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Heart in Classroom

Cultivating a Caring Community: An Essential Aspect of Creating Engaged Classrooms

An excerpt from The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching (pp. 108-110) Each student arrives in the classroom with a different personality, background, learning style, and skill level. When we take steps at the beginning of the term to intentionally gather students into a cohesive whole and give them a clear sense of purpose and direction, […]

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Establishing Our Role as Classroom Leader

The following is an excerpt from The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching (p. 111) Cultivating our role as classroom leader involves establishing positive authority, expressing care and authenticity, making expectations and boundaries clear, and inviting students to be active participants in the creation of a vibrant learning community. Students need to feel our commitment to […]

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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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Understanding and Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is showing up everywhere I look: a segment with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, cover stories in Parade Magazine, Time and Scientific American, as well as frequent stories in the New York Times. You might be wondering, what exactly is Mindfulness and how is it related to Engaged Teaching? First and foremost, mindfulness is […]

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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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5 Mindfulness Tips to Improve Your Day

October’s Engaged Teaching Tip Many educators are finding mindfulness practices helpful in managing stress, being more present with themselves and others, and making more conscious choices in their schools and lives. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose,
 in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. ~ John Kabat Zinn, Founder of the Center […]

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