The pandemic took all the routines and understandings about school, shook them up in a paper bag, and spit them out with no semblance of what they once were.
At least that’s how some of our students are now behaving.
With student apathy and absences on the rise as expectations and stakes for students and teachers remain the same, we are working through trying times in education.
Education is different. Our students are different. And if we don’t respond to how our students have changed, we will not be as effective with them in our classrooms.
We must change with our students but in a way that does not sacrifice our evenings and weekends to do so. I’m all for changing with the times and responding to the ever changing needs of our students, but I believe it is absolutely contradictory to the system’s success if we do so at the sacrifice of our teachers’ well being. And requiring that they do it all without support will lead to the end...
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...
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...
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...
Welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher blog episode 56, the Top 5 Attributes of a Sustainable Classroom Culture, and here’s the very first thing I want to say.
I think there should be an entire college course on classroom culture. I don’t say that about many things. I teach Intro to Educational Technology, and I think a course on classroom culture should come first. And here’s why… because it’s one of the top, if not THE top factor that will determine your sustainability and impact in your career.
It’s this awesome mix of knowing what you believe as an educator and making sure you always act from that space, helping you to recognize that your impact is greater than any mastered standard or test score.
So, I’ve got five of them for you today, and they each of a message of sorts that you could be sending to your students. And they are a part of a sustainable classroom culture because they compromise the messages,...
As I’m sitting to write this episode, I’m in an approximately six square feet space in the cab of our pick up truck pulling our camper on our way home from our Christmas vacation with three boys and our dog. I’m reflecting on what was by far our best camper-trip yet as it was at the beginning of winter and was full of sunshine which we Midwesterners aren’t used to in December.
It was a great refresh.
But you know what I thought about quite a bit? Work.
Not in a way that was stifling to my or our enjoying the trip. Not at all. We just had a lot of relaxation time. And that meant my mind was able to wonder and think and plan.
And it reminded me of how I was with my classroom when on a break or vacation.
When I was able to step back from it, I was able to think about it in a clearer way. I was able to work on my classroom rather than in my classroom.
Today I’m asking you the question, in a very non-rhetorical way,...
Welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher Podcast, I am your host, Mandy Rice, a ten year teacher turned biggest teacher supporter in building sustainable classrooms so you can stay there longer, and today on the show we have Andrew Sharos, the author of Finding Lifelines and All 4s and 5s, a teacher then administrator, and now an administrator and teacher and school supporter, providing professional development and support to schools around the country.
In today’s episode, Andrew and I are talking about his book, All 4s and 5s, whose title is referring to the highest scores a student can get on the AP Exam. For those who don’t know, AP stands for Advanced Placement, and is a global curriculum in over 30 courses run by an organization called CollegeBoard, and at the end of each course, in the month of May, across the world, hundreds of thousands of students take a summative test to prove how much they learned in that course. That test is scored on a scale of 1...
During the ten years I spent in the classroom, I taught AP® Psychology all of those years. I attended numerous content-specific professional development opportunities, flipped the entire curriculum that is readily available for free on my YouTube channel, as well as built resources that many teachers find helpful in my Teachers Pay Teachers store or in our Sustainable Psych Teacher membership. I’m sharing all of this to say that I became, and hopefully remain, well versed in the AP® Psychology curriculum - I would even venture to say I’ve got my 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell teaches about as indicating expertise, at least in the curriculum that is… but certainly not in the field of psychology.
So as much as I know and love psychology, I am by no stretch of the imagination a psychologist, psychiatrist (shout out to my psych nerds who know the difference), or a mental health professional. No advice I give today in this episode is advice...
Hey teacher-friend, welcome back to the Sustainable Teacher, I’m so glad you decided to tune in today, and oh boy do I have an episode for you. In this episode I am introducing you to none other than my main-man and husband, Dr. Bill Rice.
I’m excited to bring him on not just because he’s my husband but also because he is an administrator - he is a high school principal at a school about 15 minutes down the road from us, and today he is offering a wonderful perspective. Well, two perspectives actually, on what it is to be a sustainable teacher, and that is from a principal’s role and the role of a teacher’s spouse.
My goal in interviewing Bill is not so that we can say, “see this is what you should be doing” to either our principals or our spouses, but so that teachers can see that your sustainability is what’s most important, next to being effective with kids, and that the classroom atmosphere and overarching learning...
I was doing a Facebook Live not too long ago, and at the end as I was trying to convey to teachers watching that I too am a teacher, working for myself now, reaching out to teachers with my message of teacher sustainability, and I caught myself saying “I’m just a teacher.” And although I meant it in an endearing, relatable way, it still didn’t sit well with me that the word “just” wanted to creep in there.
Adding the word “just” means I’m nothing more than, or I could’ve done more with my life, but instead I’m “just” a teacher.
Have you ever caught yourself saying this or something like this? Maybe in a circle of friends who aren’t teachers?
Or how about this common saying, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”
Now, that’s just a saying, but it’s one we’ve all heard, and I’m sure had aimed at us in some way before even if it...