• new year,  students,  teacher,  Uncategorized

    A Whole New World

    Hopefully, when you read the title of this blog post, the song from Aladdin popped into your head. If not, well, your childhood was messed up and you need to go now to Disney+ and watch the movie. Go. I’ll wait. If you’re like me, then this song was immediately what came to mind when you read the title. Of course, I pictured an animated Jasmine and Aladdin but decided to go a little more current for my video link. If you’re nostalgic, you can pop over to YouTube and watch the original video. I’ll wait. Okay, now that everyone’s caught up on their Aladdin, I’ll get into the meat…

  • school,  teacher,  Uncategorized

    Finding Joy Outside of Teaching

    As teachers, we are generally busy. If you ever see a teacher who rolls in right at the time for class to start and leaves as soon as the last child leaves, then you’ve basically seen Santa Claus. Teachers don’t just work a 9-5. Often, teachers are grading after school and on weekends, attending sporting events, and even taking graduate classes. Because a good teacher is a lifelong learner, you know. But it’s important for teachers to remember to take time for themselves. I’m not talking family time or coaching Little League (although those are certainly worthy endeavors). I’m talking legit, “me time.” Time where it is, simply put, all…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • back to school,  classroom,  teacher

    It’s a Teacher Thing: The First Week

    First, sorry for being MIA last week. It was the week of teacher in-service days and boy, oh boy, did I stay busy! Goodness. The week flew by. Between stressing over getting my room done (I did and might put up another blog post with pictures), preparing for orientation (I met 76 of my students but, of course, the ones with the crazy IEPs did not come), taking a field trip into our students’ neighborhoods (and chasing down a shell-shocked kid to give him candy), and trying to lesson plan…it was a crazy week to say the least. So my apologies to the one person who reads this blog! 😉…

  • 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…

  • beta club,  books,  classroom,  literacy,  new books,  reading,  school,  students,  teacher,  teachers,  teaching,  teaching books,  Uncategorized

    For the Love of a Book, Week 16

    My “For the Love of a Book” series is back!! Mostly because I’m back. I still don’t think many are reading my blog (and that’s a crying shame because it’s awesome) but I’m going to keep resolutely pushing forward! I’ve been doing a lot of reading this summer and so today I am going to recommend an author, rather than one particular book. I don’t know how I missed this author and his books but I read one this summer and fell.in.love! Then I read his other four books in like a week. They are that good. His name is Alan Gratz. You may already be familiar with his work…

  • 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…

  • school,  students,  teacher,  teaching,  throwback thursday,  velociraptor

    Throwback Thursday

    For today’s blog post, I’m going to do something a little different. I’ve been working on editing various chapters of my teacher book – since I’m going to a writer’s conference next week – and came across a gem of a chapter (well, okay, gem might be stretching it) that I haven’t looked at in years. And, yes, I know it still needs some editing. It was probably the very first chapter I wrote when I began this process. So today, I am going to share this very first chapter with you. It’s a throwback to when I started this project and a throwback to my first year of teaching,…

  • end of school year,  end of year,  remember,  smiles,  students,  teacher

    Counting Down the Mondays With the Four R’s: Week 2

    I know, I know…it’s Tuesday, not Monday. What am I playing at? Why on Earth would I post Week 2 of a Monday blog series on a Tuesday? Well, it’s because I ran out of time. I started my new part-time job at the animal shelter yesterday and did two adoption events over the weekend so I just flat ran out of time. But I’m here today with the second R in our series: Remember.At this time of year, as the days of summer are looming, it is important to take time to remember the good things that happened this year. It’s easy as educators to get focused on the negative…