Early Childhood and Elementary (Grades: PreK-5)

Celebrating the 100th Day of School: A Day to Pause & Reflect

By Darri Stephens January 27, 2020

I’m not quite sure why I missed out, but I didn’t learn about the concept of celebrating the 100th day of school until my fifth year of teaching when I was in my twenties! I never celebrated a 100th day in school growing up. And then my first two teaching assignments were in failing schools… Read More

A school district superintendent is responsible for the overall performance of their district. Hiring new teachers, ensuring that current teachers have up-to-date certifications and follow continuing education requirements, and making sure that the students excel puts a lot of responsibility on individuals holding this position. Depending on the size of the district, many school systems… Read More

Substitute Teacher: Education, Salary, and Outlook

By The Room 241 Team January 20, 2020

A substitute teacher’s role is vital to the smooth operation of a school. Substitutes step in, sometimes on very short notice, for teachers who can’t be in the classroom for anything between a single day to several weeks. Substitute teachers have many of the same qualifications as full-time teaching staff, though it’s also a common… Read More

Montessori Teacher: Education, Salary, and Outlook

By The Room 241 Team January 10, 2020

The Montessori method of education is aimed at allowing children to self-direct their own learning. Instead of traditional teaching methods, it incorporates hands-on learning and collaborative play in the classroom, which is guided by a teacher who is specifically trained in the Montessori method. This teacher, the Montessori teacher, is responsible for providing their students… Read More

The Power of Stickers for Motivation and Positive Behavior

By Darri Stephens December 24, 2019

I remember when I first started teaching, and I would pick up the phone to call students’ homes. I not only could hear the trepidation in the parents’ voices, but I could feel them on the other end bracing for bad news: what their child had done wrong, how their child hadn’t met expectations, or… Read More

One African proverb states “a wise man never knows all; only a fool knows everything.” Regardless of how worldly, educated, or well-traveled we are, we can never know everything. But by recognizing our own biases and accepting that we can learn from others, we establish the groundwork for growth and promote the cultivation of independent… Read More

All educators have tough cases. You know the ones — those kiddos who persistently color on classroom materials that are most definitely NOT meant for art displays. Or the middle schoolers who just can’t seem to internalize the phrase, “keep your hands to yourself.” These students are difficult for teachers and having to communicate the… Read More

Teachers get to have so many positive moments. They inspire, educate, engage, mentor, and lead. It’s these moments that make the less-than-glamorous aspects of teaching all worthwhile. But sometimes, situations will arise where it will be difficult to paste on a smile and forge ahead. Negative behaviors are simply a fact of life for teachers…. Read More

10 Alternatives for Those Classes Before Break

By The Room 241 Team November 22, 2019

The days before break can be equal parts exhausting and exciting. It’s often hard to plan valuable learning experiences for students when they’re counting down the minutes till break. So what do most teachers do? Pop in a movie. Don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing wrong with movies. They can be very informational and… Read More

I Don’t Like School: Inspiring the Uninspired Student

By Jennifer Gunn April 26, 2019

Every teacher, every year, has at least one student who utters those heartbreaking words: “I just don’t like school.” These words are uttered by the student who says they “just want to be left alone,” and who is resigned to get through their education with as little effort and bother as possible. But what are… Read More

The Emotions of Learning: Q&A with Marc Brackett, PhD

By Jennifer Gunn February 6, 2019

Social-emotional and trauma-informed learning and teaching are at the forefront of education research and study today. The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) reports that nearly 50 percent of the children in the U.S. have experienced “at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” Therefore, ignoring emotions in the classroom can absolutely pose… Read More

How many five-paragraph essays do students write in their school career? A lot. How many standardized tests require an essay? Most of them. How many essays will students need to write after college? Eh, probably not that many. Essays have their function, but they’re certainly not the only academically rigorous form of writing, nor are… Read More

Exploring Tinkergarten’s Learning Model

By Jennifer Gunn December 10, 2018

The outdoor education movement gets children outside to experience hands-on learning in nature. Some organizations are taking this approach to the next level. One innovative example is Tinkergarten, which offers outdoor classes and activities that incorporate play-based learning. Available to children and families in 47 states, Tinkergarten’s activities are designed to “help kids develop a host of important capabilities, including empathy,… Read More

In order for students to be successful in school, they first have to be in school. Seems logical, right? But for millions of students in the U.S., attendance is a barrier to success with lifelong consequences. Here’s a look at how chronic absenteeism impacts learning, and how schools can begin to turn the tide. Measuring… Read More

It’s easy to see the potential in young learners, but recognizing what they can already contribute and encouraging their growth requires a dedicated advocate with passion and expertise. Meet Tina Lageson, EdD, a kindergarten teacher at Glencoe Elementary School in Portland, Oregon. She’s a three-peat alum of Concordia University-Portland, having earned her BS in Early Childhood… Read More