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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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End of Year Renewal

In these last few months of the school year, the speed and pace can feel wildly unmanageable at times.  As “spring fever” hits, we may find it increasingly more difficult to remain in the moment and be present for our students and ourselves.  In this way, slowing down and engaging in self-care is even more […]

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Creating Safe and Inclusive School Climates

On January 8, 2014 the Department of Education and Justice released a School Climate and Discipline Guidance Package calling on “America’s educators to proactively redesign discipline policies and practices to more effectively foster supportive and safe school climates.” The extensive document states that: Schools must be both safe and supportive for effective teaching and learning to […]

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Welcoming the Unwelcome

“Welcoming the unwelcome refers to the capacity to see challenges and obstacles as opportunities for learning and growth.” – from page 72 of The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching How many times do we encounter “obstacles” in our lives we wish to turn away from or avoid? Our writing team experienced such challenges on a weekly basis— […]

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student-voice

Integrated Curriculum: Honoring the Inner Life in Academic Content

Honoring students’ voices and deepening the student-teacher bond can be effectively accomplished through meaningful academic activities. A few years ago, I implemented one practice in particular that enabled me to know my third-grade students on a much deeper level than any previous group. Students completed a “you and me diary” three times a week, in […]

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Education

No Teacher Left Behind?

A great teacher can literally change the course of a student’s life. They light a lifelong curiosity, a desire to participate in democracy, and instill a thirst for knowledge. It’s no surprise that studies repeatedly document that the single biggest influence on student academic growth is the quality of the teacher standing in front of […]

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