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Marcia Powell

September 25, 2015

Toeing the Line When Teachers are Absent


Substitute teachers, I appreciate you and your efforts. They do the impossible. There was the English teacher who gamely subbed for my science class after the birth of my boy. I came back after three weeks, because there was no other option in my rural locale.

You can't make this stuff up.  

But I also know that seesaw that kids walk as the teacher prepares them for a substitute. Preparing them used to go something like this: 

"Hey, I will be gone for a couple of days for a funeral."
  "Mapowell, we're so sorry."
"Thank you, I appreciate it. Now let's talk about what will happen when I'm gone..."

<extended conversation>


What absolutely, positively has to be in that conversation?

  • How will you respond if or when you get that email or text from one of your students in an age of digital media?
  • How do you communicate with the substitute and the students so the time is utilized effectively?
  • What is your plan to ensure a good experience for the subsitute (classroom guest)? 
  • How will you debrief and learn from the students?



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Jessica Cuthbertson

September 21, 2015

All In A Day’s Work: Maximizing the Inservice Structure


While professional learning varies greatly in terms of quality and intensity, how do we make the most of current school or district structures? Here are two tips to maximize the impact of a one-day inservice: implement immediately and share your results. Learn more about moving a day of learning into your daily practice in this post. 

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Jessica Cuthbertson

September 1, 2015

Three Back to School Resolutions For Teacher Leaders


This year my “classroom” is housed on my computer and in my car trunk. But the anticipatory back to school butterflies remain nonetheless. 

To prepare for this school year, instead of co-creating a class contract with students, I’m sharing three back to school resolutions for teacher leaders.

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Liz Prather

August 7, 2015

To the New High School Teacher: Some Tips


Several years ago, my nephew, Jake, changed his major from journalism to education. We went out to dinner to discuss his decision.  I told him teaching was not for the weak.  Teaching will break your heart, I said.  I told him many of his students would be poor, have few resources at home and find education alienating, even dangerous.   But, I told him, teaching is one of the only profession where you can actually change the direction of a child's life by arming her with tools to better her life.

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