In order to grow more comfortable and confident when discussing theme, students need lots of practice. Early in the year, it’s wise to use shorter pieces, like short stories, to teach the basics of theme before we launch longer works of literature. This week, I found a fun, quick supplement to add to that routine.

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Today’s post is a question I received via email this week from a student teacher feeling “ill-prepared” for her first teaching job this fall:

Hey, Laura!
I am a 23-year-old student teacher wrapping up my ST semester. Much to my dismay, I have not had the best experience due to my cooperating teacher being very gossipy, harshly critical, and a micromanager. I have managed to finish strong, but I feel a bit of imposter syndrome since my CT has not given me any control or left the classroom much at all during the semester. I feel ill-prepared to take on a classroom of my own in the fall. Do you have any advice for how to go into my first year of teaching with confidence despite the disadvantages I have dealt with?

– Jackie*

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Need to freshen up a neglected classroom bulletin board or library display? Grab your students’ attention and inspire them to investigate a new book with this free set of posters featuring compelling opening lines from 25 novels.  Click here or on the image to be taken to the Famous First Lines poster set download page: […]

This week, the U.S. Senate surprised everyone by unanimously passing a bill that would eliminate our switching of clocks back-and-forth by an hour twice a year in favor of living permanently on Daylight Saving Time (the schedule we’re on right now). You’d think this idea would be a slam dunk, but there’s actually a hot […]

Need a fresh bulletin board or hallway display that’ll take you from mid-February through March? Look what I just made! This interactive bulletin board features 24 examples of famous women who’ve created successful careers in the fields of politics, science, and entertainment. Just print and post. Even better? Have a student volunteer or T.A. build […]

Are you in on the joke? You are now.

Based on the suggestion of a teacher friend (thanks, Darby!), I spent this weekend in the fascinating world of Birds Aren’t Real, a satirical conspiracy theory group that insists the U.S. government has replaced all birds with surveillance drones to spy on people.

That pigeon? A liar.
Curious seagull? Stealing your credit card info.
Sparrows on the power line? Drones on idle while their batteries recharge. 

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Last week, a shortened version of Langston Hughes’ beautiful poem was featured in an ad to promote Bel Air, a dramatized update of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air on Peacock:

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We all know education is a house on fire right now, but my brain has only with squirt gun-sized solutions. I’m not sure how to fix this. I can, though, help my people. As you might know, I quit classroom teaching (probably for good) and took a new job last summer working in a college […]

Did you know chart-topping singer Billie Eilish has Tourette Syndrome?
Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles takes medication for ADHD?
Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic ice skating gold medalist and Dancing with the Stars champ, was born with clubfeet?

When a student is diagnosed with a disability, the news can feel overwhelming. The truth, though, is that a disability is just one of many factors that makes a student interesting and unique.

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