Room 241: A Blog by
Concordia
University-
Portland

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Mid-Career Teacher

Students working through a maze moment in the classroom

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

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

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

Summer Teacher Prep: Summer Self-Reflection

By The Room 241 Team July 23, 2019

Summer is the time to truly think about what worked for you this past school year, and what totally didn’t. Even if you had a great year, there is always room for growth. If you were constantly exhausted, behind on work, redoing lesson plans, or always saying “no” to social plans, it’s time for a… 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

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

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

Ask any teacher “why do you teach?” and you’re likely to get a philosophical answer that calls upon their personal history, their love for students or the content, and their ultimate hopes for their students. But ask most teachers about their teaching mission and you just might find them stumped. With everything teachers do and… Read More

The Realities of Teacher Summer Break as Told Through GIFs

By The Room 241 Team May 30, 2019

That June Feeling Going calendar-less and getting blissfully lost in time. Turning off the alarm, but still waking up early every day. Actually having time to eat a real breakfast instead of a Pop Tart in your car. Doing a lot of planning for next year in between trips to the beach. School supplies go… 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

Common Myths and Misconceptions about English Language Learners

By The Room 241 Team April 22, 2019

As part of Concordia’s Thought Leadership Graduate Education Info Session on April 8, 2019, Dr. Juliana Smith shared her top 13 myths about English language learners (ELLs). Myth #1: English is the second language of students. A lot of the students we see in the U.S. actually speak several languages already. English may be their… Read More

Taking Control of Your Teacher Workload

By The Room 241 Team March 14, 2019

A Heart-Centered Approach Teachers are true workaholics. We work a lot — during the day, after school, on weekends, during breaks, and over summer vacation. In doing the myriad tasks we tackle each week, we can become seriously overwhelmed, stressed, and constantly trying to catch up. Host of the Hurry Slowly podcast and author of… Read More

How Teachers Can Create an Equitable Grading System

By Jennifer Gunn March 12, 2019

Grading is one of the most challenging and emotionally charged conversations in today’s schools. Teachers are protective of their right to grade, but inconsistent grading practices and the ways they can inadvertently perpetuate achievement and opportunity gaps among our students make grading an issue of equity. There are grading practices that are more bias-resistant and… Read More