Habits for Masterfully Handling Behavior

Now more than ever, teachers are battling to save their sanity and manage increasingly difficult classrooms.  There are many companies out there that have professional development and resources to assist us, yet behavior continues to be the Achilles’ heel for many educators. The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to classroom management woes.  … Continue reading Habits for Masterfully Handling Behavior

The Shoulders of a Teacher

In the beginning it was our dreams and aspirations we carried on our shoulders. We also threw in some hope and optimism just because we were told the road ahead may be rocky. It did not take long for us to experience our first heartbreak. Maybe it was a student who was coming from a … Continue reading The Shoulders of a Teacher

Trust: Why I tell my students I love them every day

I begin the year as every teacher does:  In front of new students who do not know me and are cautious about the idea of ever getting to know me.  Even before the dust of our first acquaintance has settled, I make sure to call each of them by name and say the most important … Continue reading Trust: Why I tell my students I love them every day

First Day of School

I just wrapped up my first week of my 18th year of teaching.  It is kind of crazy because I keep waiting for my “burn out”, but here I am.  I can admit that I am in a state of dread for the days leading up to that first day, but it never fails...Once the … Continue reading First Day of School

Lessons from People with Abilities

I have been working with and for people with disabilities for decades. I have concluded that almost everything of value that I have learned in my life is credited to individuals with disabilities.  I can say without hesitation, I would be an incomplete person had I not chosen to devote my life to special education.  … Continue reading Lessons from People with Abilities

The F Word

A colleague of mine was wiping out an old work computer and found a video clip from years ago.   In the video, students were participating in interviews unaware that their favorite teachers were dancing in the background like fools.  As I watched this clip I was filled with a warm, familiar feeling that resonated … Continue reading The F Word

Fear

Awake & Accelerate

Heart pounding.  Hands sweating. Mind racing.  For many of us, this is what we conjure up when we think of fear.  A freight train of emotion that warrants an immediate and obvious response.  However, the toxic residue that lies behind fear is not always the crushing presence of adrenaline.  In fact, most often it is nothing more than a whisper. A subtle nudge in our minds, pushing us throughout our day without notice.  Fear is a diet of insecurity we put ourselves on thinking it will protect us from the hurt or pain of “not being enough.” 

Five years ago, I was boldly reminded of professional discomfort when I left my elementary school to teach in the depths of adolescent hell, also known as middle school.  This renewed discomfort was a catalyst for indecision and self-talk that was less than flattering. I began mentally spinning out of control, spending…

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