Today’s post comes from an email I received this morning from Connor, a college student (used with permission):

Hi Laura,
I’m currently a sophomore in college and I have to decide whether to teach middle school English or high school English. What made you choose high schoolers over middle schoolers? Are there any tips you can give me to help me decide?
Thank you,
Connor Continue reading

Last week’s chat with incoming student teacher Heath started me thinking about my own teacher training experience. Today, I’m chatting about my student teaching assignment (yes, all those many, many years ago) and sharing a bit of unconventional advice for our newest crop of student teachers: Continue reading

Today’s post comes from an email I received this week from Heath in Maine (used with permission): Thank you so much for your awesome website and YouTube videos! After working as a mental health counselor for the past 20 years, I’ve decided it’s time for a career change. I go back to college this fall […]

Note: This is an updated repost featuring some of my favorite end-of-the-year lesson ideas.

You’ve wrapped your last major unit and final exams are still a week away. You could spend five days playing Review Jeopardy (uh…no, thanks) or you could grab some of these tried-and-true resources that’ll keep kids focused until finals. Continue reading

What is America’s favorite book? This summer, the good folks at PBS have decided to take on this question and I’m thinking some of their materials might be useful for the 2018-2019 school year. Continue reading

Note: This is an updated repost.

Across the globe, folks will celebrate Earth Day next Sunday (April 22) with lots of community clean-up and educational events. Let’s bring some of that spirit to our classrooms with a high-interest, easy-to-deliver lesson that’ll get teens thinking about the world outside themselves. Continue reading

Today’s post starts in the kitchen. Like most normal people, I hate doing dishes. It’s gross and I’ve fought (and failed) for years to convince my husband and kids that their definition of “clean” is slacking…I mean, lacking. Hey, the job isn’t done until you’ve also wiped down the stove top, amIright? Continue reading

What if every teacher had the right tools to do this job?
What if we all had a hard drive full of current, relevant, rigorous lessons?
What if we were treated like professionals and not expected to dig into our own (meager) paychecks to supply those tools? Continue reading

Sure, we know that Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter are modern examples of the Hero’s Journey, but there are a l-o-t of other popular films that also fit Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. A few that may surprise you: Continue reading

The man who created Roget’s Thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget, was born on January 18, 1779, a date loquacious scholars celebrate as National Thesaurus Day. (Thanks, Alex E., for the heads-up. I had no idea this was a thing.) Though my research failed to unearth the authority who had the power to make such a declaration, it seems like a nice thing to remember the retired doctor whose passion project helps us all sound a bit more erudite. Continue reading