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The Number One Tool Your Classroom Needs Right Now

Hey there and welcome to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast/Blog about the number one tool your classroom needs right now. 

We are in a time of transition in education as we head back to normal or at least to some sort of new normal.  You are probably right in the middle of the teacher-hustle, and you’re reflecting on the changes you want to make to your daily teaching life so that it’s a bit more sustainable, am I right?

Either way, the tool that I’m going to tell you about today is one that’s going to help you take practical steps towards a more sustainable and effective classroom in the modern times of education.  It’s going to help you take steps towards more evenings focused on your family and less weekends spent grading papers, all while maintaining or even increasing your effectiveness in the classroom.

Want to know what the number one tool is?

It’s the Flipped Classroom Starter Kit I’ve built to help you do ...

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The Biggest Secret to Sustainability in the Classroom

 What is the Biggest Secret to Sustainability in the Classroom?  Teachers do some of the most impactful and important work, and keeping them in the classroom is our top priority here on the podcast and for team Teach On A Mission, and we work to do that by helping teachers build sustainable systems and practices in their classrooms.

Sometimes it’s hard to have these conversations about doing things that sustain teachers because it feels guilty to focus so much on the adult in the room rather than the students.  That narrative, along with the status quo of teacher hustle equating to effectiveness, is what’s ultimately driving teachers away from the classroom.

Could we overdo it by focusing too much on the teacher and not enough on the students?  Of course we could - there are two ends of extreme to every choice, and I choose to live somewhere comfortably in the middle as much as possible, including when it comes to building an effective...

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5 Things Everyone Should Know About the Flipped Classroom

There are only a few reasons why you may be reading this blog (or listening to this week's episode on the podcast) right now.  You’ve heard of the flipped classroom and want to know a bit more.  Or you feel like you’ve been flipping your classroom since the pandemic started and now you’re wondering how that translates as we enter our new normal.  Or you know the new normal we’re heading toward can’t be the normal that was, and yet you’re not sure what it will look like, or more importantly what you want it to look like.  All you know is, there has to be a better way to go about being accessible, flexible, and effective without you being the martyr that sacrifices your personal life and well being to do so.

I’m going out on a limb here to say that although there is no silver bullet in education to solve all our daily teaching life problems, flipping the classroom is absolutely the answer for most teachers to be...

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The "New Normal" in Education

If I sit still and quietly for a moment…. More than ever, at least in my own life, I can almost physically feel the currents of change in education.  We could spend time labeling that change good or bad, but it’s happening with our without us due to circumstances and powers we can not control.

Have you heard the phrase “A rising tide lifts all boats?”  It’s an aphorism tied to economic policy, but one that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately in the educational realm.

What if we looked at the shifts that are happening in education and our approach to the new normal as a chance to be the tide?  We as individuals, seize this moment to say I’m going to shift and I am going to take advantage of this opportunity to show folks the possibilities here.  What if?

I’ve got three takeaways for you today, and after reading this blog, teachers will feel empowered to face the inevitable changes in education, knowing...

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I Bet You'd Never Guess These Numbers

It’s 2011, and I’ve just finished my first year of teaching when over the summer I hop on the little portal that will show me how well I did.  I taught an AP® course, among other courses, which for those of you who don’t know stands for Advanced Placement® and is a nation-wide curriculum and testing program run by CollegeBoard.  At the end of every year, students take a test on the entire course’s material and can earn college credit - it’s a big deal for many students and certainly for the adults who teach them.

The test is scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with all public universities accepting a 3 for the equivalent of one college course in the field they tested.  Then at private universities students can earn even more credit with higher scores.

Welp, I hopped on that portal and saw that my average student score was a 3.1.  Not bad for a 22 year old teaching AP® Psychology for the first time and only ever having taken a...

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Can I Help You With Student Accountability?

The million dollar question in education right now is how in the world we get our students to do the work?  It seems we have alarming rates of failure and, week after week, a substantial amount of students just not doing the work.  In the flipped classroom, this has always been one of the top questions I’ve fielded from teachers when they come to me for help to get the flipped classroom process started, and that is “What happens when a student doesn’t do the work, meaning take the notes, at home?  Then what?”

This week we will dive into what it is to actually hold students accountable and how you  can use it to not only be a more effective educator, but one who is actually reducing your own to-do list as student accountability increases.  After listening to this episode, you will have clarity around what it means to hold your students accountable in ways that empower your students to own their learning, and ultimately reduce...

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Are You Tired of Low Student Engagement?

Who would have known almost a year ago that we would all have experienced such a monumental change in our lives that showed us just how important and effective having students in the classroom with us is for student engagement.  Who would’ve known?

Somewhere in the middle of my second year of teaching, I vividly remember a moment when I realized, it’s got to get better quickly - meaning, I’ve got to stop engaging more and working harder than my students when it comes to understanding the content.  I’m not the one taking the test and I care a whole lot more than they do.  Side bar - of you course you do, you’re the teacher in the room, but feeling exhausted at the end of the day because of all your hard work just to have black screens or non-engaged students is not what’s going to keep you going in this career field.  

No matter how long you’ve been teaching, this year and your experiences with distance learning have...

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My Flipping Conversation with the Master IEP Coach

Hey there teacher friend!  Today I’ve got a bit of a different episode for you.  A few months back I sat down with Catherine Whitcher, the Master IEP Coach of specialedinnercircle.com and catherinewhitcher.com to chat about the possibilities of the flipped classroom in today’s education context and how the flipped classroom can serve teachers at the IEP table and their students.

This interview was done for Catherine’s podcast which I encourage you to go check it out, it’s called Special Education Inner Circle, and so she is actually interviewing me.  I loved our conversation so much that I wanted to share it on my podcast as well.  At the end of the episode you’ll hear me talk about dates long past for the Sustainable Teacher Challenge, but have no fear you can still go check that out here.

From a basic understanding of flipped learning to how the flipped classroom can serve you and your students long after distance learning, this...

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Organization in the Sustainable Classroom

Today on the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am excited to welcome Kelly Jackson of Thesimplyorganizedteacher.com so we can chat about something that many of you have resolved to accomplish in 2021.  Many teachers who have participated in our Sustainable Teacher Challenge where we all are challenged to find ways to make our daily teaching lives a bit more manageable, actually set goals around becoming more organized.  Whether you set those kinds of goals or have an interest in getting all things teacher-life a bit more organized, then this episode is for you.

Kelly is a former teacher of little turned Classroom Organization Coach.  She helps busy and overwhelmed teachers create organized, safe, and well-managed classrooms that facilitate effective learning for their students and more time for themselves. She is a Texas girl currently living in Germany. Kelly runs The Simply Organized Teacher, hosts the Simply Teach podcast, and is the creator of The Organized Teacher...

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Gaming in a Sustainable Classroom

On today’s episode of the Sustainable Teacher Podcast I am so excited to welcome Dustin Staats of Board Games with Education.  Dustin and I first crossed paths about a year ago at the time of this recording when he learned about how I used a game board in my classroom.  Now, please know that I am NOT a gaming connoisseur.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  The most complex video game I’ve ever played is Duck Hunt on my cousin’s 1984 Nintendo.  Ok, wait, I take that back… I totally played Sonic and it was so fun! - but that’s about it.  So understanding how gaming could work in my classroom was not something I had the talents to make happen in a quick or effective manner.  If I’m being totally honest, I didn’t have the space in my calendar or brain needed to make it work.

However, the drive of human motivation when it comes to simple games is something I became intrigued with as my understanding and...

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