Educators’ Blog

A blog for teachers who are dedicated to the mission yet overwhelmed with the job.

Avoiding Chaos When Your Class Has a Substitute

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You know what happens when you’re out.   You have a family emergency or illness and must call out of work that day. Students enter your classroom to find a substitute. A carnival atmosphere kicks in.  The poor substitute just wants to survive the day while the principal just wants no injuries or obvious criminality.  The substitute hands out some….Read more

5 Ways (Plus 2 No-Brainers) to Kill Your Chances of Getting Tenure

A hot topic in our society, teacher tenure is something we hope for if we do well at our jobs. Tenure is not automatic, however. You may be a good teacher but ruin your chances for tenure by any of the things I discuss here.   For a new teacher or a veteran switching institutions, you are on probation; your job is….Read more

The Four Steps to Lesson Plan Design

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    From a guy who taught a lot of classes, let me nutshell it for you on lesson planning. An effective teaching lesson should do specific things. It is vital in your planning to understand how the brains of students actually work, to put those principles to use in maximizing what they learn. I’m summarizing here some of the elements of Madeline Hunter‘s Instructional….Read more

History Dr’s Back to School Video for Teachers

This video that I created in September to give teachers a little boost for the beginning of the school year has gotten more than 1000 views on Facebook. I hope that you’ll like it too. I want teachers to know how important they can be in the life of a student, even if it’s not always apparent in the moment. Start the….Read more

Tips for Tired Teachers on Owning the Dreaded Duties

If you tell yourself that you’d rather be doing something else during your institutional duties, you just made what you are doing now 1000 times harder.   Many teachers approach these duties, such as lunchroom supervision, as just that — a duty. We’d rather be doing something else, and this is just a chore to be endured. Employment contracts for teachers often….Read more

3 Crucial Tips for Teachers on Back to School Night

Back to School night can be nerve wracking for teachers. You are on stage and under a microscope. Having heard all about you at the dinner table, parents finally get to take a look at you for themselves.  Some may come eager to see the teacher their child raves about, and some may come with complaints, grievances and rotten fruit….Read more

7 Tips to Becoming a Leader Who Influences, Not Commands

  The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. –General Colin Powell       Our society grapples with problems of leadership. Difficult decisions clash with strong emotions–with severe….Read more

Thomas Jefferson’s Fix for an Ignorant Citizenry

Thomas Jefferson’s epitaph in Virginia leaves out one salient fact and includes another lesser known achievement:   Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia   Jefferson was immensely proud of his role in founding the university, which was his secular….Read more

What Good Is the Liberal Arts for a Career?

It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing. –Steve Jobs, introducing the iPad   The art major is the person who walks the dog of the computer science major, or at least so goes the new wisdom. Computer engineers….Read more

Your Task Has Changed: Real Teaching in the Digital Age

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. –John Quincy Adams     I know what you teachers are thinking. The sand is escaping the hourglass of summer. Pretty soon, you will start teaching in the classroom. This is cause for great jubilation and also great anxiety.   Huge….Read more