• 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…

  • #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,  academics,  goals,  sixth graders,  standardized test,  summer,  teacher,  teachers,  testing

    It’s Testing Season!

    I am pretty darn sure that no teacher ever said the above words in relation to standardized testing. Standardized test days are not typically considered to be fun. They’re tedious and long and stressful. These tests can take up to 3 or 4 hours, during which all students have to remain quiet. It’s quite the opposite of fun.At my school (and I’m pretty sure this is relatively standard across the board) being in a testing environment means teachers have to be constantly, actively monitoring. No cell phone, no computer, no sitting in one corner of the room reading a book when you’re out of sight of the window. Just three or…

  • #starringthesixers,  academics,  classroom,  mdidle ages,  projects,  sixth grade,  student engagement,  students,  teacher,  teaching

    Monitor and Adjust!

    As teachers, we are always having to monitor and adjust. Sometimes, you have to change your lesson plan from one class to the next and sometimes you have to totally scrap an idea and go with something totally different. And, of course, there’s always that day when all technology fails and you have to resort to worksheets and textbooks. You always have to be ready to change on a moment’s notice! Sometimes, a brilliant idea turns out to be not so brilliant and you monitor and adjust for next year. This is what happened to me these past couple of weeks. I planned an awesome project for the Middle Ages. Students…

  • #starringthesixers,  back to school,  books,  classroom,  librarian,  literacy,  marshall,  marshall university,  media specialist,  reading,  teacher,  teaching

    Looking Ahead to Next Stages

    I think that, in life, it’s important to find your passion. It just doesn’t make sense to me to go through life doing something you don’t enjoy. Why be miserable when you can be happy? Now, I do understand that some people, through circumstances or choices or whatever, are not able to live their passion in their job but I have always thought that it is important to be happy at what you do. I enjoy my job (most days). I love who I work with and I love who I work for. On most days, I even love every single one of my students, except maybe when they’re screaming…

  • #starringthesixers,  day in the life,  rabbit,  trashcan

    A Day in the Non-Teacher Life of…Me!

    Okay, so this is me. Well, me from a few years ago. I still look basically the same, though. Today’s blog post is about a day in the life of non-teacher me. Crazy things happen to me at school with my students and Beta and the copier but sometimes life outside of work is just as ridiculous. I had the craziest day yesterday and I am going to share it with you! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to give me money…well, maybe not that last part. But I promise you’ll enjoy it so let’s go! Yesterday, I was going to leave early for school. I was covering another teacher’s…