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Author Archive | Laura Weaver

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Supporting Students in Challenging Times

We are currently living in a tense social and political climate, with a great deal of polarization within our communities. With so much change and daily turmoil in the news, students are not only managing their own personal stress about school, family, and growing up- they are also having to negotiate their questions and concerns […]

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Creating Inclusive, Relationship-Based Classrooms

Modeling and teaching cultural responsiveness is an essential ingredient in creating an inclusive, relationship-based classroom in which all students thrive. With every student demographic, this approach develops critical skills and awareness that relate directly to learning outcomes and students’ capacity for success in a global culture and workplace. Geneva Gay (2000), in her book Culturally Responsive […]

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Reflecting on the School Year

The beginning of summer is upon us! For many, this is a time of celebration and excitement—as we watch our students transition and graduate. As we prepare to take a break from the pace and rhythm of the school year, it is easy to simply go leaping into the summer without really intentionally closing the […]

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Finding Balance: Establishing Respectful Boundaries and Cultivating an Open Heart

One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is the ongoing practice of establishing respectful boundaries while cultivating and maintaining an open heart. I am reminded of a high school teacher in a workshop in the Midwest, who, when we described the foundations of Social and Emotional Learning exclaimed—“I feel like you are trying to […]

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Start the New Year with Cultural Responsiveness

The new year can be a powerful time to intentionally address our classroom culture and “re-set” for the second semester. Part of our jobs as educators is to help students better understand their diverse identities and communities and become more comfortable and confident in interactions with others—especially those people they perceive as being different from […]

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Building and Sustaining Student Engagement

In these first months back to school, students are readjusting to schedules, transitioning to new environments, and beginning to build meaningful relationships with classmates and teachers. This window of time offers a powerful opportunity for us to continue building community, inviting student voice, and laying the solid foundation for social, emotional and academic development. One […]

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Summer Practice: Cultivating Teaching Presence

Summer is a wonderful time to replenish ourselves, develop our own inner capacities, and cultivate our “teaching presence”. We define teaching presence as the aspect of teaching that relates to who we are, how we authentically express ourselves, and how we engage and develop relationships with our students. Beyond technique, strategy, and curricula, “teaching presence” […]

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