Decades from Now, What Will Be the Story You Tell?

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with educators I worked with at the school where I began my teaching career. Many of them came straight from productive days in their various current school assignments, and everyone had a lot to share. One teacher showed pictures from a science experiment her students had completed virtually, Read More »
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The Power of Making Time for Personal Reflection

From closing circle to Academic Choice to problem-solving conferences, we all know that student reflection plays a central role in Responsive Classroom teaching practices. It may be less well known how important…
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Meaningful Closings

Educators spend the school year establishing and then nurturing classroom environments in which students feel a genuine sense of belonging. The exceptional challenges of this particular year introduced greater opportunities to create…
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Celebrating a Year of New Learning

This year tested us, our students, and their families as everyone worked to meet new and challenging expectations. Yet our students, when faced with seemingly impossible circumstances, were able to both learn…
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Growing from Challenges—Ending the Year on a Positive Note

There is no other way to say it—this school year has been full of unique challenges and demanding questions. Whether you have been teaching remotely, in-person with social distancing, or a hybrid…
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Looking Ahead: The Dilemma of Learning Loss

  Social distancing. Hybrid classrooms. Remote learning. These are among the many phrases that, in the past year, have become central to every educator’s vocabulary. But of the many terms that have…
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Responding to Learning Loss

In June 2020, the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company released “COVID-19 and Student Learning in the United States” a report that outlined the alarming potential impact of school closures on learning.…
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Time to Let Students Shine

  Regardless of if your model of instruction has been remote, hybrid, or in-person during this unique school year, your students have grown over the course of their time in your class.…
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Sustaining Safety, Joy, and Challenge for Students with Diverse Learning Needs

  All of us, students and teachers alike, approach the end of the school year with a wide variety of feelings. Just as teachers might be feeling burned out right now, it…
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Let’s Turn Teacher Fatigue into Teacher Resilience!

  For the past six months, educators have been put through the ringer – learning multiple new digital platforms, communicating non-stop with anxious parents, and constantly pivoting when technology errors or lapses…
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My Superhero Cape is a Bathrobe

This school year, more than ever, teachers have been labeled by many as superheroes. According to Wikipedia, “a superhero or superheroine is a stock character that possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary…
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Self-Care Doesn’t Have to Wait Until After School!

The past year has added so many additional stressors on educators: virtual teaching, juggling teaching formats, and wearing masks, to name a few. Teachers must find ways to manage stress to avoid…
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Overcoming Learning Challenges with Envisioning Language

Recently, my third-grade class and I were reading books about learning challenges and the strategies characters used to overcome them. During our discussions about the books, I wanted to guide them into…
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Building Connections with Students and Families

Cultural relevance can be defined as empowering students to maintain cultural integrity while succeeding academically. Culturally responsive teachers and leaders are reflective and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and how they…
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Cultural Relevance and the Amygdala Hijack

Picture this: you are in a stressful situation – a really heated moment – and out of your mouth slips a sentence or two that you instantly regret. We’ve all experienced times…
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Welcoming ALL Voices in the Classroom

How can we encourage all our students to talk and participate in school each day, with an emphasis on empowering Black and other traditionally marginalized voices? How can we be culturally responsive…
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Using the Responsive Advisory Meeting for Self-Reflection

Early in the morning, as I am getting ready to go teach, I take a moment to look in the mirror and ensure I’m ready for the day. I make sure that…
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Looking to the Future with Positive Teacher Language

As we turn the page to 2021, I find myself reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned and what I want to take with me into the new year.  Throughout 2020, we’ve seen…
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Reactivate and Reground

During the past year, the pandemic has impacted both the way teachers deliver instruction as well as how students access information. The unexpected closure of schools across the country created chaos, turmoil,…
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Trust Yourself – You Know a Lot Already

Did the first half of the school year give you a “déjà vu” feeling from your first year of teaching? Everything feels new and unfamiliar. A lot of time is spent ironing out…
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What We Pay Attention to Grows

In March of 2020, just before widespread quarantine, I serendipitously attended a silent meditation retreat in the mountains of Tennessee. It was my first real introduction to the teachings of meditation. Throughout…
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Grounding Responsive Classroom Practices One Step at a Time

Walk with me as I share how my daily scheduled walks for self-care have served to ground and bring to life the Responsive Classroom core belief, guiding principles, and academic and social-emotional…
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Approaching Discipline with Compassion

Teaching and learning has been transformed this year by various models of hybrid, virtual, and remote learning. Along with restructuring and modifying how they deliver education to students, the coronavirus pandemic has…
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Reflective Teaching for Effective Learning

Reflective teaching is an important tool in helping you examine your role as an educator in order to both celebrate and sharpen the value you bring to teaching. Fundamentally, reflective teaching is…
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Reflection in a Virtual Classroom

This time last year, I published an article titled “Building a Positive Community Through Reflection.” The article began with excitement for the start of a new year and a new decade. Little…
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A New Perspective on Student Self-Reflection

Helping students create a habit of reflection is an essential step in teaching them how to establish and maintain self-control. But sometimes teachers with positive intentions inadvertently ask questions around reflection that…
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Using Social Interaction to Engage Students

Written by Sarah Scavone At this point in the school year, we have spent a great deal of time intentionally building our learning community. The strong relationships we build with our students,…
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