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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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This is my hallway's teaching staff. Thank you to MBH and AKim for making this photo happen :)

9 Principles for Working Better with Fellow Educators

Welcome to the penultimate portion of the awesomest series on Teaching the Core (here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Today, we’re going to examine a part of the most under-rated element of the three-fold strategy I recommend if you’re trying to maximize the impact of your teaching career: the adult level. Let’s break it […]

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15 Practical Tips for Promoting Long-Term Student Flourishing

featured This series (part 1, part 2) went on vacation for a few months, but I wanted to pick it back up for a few reasons: The “talking to teachers” part of my life began in the summer of 2011 with the Lake Michigan Writing Project, and LMWP pushed me to consider doing a workshop […]

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article of the week scaffold

Scaffolds for Dominating the Article of the Week

In my last post, I laid out the long, steamy romance that is my history with Kelly Gallagher’s article of the week assignment (disclaimer if you haven’t read it: it’s pretty much not romantic at all, or steamy; it’s just long). In this post, I want to share some resources that come out of last post’s […]

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A Non-Freaked Out Framework for Literacy Instruction Across the Content Areas, Common Core or Otherwise

This past summer, I began playing around with a 2.0 version of the “non-freaked out approach” to Common Core literacy, hoping to hone the thinking I put forward a year-and-a-half or so ago into something more useable, more balanced, and more timeless (you’ll notice “close reading” died of buzzwordification). Here’s what I’m going to spend the 2014-2015 school […]

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