Changing the Teaching Profession in the Midst of a Storm


The storm is the looming teacher shortage.

Annette Christiansen hits the nail on the head, several times, in this power post via EdWeekTeacher.  She discusses her sons journey to being an education major and how he was born to be a teacher but explored several other paths before finally “settling” on education.  I hate to say settle but that is the truth in today’s world.  The profession does not carry the respect, honor, and salary that it deserves.

As a former teacher her story resonates with me because I always felt I was born to be a teacher and I did not hesitate to go to college to be one.  I have since left education because I felt a calling to impact education in a different way.

Here are some things that she highlights to help prepare us for this inevitable challenge.

Be positive.


Get involved with teacher-preparation programs.

Promote and support new teachers.


Shape our future through ESSA.



Middle School Suicides Reach An All-Time High

Please read this article by Alissa Nadworthy via nprEd.

This is something that all of us need to educate ourselves on and be prepared to discuss with our students and children.  In today’s world students have access to information in seconds and social media is a breeding ground for bullying.


Critical Thinking in the 21st Century and Beyond


Love this post by Eric Sheninger on his blog called A Principal’s Reflection.

Here is a powerful segment of his post: “What separated Mr. South from his peers was his passion for helping students learn and love the sciences.  His lessons were light on direct instruction and heavy on authentic connections and application. He didn’t teach science. We learned science.”

What I got from his post was that he feel in love with learning by the dedication and creativity of his teachers during his time as a student.  This resonated instantly with me as I was the same!  I became a teacher because of the great impact that some of them had on me, I wanted to do that for others.

He continues to connect this to 21st century learning style where he discusses 7 elements, that when mixed together, will “provide students with the types of learning opportunities that they will carry with them no matter what path they choose”.

Awesome post Eric!

4 Ways to Encourage a Growth Mindset in the Classroom


Great post by Katie Finley via EdSurge. (image provided 2.0 Flickr user LendingMemo)

Katie discusses the 4 ways to encourage the growth mindset in your classroom:

1. Think about setting achievable micro-goals to encourage students’ consistent, incremental progress.

2. When students succeed, praise their efforts and strategies as opposed to their intelligence.

3. Help students focus on and value the process of learning.

4. Design classroom activities that involve cooperative–rather than competitive or individualistic–work.


As you all know, I LOVE the growth mindset and feel like this concept is one that is important for all children to have.  Here are other posts I have made on the growth mindset:

Growth Mindset-Why Not!?

Powerful Podcast-Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset May Counter Effects of Poverty on Achievement




How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty

This article is written by Linda Flanagan and comes via Mind/shift.  She does a great job highlighting strategies to spark curiosity.  I highlighted her thoughts below.  Read the article for more details and to see how this can happen at home as well as school!

Address the emotional impact of uncertainty. 

Assign projects that provoke uncertainty.

Adopt a non-authoritarian teaching style to encourage exploration, challenge and revision. 

Emphasize the current topics of debate in a field. 

Invite guest speakers to share the mysteries they’re exploring.

Show how the process of discovery is often messy and non-linear.


Personalized Data Units or Personal Learning?

“The assumption here is that curriculum can be broken into little pieces, that skills are acquired sequentially and can be assessed with discrete, contrived tests and reductive rubrics. Tracking kids’ “progress” with digital profiles and predictive algorithms paints a 21st-century gloss on a very-early-20th-century theory of learning.” — Alfie Kohn

Read this article by Mike Crowley via Medium that discusses how “personal” some personalized learning really is.  His school uses the term Personal Learning and he layes out what a Personal Learning program looks like!

Here is the number 1 highlighted piece of the article: “empower students to make meaningful learning choices that reflect their own personal needs, wishes, beliefs, feelings, aspirations, strengths, and challenges.”

Happy reading and awesome work Mike!


Why A School’s Master Schedule Is A Powerful Enabler of Change

I. Love. This.

This article by Katrina Schwartz via Mind/Shift is so powerful.  It discusses that if you really want to embark on a journey of change that the first place to start is with the master schedule.

‘If we don’t match our minutes to our mission, [teachers are] not going to shift.’Diana Laufenberg, Executive Director of Inquiry Schools  

Below is a video that explains how Henry County Schools in Georgia used their master schedule to foster change in their schools.


The Most Popular TED Talks of all Time

I LOVE Ted talks so I had to share this link that provides you access to the 20 most popular TED talks of ALL TIME!