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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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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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