The Nature of Leadership: Engaging our Youth to Become Better Leaders

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Excellent leadership skills can come naturally to some, but early experiences impact our adult leadership potential. At a young age, children learn to develop leadership skills by being nurtured and encouraged by adults such as parents, family members, teachers and caregivers. Qualities imposed by adults, such as moral development, communication, and diversity can all greatly affect the way children become leaders. Reflect on your own leadership qualities to see how you can better impact young adults to become future leaders.

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eNotes Homework Help: December Discussion Starters

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Our Homework Help service helps students and teachers on their toughest academic questions. Our Educators have answered more than 300,000 questions–some straightforward with decidedly black/white answers, and others more open to interpretation and, consequently, discussion.

Each month we’re compiling some of our favorite Homework Help questions to initiate debate or rich conversation in your classroom. Enjoy! Continue Reading ›

Making the Most of a Missed Day: What to Do When You Need a Substitute Teacher

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While the teacher is out, the students are still in class ready to learn. Your absence does not automatically mean that the students have to watch a video or do busy work to fill the day. Follow these tips to ensure that students continue to be engaged and productive while you are away. Continue Reading ›

Teachers, Here Is How to Spend Your Summer

Blackboard with School's out text on the beach

I distinctly remember staying late, late on a Friday night my second year of teaching so that I could finish all of my grading and planning for the next week.

I loved the idea of having a whole weekend to myself for once, but I didn’t actually think about what I would do with it once I had it. I woke up on Saturday morning feeling optimistic and free and by 1:15pm when I still hadn’t really moved from my bed, dread started to creep in. I had no idea really what to do with this free time. Completely forgot what I actually liked to do. It was the worst day ever.

I ate a Hungry Man dinner at 4:00pm.

If you are like me and are in danger of having that happen to your entire summer, or even just a couple of weeks of it, I have some ideas for you. Continue Reading ›

The Next New Thing: Personalized Learning

High School Teacher Helping Student With Written Work

One thing about education as a profession—the grass is never allowed to grow under a teacher’s feet for very long. There’s always something new coming down the pike, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does induce a kind of professional dizziness from time to time. Adapting to the “next new thing” is always a challenge, especially if it moves from the periphery onto the center stage in classroom practices. The most recent concept in education is personalized learning, not to be confused with differentiated instruction. Differentiated instruction addresses how lessons are delivered to students, based on their individual needs. Personalized learning is more complex.

enotes blog squaresIn its purest form, personalized learning allows students to choose what they will study and to proceed at their own pace in meeting individual goals. Implementing it requires four instructional strategies, which are summarized in “Personalized Learning: A Working Definition”:

  • Continual assessment as a student progresses toward “clearly-defined goals,” with the student advancing and earning credit after demonstrating mastery.
  • Learning environments designed to meet students’ needs in reaching their goals.
  • Customized “learning paths” based on each student’s progress, motivations, and goals.
  • Up-to-date “learner profiles” that chart each student’s strengths, needs, motivations, and goals.

That’s a lot to do after taking attendance! Seriously, it’s a lot to do period, and the current demands of standardized testing make personalized learning seem like a classroom fantasy. It’s a great idea, though, so what can be done to personalize learning in a system based on covering a specific curriculum in a limited amount of time? Apparently, quite a bit, starting with learner profiles. Continue Reading ›

9 EdTech Resources to Try Before Summer

Students and educators are constantly bombarded with apps and online resources claiming to improve the learning experience. To help you navigate through the mountain of options, here are some of the best EdTech trends that you can try before summer.

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1. MyStudyLife

This online planner was designed for students and educators to make their learning and teaching process a lot easier. This calendar application allows you to organize your study schedule, lectures, tasks and exams. By using this tool, you can stay ahead of lectures and assignments and become more productive. Continue Reading ›

Buried Under Papers: 5 Grading Survival Tips

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It’s that time again. Actually, if you are an English teacher, it’s always that time. You feverishly comment on 45 drafts, hand them back to students…and receive 50 more. In the meantime, 3rd period’s pop quizzes are getting moldy, six student presentations need to be assessed, your two sections of American Literature need tests corrected, there’s a handful of letters of recommendation that need to be written, and three (or four, or more) classes need to be planned—all by Friday.

Sound familiar? I don’t have the answers, but I do have sympathy and a few tips that have helped me weather a storm of essays for a decade and a half. Continue Reading ›