Classroom Management

What Elizabeth Taught Me About Spec Ed

(This is a story about a student I had several years ago. Her name wasn’t actually Elizabeth. Teaching her taught me a lot about Spec Ed – how to tackle problems in steps, how to work with students to find what works for them individually, and above all else, how incredible it feels to know […]

The First 20 Days of School – Connecting with Students is a Great Place to Start

Teaching is always new! With a new group of students, fresh reflections on practice and the opportunity to start from scratch, as it were, the start of the school year provides teachers and students alike the opportunity to create new beginnings every year. Knowing this, what might some important considerations be to make it a great […]

Sharing Your Passions Early and Often

When you are passionate about something, whether it is spending time in the natural world, cooking, art or music your excitement is palpable. It is also contagious. I have used this belief for the last three decades in my teaching practice. Every September my initial plan for developing a learning community and establishing relationships with […]

Reflect, Create, and Celebrate


These are the words that I chant as the end of the school year draws near in June. It is a challenging time, unlike the busy planning and organizing needed to set the pace in September. The days now feel longer and there seems less content to cover, as it was mostly completed in time for […]

The Power Of The Circle

Mike Beetham

The circle has many historical references probably none more meaningful as the significance to the traditions of our First Nations’ People. It is a very powerful formation as it represents the importance of each and every person in the group. There is no start or finish to a circle as well as representing the cycle […]

Is it worth “picking your battles” in the classroom?

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“Choose your battles.” – It is something you have heard a thousand times, and have probably applied it in your classroom or on the playground. But is choosing your battles really worth it in the long run? The short answer is NO! Absolutely not. But why? When you set a boundary, like make sure you […]

Trust and Verify

Mike Beetham

This is a fantastic new phrase I came upon. I have been experimenting with it in my class over the last two months. As I work with my special needs students I am always looking for new ways to say the same message. A key component that I strive to accomplish in my classroom is […]

Managing a three-ring circus


Classroom management can be challenging at times but add in 30 instruments, noise and tons of movement and you could have a three-ring circus. Some of the extra challenges that planning time teachers have to face are the constant transition of classes, teaching hundreds of students and managing a multitude of materials. With a little […]

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