Room 241: A Blog by
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A school engaging with parents

6 Ways to Engage Parents This Fall

By Jennifer Gunn August 23, 2019

A new school year is an opportune time to launch a new parent and family outreach campaign. Here are six things to keep in mind to make long-lasting connections that will last all year. Get everyone on the same page As the new year begins, formalize your staff’s outlook and plan for family engagement. “To… Read More

Every teacher has seen students get frustrated and give up. Struggle is a healthy experience for students, but they don’t always realize that it’s an integral part of the learning process. One teacher in New York City has found a way to connect productive struggle to something very familiar to students, and is using this… Read More

Elements of a Truly Great Lesson Plan

By Jennifer Gunn August 19, 2019

Every school, district, and teacher has their own version of the lesson plan. Some are quite formal while others may be a loose listing of bullet points. The usual stuff like standards, do-nows, and exit tickets are great, but here are some other ideas for what to include in a lesson plan to maximize student… Read More

What Teachers Wish School Leaders Knew

By Jennifer Gunn August 15, 2019

At times, there can be a disconnect between school leadership and classroom teachers. That disconnect can sometimes feel like a chasm, widening each year, and make it difficult for teachers and leaders to connect, move the work forward, or even get along. Here are some insights from educators on what teachers wish leaders understood.  Remember… Read More

School time is precious and usually rather inflexible, but some schools are adding a little more flexibility and personalization into their learning time to the benefit of students. The concept is called “flex time” or “W.I.N. Time” which stands for “What I Need Time.”  Getting flexible about learning time Most schools are pretty locked into… Read More

When School Leadership Changes

By Jennifer Gunn August 9, 2019

When principals retire or move on to different opportunities, a school can feel a bit unanchored navigating the transition and on-boarding new leadership. Perhaps a new leader has some bold ideas to completely change the culture or a radically differing philosophy than your own. Here’s a look at how to successfully navigate a leadership change,… Read More

How to Apply the KonMari Method to the Classroom

By Ashley Watters August 6, 2019

One of the beautiful things about being a dedicated teacher is the magic you see when understanding dawns or as a true learning experience takes place. However, it’s no state secret that teachers need supplies to help students achieve that magic. Unfortunately, teachers often begin their educational journey scrambling for materials, hoarding items packed deep… Read More

New School Year Challenge: Mending a Toxic School Culture

By Jennifer Gunn August 5, 2019

Even the best schools can hit a school culture slump. Catty or complaining cliques, staffing changes, sinking morale, exhaustion — it can all lead to a toxic school culture. The new school year is the perfect time to take action — whether you’re a school leader or classroom teacher — and reinvigorate your school’s culture,… Read More

Before my first day of teaching, I imagined what it would be like countless times. I pictured what I would say to my classroom full of new students, how I would interact with my learners, and how planned activities could play out. That visualization wasn’t an exercise in rigid planning, but rather a mental run-through… Read More

Great teachers are amazing people — constantly adapting, motivating, and inspiring young minds. Even to the best of teachers, though, it can seem difficult to take the time to cultivate what really matters when test time looms on the horizon. But studies show that instilling a sense of wonder and curiosity is far more important… Read More

Reimagining Your School as a Community Center

By Jennifer Gunn July 11, 2019

Imagine a school that worked together with the community to serve all students and their families, including academics and beyond. Believe it or not, such schools exist and it just might be possible for your school to benefit from a community model. The Community School According to the Coalition for Community Schools, a community school… Read More

Matching Edtech with Student Learning Needs

By Jennifer Gunn July 9, 2019

When it comes to students and edtech, one size does not fit all. Buying a product for whole-school use may not be the best plan. Here’s a look at how schools can match edtech products to specific learning needs and goals and help students succeed. Every learner is unique In considering any edtech tool, it’s… Read More

Summer Teacher Prep: Setting Your Work/Life Boundaries

By Jennifer Gunn July 4, 2019

Teachers do so much more than just planning lessons and teaching. In fact, it’s typical to get swallowed up during the school year with endless projects, responsibilities, and calls for your time. The problem is, we simply cannot do it all — and trying to do it all makes us less effective and exhausted. This… Read More

Ensuring Ed Tech Doesn’t Increase Inequity

By Jennifer Gunn July 2, 2019

Technology is here to stay and its presence within education settings is rapidly expanding. This presence — or its absence — could be perpetuating inequity in our schools in not-so-obvious ways. Here’s a look at what we need to be aware of as technology expands its reach in education.  The hidden biases in ed tech… Read More

Many people express anxiety about public speaking or performing for a crowd. Although it’s a largely overlooked part of education, that’s exactly what teachers do almost every day! Every teacher is a leader with the unique opportunity to set the tone and expectations in the learning setting. While many teachers embrace these challenges, others struggle…. Read More