A Blog for Teachers

Our featured stories are an amalgamation of all things education—you’ll find articles on trends and challenges facing present-day educators, as well as resources that help educators successfully navigate through any demanding environment.

  • Gift Your Friend a Grant Toward Their MEd or EdD

    Posted June 27, 2017

    If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re already part of our #TenThousandStrong network here at Concordia University-Portland. Perhaps you’re a current student or an alum—either way, we hope you know how thankful we are that that you chose to continue your studies with us. As a token of that appreciation, we have a really cool opportunity for…

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  • Two-Way Teaching: Embracing the Value of Students’ Perspectives

    Posted June 26, 2017

    The idea that teachers know more than students is central to education. But there is also value in bringing student voices into the classroom and making their ideas and experiences an integral part of the class. “In the past, teaching was seen as top-down content delivery, a process of teachers pouring knowledge into students,” says…

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  • Summer Self-Care for Teachers: How to Relax, Recover, and Prepare for Fall

    Posted June 7, 2017

    The last day of school is always bittersweet: Saying goodbye to students can be tough, but usually teachers are so exhausted when summer comes around that they need some time to recover. As you prepare to close up shop for the summer, consider these five summertime tips for relaxing, recovering and preparing for fall. Before…

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  • The Right Message for Each Audience: Communicating with Parents, Colleagues and the Public

    Posted May 30, 2017

    Imagine that your school district has recently adopted a new math curriculum that will significantly change how students learn new math concepts, approach homework and get evaluated. The explanations of how to do math problems and the expectations of students will be different from previous years — and probably different from what parents remember from…

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  • School Dress Codes Need to be Clear and Fair to Ensure Equal Enforcement

    Posted May 23, 2017

    A few months ago, my daughter and her friends came home on a Friday afternoon furious about a recent lecture on dress code. While I’m certain her teaching team had the students’ best interests at heart, the girls heard a different message: Their bodies are distractions that must be managed. Her school is not alone….

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  • When Teachers Become Better Listeners, Students Become Better Learners — Here’s Why

    Posted May 8, 2017

    Teachers spend a lot of time talking: explaining, leading conversations, giving demonstrations. But listening can be equally powerful — and it’s a skill that not everyone masters, often because people don’t realize its importance. Gillian Parrish, a research and communications specialist at the Teaching Center at Washington University in St. Louis, says educators are increasingly…

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  • Turn on, Tune in, Opt out: America’s Complex Relationship with Standardized Testing

    Posted May 3, 2017

    For the second year in a row, my daughter launched a full-fledged campaign against standardized testing. About a week before the tests began, she argued they were ineffective and unfair. She echoed the concerns of a variety of students, parents and teachers: It’s a bad measure, it’s stressful, it doesn’t influence grades, it takes too…

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  • How to Decide if You Should Get Out of Teaching — Or Make Things Better if You Want to Stay

    Posted May 1, 2017

    Teaching is one of the rare careers where it’s still common to stay in the same profession — possibly even in the same school — for a good portion of your career. For some teachers, this stability is part of the appeal. But for others, there comes a point where the joy is gone and…

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  • What Teachers Need to Keep in Mind Before Moving into an Administrative Job

    Posted April 10, 2017

    Classroom teaching brings fresh challenges each year. But after a time, some teachers want to step out of the classroom and shoulder broader responsibilities. Taking a job in administration is a common path for those who want to stay in education but extend their reach beyond one classroom. “A lot of times, teachers decide they…

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  • Beyond the Classroom: Career Options for Teachers

    Posted April 3, 2017

    Getting an advanced degree or a teaching credential prepares you, obviously, to be a teacher. But sometimes — either after a short time in the classroom or after decades on the job — teachers decide they want a different career. “When a teacher feels as though the whole profession has really lost its luster, or…

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  • Teachers Need a Strong Online Network to Build Connections and Improve Career Prospects

    Posted March 20, 2017

    Building a strong professional network will make your career more satisfying and help you through rough spots. People you have met in person — those you have taught with or attended school with, for example — will probably form the backbone of your network. But developing strong online networking skills is also crucial. Perhaps you…

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  • 5 Novels for Middle School Students that Celebrate Diversity

    Posted March 14, 2017

    We all want our students to see pieces of themselves in the stories they read. Novels promoting diversity, inclusion, compassion and awareness help students identify with the experiences and perspectives of people who are much like them — but with a few crucial differences. Here are five powerful novels that can help diversify the worldviews…

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  • Building an In-Person Network: Meeting and Greeting Other Teachers

    Posted March 13, 2017

    Do you ever wish you had a colleague outside your school to share a tough problem with and brainstorm solutions? Who do you turn to when you’re weighing whether to apply to teach a different grade level? And if you lose your job, how many people could you enlist to help you find the next…

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  • In the Age of the Smartphone, Students Need Help with Social Literacy

    Posted March 7, 2017

    Today’s students have grown up with the internet, with cellphones becoming something of an extra appendage. Many can’t make it through lunch (much less a whole day) without checking their phones or otherwise interacting with technology. Always-on culture has been a challenge for recent graduates who entered the workforce without the social awareness that came…

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  • 4 Ways for Frazzled Teachers to Fend Off Stress

    Posted March 6, 2017

    Are all the supplies ready for tomorrow’s art project? How should I answer the email from the parent concerned about the friends her daughter is making? When will I prepare my presentation for the math curriculum committee? Will my contract be renewed for next year? And if it isn’t, how will I pay the bills?…

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  • 3 Key Questions Teachers Should Ask to Defuse Conflicts with Colleagues and Parents

    Posted February 28, 2017

    A parent complains about a student’s test grade. A colleague is unhappy about a comment you made at the last staff meeting. An administrator questions the way you handled a recent email exchange with a parent. In addition to facing a classroom full of students each day, teachers have to contend with relationships — and…

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  • Do Their Arguments Hold Water? Showing Students the Risks of Logical Fallacies

    Posted February 13, 2017

    Students often have a feel for whether an argument is valid, but they can’t rely on gut sense alone in a culture that takes a no-holds-barred approach to argument. Advertising, politics and student writing assignments all require rhetorical devices to convince people that their arguments are valid. Ideally, persuaders use facts, reasoning and logic to…

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  • Media Literacy Includes Teaching the Power of Persuasive Language

    Posted February 6, 2017

    Recent news articles about fake news and “alternative facts” make it clear that media literacy is an essential skill we should be building in our classrooms. Beyond figuring out what’s real or fake, students need to understand how persuasive language affects their media experience. That starts with helping them develop rhetorical insight on how word…

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  • One Teacher’s Drive to Help Schools Connect Kids with Nature

    Posted January 24, 2017

    Leah McDermott, MEd, contends that children are spending less time in the outdoors or in the arts (music, art, band, etc.) because schools are devoting more time to test prep. She wants that to change. “Despite everything we know about the amazing benefits of children spending time outdoors in free, physical play every day, the…

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  • Beyond ‘Fake or Real’: 5 Quick Lessons in Media Literacy

    Posted January 23, 2017

    Differentiating between real and fake news is a good first step in arming students to question the media they encounter. The next step in our world of democratized but not always fact-checked digital media is to ensure they have the critical-thinking skills to evaluate what they’re seeing online. Helping students become media literate Media Smarts,…

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