Moving Forward in the Midst of Survival Mode: A Retrospective

First of all, thank you. I am grateful for so much from January 2015, and I owe a heckuva lot to this Teaching the Core community. Specifically: You’ve commented on this past month’s blog posts like never before. Hearing your stories, your encouragement, your descriptions of what this blog does for you — I can honestly […]

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On Work Schedules, Perfectionism, and Hidden Autonomy

This post will be short because Tuesday is almost over and homeboy be sleep deprived. A few things: 1. When work schedules meet recovery schedules Since last post, Crystal’s path to recovery has become clearer and longer. It looks like she will be on bed rest for at least a few weeks, and this means that my […]

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How Gratitude Makes Us, and Our Students, Better

Gratitude has been on my mind a lot this week. In some ways, gratitude has been easy; in other ways, it’s been hard. And all along the way, it’s been interesting to examine how the character strength of gratitude can make us, and our students, the kinds of people we want to be. I: Easy “I […]

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Swords for dominating teaching

There Are No Silver Bullets, but There Are Swords

I’m writing this on the afternoon of my first day back to teaching after a nice winter break, and merely one day back into the thick of it, my body is telling me that, indeed, teaching is work. This isn’t my first goat rodeo, though. As the week matures, I know I’ll re-acclimate to the pace, […]

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Setting a Work Schedule to Make Us Better, Saner Teachers

I want to share something that gives me hope for the year to come: a weekly routine for getting the work done within set working hours. I piloted this schedule for two weeks before Winter Break, and it seems poised to do well for me in 2015, which seems poised to be my busiest year ever. […]

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Gingerbread house

Teaching is Work

Winter break has been awesome so far. Highlights: Hadassah (my eldest) and I made a postmodern gingerbread house (pictured above). In an act of the-only-person-in-the-family-without-the-flu heroism, I made off-brand frozen pizza for Christmas dinner. Need I say more? I’ve also taken some time to write, which is good, because I’m working on a new ebook called Never Finished. […]

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Takeaways from #NCTE14 (and why professional conferences are worth it)

Two weekends ago, I went to my first-ever national conference for teachers: the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference (NCTE14), which was held in the DC area. In this post, I’d like to do three simple things: Explain why conferences are and aren’t helpful — and how to make sure the next conference […]

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We All Need Mentorship: Here’s How to Make the Most of It

Lately, I’ve been kind of obsessed with helping the Teaching the Core community think deeply about their careers. Part of that is because I love writing about this stuff; another part is because I sense that the group of educators who belong to this friendly movement of educators resonate with some of the following questions: Is […]

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(Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan, used under CC attribution license.)

Here’s Why the 80/20 Rule Matters for Educators

Teaching is this hugely complex, challenging calling, and that’s why I’m glad it’s mine — I don’t foresee getting to a place where I’m like, “You know what? I’ve got this all figured out. Done. Turn on the cruise control.” To be honest, I think few of us will get there, and if we do, […]

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How to Read Professional Development Books: 7 Tactics You Might Not Be Using

Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, instructional coach, central office person, or someone else, I’m guessing you’re familiar with the fact that there are lots more edu-books out there than any of us have time to read. And their unmanageable quantity is not the only tricky thing about professional development books; they also vary in their utility. Some are immediately useful, […]

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