One year I got a wild hair and reduced my teacher desk to the size of a cafe table. You know, like the ones you stand next to at a wedding reception or have a coffee over at the local coffee shop. Yes, about a two-foot space. I sure was up on my high horse that year thinking, “I don’t need a big space because my classroom is student-centered”, mmmmhmm.
It was cute and all, but I didn’t have any space to relax, which is what my teacher-desk was used for briefly during my planning period or other break times during the day, yes, even during class when I had a minute.
In fact, that was my space’s main purpose. To be a small, but mighty space for me to be able to just sit and take care of a few things when I had a moment. But I didn't know that until the space was gone. So I quickly switched back to a regular table sized desk, but made sure that the space served it’s main purpose - allowed me to get work done and...
You know the age old tale of what it’s like to be a first, second or even third year teacher and all the hustle and grind that it is. You get to work before 6 AM and you leave sometime after five or 6 PM and probably still have more papers to grade or lessons to plan once you get home and a lot to do on the weekends. And that’s just to keep your head above water.
As if those first years of teaching aren’t bad enough it’s as if the universe looked at me and said just wait. At the start of my fourth year of teaching I became a mother and everything changed.
Suddenly what had been my absolute top priority, which was teaching even above my marriage, sad to say it but true because I’m such a workhorse and so professionally focused, but motherhood shook the bedrock, if you will, of my priorities. And I had no clue how to deal with that when my identity had been so wrapped up in who I was as a teacher.
And that is where this episode comes into...
Welcome to the Sustainable Teacher and what is part two of this series on student reflection. Last week we discussed the what and the when, so be sure to go back and give episode 62 a listen if you haven’t already, and today’s episode we’re focusing on the how of student reflection.
Now, if you’re anything like me and the hundreds of teachers I’ve worked with, you already are feeling a bit anxious about spending class time on student reflection rather than content, so it’s important to make sure the student reflection is efficient while remaining authentic. Last week I gave tips on how you can keep the reflection authentic, and today we’ll talk about how to keep it efficient and effective.
After listening to this episode, you’ll have a clear picture of how you can implement effective and time efficient student reflection strategies in your classroom so that your students are empowered in their learning and investing...
Here at Teach On A Mission and the Sustainable Teacher, we believe that building a sustainable classroom includes a very important player… which is, your students. Empowering your students as learners is one of the most sustaining strategies you can implement in your classroom.
And that is what today’s episode is all about, empowering students in the reflection process, showing you exactly what student reflection can look like, giving you practical strategies to get your students doing some meaningful reflection tomorrow.
Because you know the value of hard work in the learning process, you understand the connection between effortful processing and performance on assessments, you understand the value in engaging in your classroom.
Students don’t always see that, you know this. You also know that telling them the value in all of these things isn’t going to do it for many of them.
Enter stage left, reflection that helps students make the...
Hello teacher friends! I hope you are all having a great school year so far and I’m excited to bring you this post on Teach On A Mission’s blog so that we are continuing in our mission which is to bring true support to teachers, in ways that remove items from their to-do list, so they can get back to focusing on what really matters - building relationships and connecting with students.
So let me introduce myself a bit. Hi there! I’m Adriana Targa. I teach AP® Biology in Managua, Nicaragua, and am the Content Coach for the Sustainable Biology Teacher Membership™ here with Team Teach On A Mission™.
Some really exciting things are happening here, this blog post and a series of others coming out being part of that excitement, and I want this to be a valuable contribution to your daily teaching-life in a way that removes some items from your to-do list (or at least from your list of ideas and new things to come up with for your many...
If you attended our first ever Sustainable Teacher Conference back in January, then you know that my word for 2022 is Enough.
Not enough, in that I’ve had enough, and am at my wit’s end - although maybe I am with certain things - but, no, it’s more about my mindset and accepting that I am doing enough, I have enough, and it is a glorious and beautiful thing.
Although we spend most of the air time on this podcast on sustainability in the classroom, we also want to speak to your lifestyle and personal lives in the name of talking to the whole you. And in that light, this episode will be dedicated to the personal side of things, and less about teaching.
In today’s episode, I am going to talk about the idea of seeing the world and our teaching lives through the lens that what we have is enough, it is just what we need, and that what we are doing is enough.
After listening to this episode, my hope is that you will feel restful and content in knowing that what you...
In last week’s episode, episode 59 where I talked about streamlining your content in order to have the time to actually put relationships first, the main recommendation was to put your content delivery into video. There are many reasons why, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to go back and listen to those suggestions, but this week’s episode on creating one space for your students is in the same vein as streamlining your content.
Are we going to talk about Binders, Interactive Notebooks, and Digital Notebooks, oh my? You betcha.
But this episode is more about streamlining your classroom, especially the aspects of it that are student facing, so you can use more of your time focusing on what matters - connecting with your students.
So what we’re going to streamline today is what, rather where, exactly our students house all of their materials and necessities for our class, and go over the purposes of this one spot for your students.
As chaotic as...
When asking a group of teachers what has the most impact on their students’ performance in their classroom, the resounding answer I’ve heard in my career is without a doubt relationships - building relationships with our students that lets them know we are rooting for them, guiding them, and that allows them to trust us and invest in the course and what we’re asking them to do.
As much as we recognize that relationships have the most powerful impact on moving the needle with our students, all the other aspects of teaching that pile up in a day take precedence over taking the time to build relationships.
Today, I have a proposal on what it could look like to actually make relationship building a top priority. And if there were a calendar of how you spent time in your classroom, this proposal I have for you would allow you to spend more time working one-on-one with your students, and ultimately building relationships than any other item on your docket.
You’ve heard the saying out-of-sight-out-of-mind, which in most contexts refers to distraction tactics of an infant or toddler. But I’m here to burst everyone’s bubble and say that out-of-sight-out-of-mind is a very real occurrence for adults, especially when it comes to our goals, but not in a good way like it is for toddlers.
Instead of being able to use it to our advantage, though, the out-of-sight-out-of-mind concept robs us of accomplishing our goals each year if they aren’t something that has to do with our daily lives or we’re otherwise trying to get outside our comfort zone.
For instance, it’s easier for someone to accomplish a goal of working out everyday if they work at a gym. They have the constant reminder and opportunity. But for a teacher, especially when it comes to their personal goals, we are so focused on what we do as educators everyday and then don’t have much mental space leftover to focus on...
A great sports quote I saw recently asked “Which player are you?” and then said “Bad players don’t take much seriously. Average players take games seriously. Good players take practice & games seriously. Great players take academics, nutrition, warm-ups, individual work, weight room, conditioning, film, practice & games seriously.”
I love this quote because it flies in the face of what is part of the demise of recent generations and the age old saying “kids these days” who need instant gratification for any action they take. When we see all the greats in sports, or any performance-oriented task, we only see their greatness. Sure, we hear the cool stories of perseverance like how Michael Jordan was cut from the high school basketball team and went on to be the best player who ever played, but we don’t see the thousands of hours they put in to get to their greatness.
And even if someone does take on...