My Commitment for the School Year

Commitment is as much a mindset as it is a set of actions. So, this year, I am committing. I am committing to 100%. I commit to 100% of my students being 100% engaged, 100% of the time. This means that if I or another student am talking, all eyes are on the speaker, all…

The Best Part about Teaching My Second Year…

…is the experience of building much stronger relationships with my students. Last year I was too stressed, and battling too much with my students for control, to build lasting relationships with the majority of my students. This year each of my students is an individual with quirks, interests, and dreams, and I’m getting to know…

My Biggest Challenges as a Beginning Second Year Teacher

Right now I’m struggling with two things. One is pacing. The second is data. On the first challenge, my lessons are taking twice as long as I plan them to take. I think the next step is to sit down with someone, go through a lesson plan together, and then have them observe to see…

My Unit Planning Process: Take 3

One of my favorite bloggers on Teach For Us (a blogging platform for Teach for America teachers and alumni), Wess, wrote: “Why don’t we see any exemplars before they’re exemplary?”. I agree. I teach among amazing teachers, but it’s difficult to see how they got to where they are. It took nine months for me…

I’ve Implemented My First Project Based Learning Experience!

It’s incredibly exciting. I’ve spent a good number of hours planning a simple, four day unit on Safety in fifth grade science in which students work in teams to present skits that show scientists how to be safe and how NOT to be safe. Each team has a budget that they need to follow, a…

Go To Professional Development

As I’m plugging away at my new unit on safety (which will be awesome, by the way), I’m just reminded of how I got to this point after a year of trials and tears, and one of the most important things I think new teachers just HAVE to do is to seek professional development, all…

So It Takes Forever to Set Up a Science Notebook…

…but it’ll be totally worth it. I’ve spent the whole last period, and will spend a little bit of the next as well, setting up my student’s science notebooks. They’re a bit of a work of art, if I do say so myself. The cover of our science notebooks are the words the students chose…

What’s Your Perfect Classroom?

What an amazing, inspiring, day. SO different from my first year teaching, when I walked into my first day of class with absolutely no idea of what to do, where my class and I were going, or what to accomplish. Contrast to my first day when all my students left the class excited to do…