teach students beyond the curriculum. They inspire them to greatness with words of wisdom. And they offer the means to be socially just and responsible.

But in this profession there are pitfalls along the way that can sap the most enthusiastic teacher and drain the life force that is necessary to sustain them. … Read more…

Counterintuitive Ways to Improve Test Scores

Counterintuitive Ways to Improve Test Scores

I teach a course that ends with a big standardized exam at the end. The first few years I taught it, I used to do test prep by the book. I gave my students a sample exam each quarter. They had 42 minutes to complete 40 of the 55 multiple-choice questions and I counted the results as a test grade. As a class, we would review the questions the following day, sometimes in small-group breakdowns, sometimes as whole-class instruction. The two weeks before the exam we were in full-on, test-prep mode, drilling and killing. I thought I was preparing them for the rigors of the exam. I thought I was exposing them to college-level work. I thought this was a sound instructional practice. … Read more…

3 Reasons Why Your Students Will Love Blogging

student blogs

I informally survey my students at the middle and at the end of the year to inform my instruction. I want to know what’s working, what’s not, and better understand each individual’s needs. It is a part of my continuous effort to get feedback to will allow me to adjustment my teaching, improve learning outcomes, and build rapport with my students. … Read more…

Teach Students the True Value of a Book

The Value of a book

Sometimes as teachers we do a poor job of selling the value of reading.

I know I’ve been guilty in the past.

I told students they had to read because there was a test later in the week.

I told them they had to read because we were going over that section the next day.

I told them they had to read because the book that was assigned was an important book that they needed to read in order to be a part of the cultural conversation at large.

Yet, until recently I never told students that a book could be worth billions.  Some of the wealthiest and most influential people of our time have been inspired by a book.  Here are three examples. … Read more…