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 […]

The calendar isn’t lying to us; it really is time to update the syllabus and get into that back-to-school frame of mind. You might be curious how I run the show, so here’s a copy of my course outline along with an episode from my classroom management series discussing the eight words that comprise my classroom rules. Continue reading

I hate name games. Painfully awkward, these games have never magically connected me to people just because they’ve repeated, “Her name’s Laura and she likes llamas.” Nope. Not happening around here, people. For the first day of school, I usually start with a one-minute welcome and intro. of my background, have students make name cards they […]

I just received this email that I’m guessing will resonate with a lot of us. With the teacher’s permission, I’m posting our conversation in the hopes that it’ll be useful to anyone who’s struggling with student motivation. Names have been changed. Continue reading

Now that the custodians are done waxing the floors, we can get down to the business of setting up our classrooms. Well, most of us. Some teachers, like Carla who emailed me this week, won’t have a room of her own this year. What can she do? Continue reading

We wrapped our Quarter Trios yesterday and the final competition was based on trivia questions – some were curriculum-based, some were facts about our school, and a few were about me from stories I’ve told in class. One of the last questions was purely for my amusement: “What’s the phrase you’ve heard me say most often this year?” Continue reading

Imagine a handful of virtual confetti raining down as I celebrate the completion of my 20Time project! Hope you enjoy episode #10, a 10-minute rundown of 10 random thoughts that didn’t fit elsewhere in this classroom management series Continue reading

Know when it’s time to put away your superhero cape and call in the reinforcements. Continue reading

This week, I’m sharing some practical tips about how to survive (and possibly even thrive?) when you’ve inherited a problem classroom and I’m test-driving a FREE app that can help make slick videos in just a few minutes. If you want your students to create video projects and they have access to an iPad, you gotta check this out. You’ll be glad you did. Continue reading

Some teens are a lot like Rumplestiltskin – they seem to take joy in causing misery, but you can strip away their power by knowing and using their names. Continue reading