For Teachers Only

girl standing in shower of balloons

Enthusiasm in the high school classroom

I can’t tell you how many times students enter my room and say something like “I’m SO tired,” or “Man, I’m exhausted,” or “Mrs. Yung, I’m gonna sleep in class today because I CANNOT keep my eyes open.” This happens not just during my 8 a.m. first hour class, but all day long. I bet I hear someone tell me they’re SO TIRED about nine or ten times a day.

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“A Sea of Troubles” Offers Text Pairings for Greater Relevance

A Sea of Troubles performs the task touted on the cover: it pairs texts for greater relevancy in contemporary times. However, its untouted task, fostering and teaching civility, is the cherry on top.

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My Slightly Odd Teacher Self-Care Routine

She was just doing what she had to do to generate some positive energy amidst a group of silent, unresponsive, insecure high schoolers.

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You Need a “Why I Teach” Binder

My ultimate self-care tip for teachers Get a three-ring binder. Any three-ring binder will work. And it doesn’t have to be new. Just dig one out from the bottom of your desk or repurpose one that’s full of handouts from that PD conference you went to last fall. Y’know, the one where they taught you…

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“Why Do We Read Such Depressing Stuff?!”

Especially in times like these??? My students have told me the following list of nonfiction books is depressing. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Flesh and Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn Night by Elie Wiesel…

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Four-day weeks are the worst… said no teacher ever

What a four-day school week means to me Last summer, my husband and I moved to a new city. Since we had learned about our upcoming move way back in January, I began searching for a new position about a month later. The local school district in our new hometown didn’t have any positions available.…

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The Rubric Rub

Do what the rubric says. And only what the rubric says. And by all means, don’t think too hard. Last week in my high school Language Arts classes, students spent time planning memoirs that they will begin drafting this week. On Friday, a few girls who had already decided on a memory to recount were…

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Dear DailyMail.com: Tom Cruise has never won an Academy Award.

Your fact-checkers and my students should take note; teachers like me over 50 should take heart. This post is based on a story I recently wrote and posted on Medium.com. When I read something that I know is false, I take notice of it. This DailyMail.com article shows kids that not everything they read is true…

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Dear Teachers: Thinking about the first day back at school after break?

So are your students and some of them can’t wait to see you.     Even though you love your job, when you think about the first day back at school after Christmas break, you sigh. Ugh, right? Who wants to think about that? The kids certainly don’t. Let me clarify that. Some of the kids…

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“So are you calling us stupid?!”

Teaching the standards takes time; so does building trust.     “So are you calling us stupid?!” a middle school student asked me two months into my first year of teaching. Her eyes bore straight through to my heart. It was 9:15 a.m. on a Monday during my first year of teaching in a small…

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Ten Questions for Kohl’s About This Back-to-School Shirt

Yeah, it’s just a $10 t-shirt (when you buy two of these charmers), but clothing has power.     Is this shirt supposed to be funny, Kohl’s? Because it’s really just mean.  Did you know that back-to-school should be a time of building students up, not tearing them down? “Nobody cares” has no place in…

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When you return to your classroom before you’re required to return to your classroom

I drove the twenty minutes to my classroom today to . . . start. There’s always a day or two (or three) before the big day when we’re required to return to school for in-service training.  On days like today, when I’m often working alone, I just begin. Here’s what I did, with the help of my…

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