Room 241: A Blog by
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Professional Development

Essential Strategies for Managing Trauma in the Classroom

By Concordia Faculty January 11, 2018

Poverty, violence, hunger, abuse, and an unstable world are causing chronic stress for our nation’s kids. And that sad truth is that prolonged exposure to stress can damage the centers of the brain associated with learning, cause behavioral problems, and increase the cycle of violence. Nearly half of the children in the United States, or… Read More

It’s January, which means there are six months of classes, lesson planning, meetings, and assessments left. As hardworking educators, we can easily start wishing away the rest of the year to get to summer. But honestly, by maintaining a healthy and clear perspective, there’s no reason that this year couldn’t be your best teaching year… Read More

Teacher Efficacy: Why It Matters and How Administrators Can Help

By Concordia Faculty January 8, 2018

Efficacy—or a teacher’s level of confidence about their ability—can greatly depend on past experiences or on their current school culture. A bad classroom experience or negative work environment, for example, can quickly sour a teacher’s confidence. Conversely, witnessing student growth and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and… Read More

There are a ton of education conference options each year and most of them aren’t cheap. Ticket prices, travel costs, and taking time away from work all make choosing the absolute best conference a must—because despite the logistics, conferences can be so useful (even life-changing) for educators. Here are some of our favorite conferences for… Read More

5 Tips for Earning an MEd While Still Teaching Full Time

By The Concordia University-Portland Enrollment Team August 7, 2017

Being a teacher is just as rewarding as it can be tiring. Nearly every day of the week, you’re grading papers and lesson planning. You may have kids of your own and advise Key Club. You may exercise every AM, or tutor every PM. Whatever your lifestyle, you don’t want to shuffle it around—but you… Read More

A parent catches you at drop-off one morning and wants to know why her son got in trouble the day before, since he never misbehaves at home. A colleague presents a proposal at a staff meeting that you are certain will not work. At the end of a long day of parent-teacher conferences, you are… Read More

Problem-based learning (PBL): It’s all the rage. PBL is an innovative addition to modern K-12 pedagogy, but it can seem overwhelming for beginners. It doesn’t have to be, though. PBL’s principal goal—meeting students where they are and putting them to work solving real-world problems—marks a significant shift from old educational models. Putting it into action… Read More

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… Read More

8 Mistakes to Avoid When Teaching English Abroad

By Kara Wyman June 21, 2017

Teaching English abroad is a great way to learn more about who you are when you’re outside of your comfort zone. That said, expanding your boundaries in a foreign culture can inevitably lead to blunders that could’ve been prevented if you’d had proper warning. If you want to spend more time learning and appreciating your chosen… Read More

Students often believe success in math classes requires them to be a “math person.” This thought is as common as a teacher’s struggle to prove that math can be fun. Fostering students’ joy in numbers is one way to help students excel, but helping them learn to learn can set them up for long-term success…. Read More

Summer allows parents a bit more time to engage with their kids and participate in experiments that they can check on every day together. Completing science experiments throughout the summer will help students to keep engaged in academic inquiry and learn more about science during their months off. The experiments outlined below can be done… Read More

Teaching English abroad can be really rewarding, which I can attest to, but it can also be really challenging. You’ve probably considered some of those challenges, but there might be others you haven’t thought of yet. Here are some questions to ask yourself before committing to this type of adventure. 1. Have you taught English… Read More

4 Presentation Mistakes that Teachers Should Avoid

By Margaret Steen June 12, 2017

Public speaking is an important—though sometimes overlooked— part of working in education. Teachers speak in front of their classes every day. Administrators present to staff members, parents, and community groups. It’s a major component of teaching, so teachers have to be mindful of the ways presentations can go astray. It’s natural to emphasize the content of… Read More

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… Read More

Each school year is packed with lessons, activities and memorable moments. Encouraging students to reflect on those experiences can help them end the school year strong and give you a chance to fit in one last creative writing assignment that’s purposeful and poignant. Here are four end-of-the-year writing assignments you can try out: Create a… Read More