August may be a wonderful month. I’ve heard that in many European countries it means relaxing in a lake cabin with friends. But as a teacher, August has always meant one thing: freaking out about the start of school. Freaking out that you haven’t finished all of the summer to-do’s, freaking out that you haven’t thought through all of the connections in the curriculum, and freaking out about the first day itself. Let’s talk about how not to freak out on the first day. Continue reading
And why you should do them anyway
One of the reasons I started Next Time Teaching was to share what I’ve learned–both about what works and what doesn’t–from 19 years of teaching and to try to help other teachers not have to reinvent wheels. Believe me, I’ve made thousands of mistakes. Every day, in every lesson. If I can save you from making any of the same mistakes, I’m happy. So let’s focus today on problems with fishbowl discussions. Whether you’ve never heard of them, want to try one, or have done them a bunch of times, hopefully thinking through some of the potential things that can go wrong ahead of time will help your next fishbowls go more smoothly. Continue reading
. . . Even If You’re Not a Cheerleader
If you’re always super positive and love teaching your kids to shine their halos and kiss their brains, you don’t need this post. You can share your ideas for class cheers here.
But some of us–myself included–just aren’t natural cheerleaders. It’s not that I mean to be critical, because I do enjoy being a teacher and a mom and I do like listening to kids. It’s more that I’m insanely detail-oriented and there are just so many things that need to be corrected. With a 3 year-old, those things include “don’t ride the cat like a pony,” “don’t use the waffle as a stethoscope” and “please take your finger out of my ear.” Those are non-negotiable, right? Continue reading
Last time on Next Time Teaching, we were talking about the role of destruction in teaching and some of the most prevalent student misconceptions. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way that seem to help confronting those misconceptions go more smoothly for both students and teachers. Continue reading