Why Schools Should Be a Bit More Like Summer Camp

Like a surprising amount of educators, I found my start as a cabin leader at an overnight summer camp. My summers were filled with camp chants, capture the flag, and the occasional sunburnt nose. Although the days were often long and sweaty, and the nights sometimes cut short by unruly campers and hungry mosquitos, I … Continue reading Why Schools Should Be a Bit More Like Summer Camp

Should You Raise Your Kids Abroad?

If you're a fan of our website, you know that it's primarily a blog about teaching and learning overseas. Stephanie and I were both trained and certified as teachers in the United States, and soon after took our first international teaching jobs at an elementary school in Vietnam (Check out our video cruising around the … Continue reading Should You Raise Your Kids Abroad?

Internet Safety: If You Don’t Teach it, Who Will?

To get me started on this post, I asked Zach the question, "If I don't teach my students how to use the internet safely, who will?." His answer was what I had expected, "Hopefully their parents?" Although talks with my students have revealed that many parents are doing a fantastic job of teaching their children … Continue reading Internet Safety: If You Don’t Teach it, Who Will?

What Separates a Great Collaborative Meeting From A Waste Of Time?

There is research that suggests quality teacher collaboration within a professional learning community can lead to increases in student achievement and professional satisfaction among teachers (Kinne, 2013; Olivares, 2014). The key word here is "quality". While collaborative planning meetings have been commonplace in the three schools I have worked at, I have found an enormous amount … Continue reading What Separates a Great Collaborative Meeting From A Waste Of Time?

Turning the Tables on The Ed Podcast

I recently had the opportunity to sit and chat with Shane from The Ed Podcast, a show that focuses on conversations surrounding the teaching life and profession. It was a great experience, and one that I think documents pretty well where I am in my career at this moment in time. Listening to podcasts like … Continue reading Turning the Tables on The Ed Podcast

Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Teacher – My Interview with a Substitute Teacher

Jim Stewart Allen is a standup comedian from Tacoma, Washington. He has also been a substitute teacher for the past three years and loves it. As a part of our Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Teacher? series, we asked Jim a few questions to try to figure out why he does what he … Continue reading Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Teacher – My Interview with a Substitute Teacher

3 “Super Factors” of Effective Instructional Coaching

Many schools are developing instructional coaching programs with the intention of improving the quality of instruction in the classroom. One effect of this growing phenomenon is that improving K-12 teaching and learning is no longer solely the responsibility of the principal, but is distributed across a host of leaders (Neumerski, 2013). The purpose of this … Continue reading 3 “Super Factors” of Effective Instructional Coaching

What Students Think of Their Teachers Matters

As the great Dr. Rita Pierson said in her TED talk, "Kids don't learn from people they don't like." This idea is easy for anyone to support with their own anecdotal evidence. When you look back at your school years, with whom did you learn the most? Can you still remember their names? For me, … Continue reading What Students Think of Their Teachers Matters

Learner-Centered Experiences Through the Lens of Technology

In this post, I would like to focus once again on learner-centered experiences. When I'm browsing Twitter, I often come across exciting visuals that end up having an impact on my practice. One such infographic that I came across recently was "10 Characteristics of Learner-Centered Experiences" by Katie Martin. Be sure to check it out … Continue reading Learner-Centered Experiences Through the Lens of Technology