Class Size Matters: Then and Now

As I look back on my 1973/1974 grade 5 classroom of 29 students, there are significant differences in how we were taught. Teacher Qualifications: Our teacher did not have a university degree and only one year of teachers’ training. (I looked her up). Today’s teachers must complete a 4 year university degree and two years […]

Seniority Matters

Seniority in teaching matters because there is much documented research showing that teachers must practice up to eight years before they develop efficacy in their practice. In the British VITAE study of 300 teachers in 100 schools, authors Day, Sammons, Stobart, Kingston, and Gu (2007) showed that teachers’ levels of confidence and self-efficacy continue to […]

Teacher Performance Appraisal: Advice for New Teachers

The core element of the New Teacher Induction Program is the performance appraisal process. All new teachers will have two performance appraisals within the first 12 months of their position as part of NTIP. For some, the thought of this can be overwhelming and daunting, even if you’re a confident and experienced teacher. There are […]

Oh wait

For all of the right reasons and in my own best interests I think it best to resolve some issues from what has been a terrible January. As such, I have taken to implementing a number of life changes in order to ensure I am my best me, living and giving my best. Less caffeine […]

My Experience Teaching With No Collective Bargaining And No Teacher Union…Part One

I had the privilege of spending the first two years of my career working in a state in the United States that has a ban on collective bargaining. Yes, you read that correctly, since the late 50s there has been no bargaining. Since there is no bargaining, the government makes decisions about education and puts […]

My Experience Teaching With No Collective Bargaining and No Teacher Unions…Part Two

In my first year of teaching, some days went very well and other days I was ill equipped to support my students with what they needed. My students came from some very difficult homes. Many had addiction, drug dealing, and consistent violence in the home. One student that I will remember for my entire career […]

New Teacher Induction Program

Most newly hired permanent teachers aren’t exactly “new teachers” by the time they achieve permanent status. This is actually my fourth year as a classroom teacher, and the case is similar for many (most?) others. However, participation in the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) is a mandatory part of a new permanent teacher’s first year […]

The Chocolongo Challenge

Every year, I somehow manage to incorporate my love of chocolate into an activity that I work on with students. This year was no different. As I skimmed through the Guide to Effective Instruction for Mathematics for some ideas for our unit on measurement, I noticed the Chocolongo Challenge and immediately knew that this sweet […]

Dear Basketball – Saying Goodbye & Finding Our Passions

On Monday morning, as students entered the school there was a different sort of energy; an eagerness to talk, and yet a profound sadness greeted me at the classroom door. At every entry, I check in with students, greeting them by name and often asking a question to gage how they might be doing. On […]

The end is here

The end (of January) is here. Thankfully. I thought wrapping up 2019 would have signaled my surrender. I didn’t know another white flag needed to be waved so quickly, but here goes. The month of January has been particularly trying on my mental health and well being. When I say my mental and health and […]

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