• new teacher,  teacher,  teaching,  Uncategorized

    Teacher Burnout – It’s a Real Thing

    As teachers, we are often yanked and pulled in many different directions. These days, it is very rare to find a teacher who just teaches his or her classes and goes home. I mean, I guess they exist but they’re kind of like unicorns. Most teachers teach their classes and then they also sponsor a club or coach a sport. They stay late after school to grade or come in early to tutor. Some teachers plan field trips or act as a mentor to first-year teachers. And then there are the teachers that you always see lugging work home on a Friday afternoon, no matter how many times you’ve heard…

  • academics,  back to school,  classroom,  classroom management,  classroom procedures,  new teacher

    It’s a Teacher Thing: Classroom Management Hack

    If there’s one thing that can be difficult for new teachers, it’s classroom management. You can have the most well-thought out procedures, have your bell schedule prominently displayed, and be ready to not smile until Christmas but the class can still run amok. Last year, my classes pushed me to my breaking point. There were sometimes more than 30 kids in the classes (including several with IEPs or BIPs or 504s or ESOL accommodations) and it was often hard to get the entire class to be quiet. I’ve always struggled with determining who the culprit really is when there are multiple students talking and last year was no exception. I…

  • academics,  new teacher,  procedures,  substitute teacher

    It’s a Teacher Thing: Substitute Plans

    This week’s blog topic is focusing on substitute plans. Most likely, your school has a designated time to turn in emergency plans and, hopefully, this blog post will help you with some important tips on sub plans. As a former substitute teacher, I can tell you how important it is to have good sub plans! Putting in a little effort on your part can really pay off and make your sub’s day a lot easier. If your school is like mine, we have a hard time getting and keeping substitute teachers, especially good ones. There are some key things to keep in mind as you prepare for your substitute to…

  • new teacher,  school,  teacher

    It’s a Teacher Thing: Dealing With An Emergency Situation – Drill or Not

    As teachers, we are going to be relied upon to handle different types of emergency situations. In this day and age, that doesn’t just mean fire drills and tornado drills. Instead, students now are expected to know what to do if there is an active shooter inside or outside the building, if there is a bomb threat, as well as the regular fire and tornado drills. Your first priority should be to know what is expected of you during these drills. Every teacher has a specific evacuation plan for fire drills and certain protocols to follow when those drills happen. Where are you supposed to take your students? Do you…

  • academics,  back to school,  classroom,  classroom management,  classroom procedures,  expectations,  new job,  new teacher,  new year,  procedures,  teacher,  teaching

    It’s a Teacher Thing: Setting High Expectations From The Start

    We’re into Week 2 of my new, purposeful blog posting. Last week, everything focused on gearing up for your new classroom through buying supplies and physical materials necessary for success. This week, I’m going to be focusing everything on establishing your expectations and procedures at the start. It is incredibly important to establish high expectations and clear procedures from Day 1. Now, while I don’t necessarily believe in “don’t smile until Christmas” – mostly because I have a really bad poker face – I do believe in the advice that you can always get easier but you can’t get harder. It’s a good idea to go into the year with…

  • back to school,  classroom,  new job,  new teacher,  new year,  teacher,  teaching

    It’s a Teacher Thing: Gearing Up for the New School Year

    I know I’ve been away from the blog for a while. To be honest, I went to a writer’s conference in Kentucky and kind of got depressed afterwards so I haven’t done much writing. Then, my father passed away and that has kind of taken up a lot of my time and energy so I just haven’t really been focusing on the blog or book much at all. Today, that is going to change. I am “re-starting” my blog and jumping straight into my new goal – helping new teachers. Each week, the blog will focus on a teacher tip (called It’s a Teacher Thing) to help new and relatively…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom management,  discipline,  end of school year,  new teacher,  sixth grade,  sixth graders,  student discipline,  student engagement,  students,  summer,  talk the talk,  teacher

    Counting Down the Mondays With the Four R’s

    If you are like me, you are counting down the number of Mondays until the end of the school year. You may not know exactly how many days are left in total but boy, oh boy, do you know how many more times you have to set your alarm clock on a Sunday night.In my district, there are four more Mondays. Granted, just three of those days include students (the last is a Teacher Workday/Exchange Day) but all four include setting the alarm clock and hitting the snooze button at least once in the morning.Therefore, as we wrap up this school year, I thought I’d give some advice for teachers as they’re…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom,  emotional,  new teacher,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Did You Know You Were a Ringmaster?

    So you’re a teacher, right? (Hopefully you are, if you’re reading this blog). When you went into teaching, did you know that you’d be required to wear many hats and juggle many things? Or did you, as most of us do, think that your job was to get up in front of the students and teach your content, maybe throw a band-aid on a skinned knee every now and then, and give out some hugs? I’m sure you know better now. If you’re a good teacher, then you probably wear many hats at school. You may teach seventh grade ELA but you may also advise the yearbook. Perhaps you’re also the…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom,  classroom management,  new teacher,  sixth grade,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Poker Face

    Sorry that I’ve fallen off the wagon these past few weeks. The beginning of school has been rough and then we had a hurricane (well, not really) and it’s just been crazy. Plus, we all know how I am with blogging…and making promises to ‘do better’ and still epically failing. This time, I’m just going to make a promise to try harder to do better. That’s about all I can do right now.Today, I want to talk to you about poker faces. And not the Lady GaGa song that’s now stuck in my head (and the only part I know is the Poker Face part) but the fact that, as a…

  • #starringthesixers,  classroom,  comfort zone,  new job,  new teacher,  sixth grade,  student engagement,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Oh, If Only I’d Known!! (Week 4)

    It’s time for Week 4 of my blog series, Oh, If Only I’d Known, which is geared towards first-year teachers. I’m going to try and keep it a little shorter this time around since Monday’s blog post was so long! So let’s go! This week, I am going to encourage you new teachers to step outside your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to try something new! That’s this week’s piece of advice.  As a first year teacher, there may be days where you are struggling to keep your head above water and it’s all you can do to use those lesson plans your mentor teacher gave you or the worksheets you…