A big topic for our 10th episode! We don't have all the answers, but Dave, Clay and Taylor have lots of ideas and stories about how they have handled issues big and small. If you're an experienced teacher, who has a system in place, a new teacher in look of strategies, or a pre-service teacher nervous about managing your very own classroom, this is the episode for you. We cover everything from setting expectations, to the mistakes we have made. Classroom management is an area of teaching that will never be the same, from year-to-year and day-to-day the children in our classrooms always offer unique opportunities and challenges.

What We Wonder: 

Do students understand that teachers are all trying to do their best? 

How much better we could have been in the first few semesters if we knew what we do now?

      All teachers have sat through a professional development training that they thought was a waste of time, but is there hope for a better professional development future? We discuss the good, bad, and boring of PD, and what we want to accomplish on those designated days. Dave offers insight on making professional development days focused on colleagues, Clay shares his experience as a presenter, and Taylor expresses what she wants out of a faculty learning opportunity. 

What We Wonder: 

What does the future of professional development look like? 

Will there come a day when teachers don't have a love-hate relationship with PD?

Maintaining a work-life balance as a teacher can be challenging. We are all at different stages, but each of us have struggled with how to maintain boundaries. Clay and Dave share stories of how they create balance with their children and families, Taylor explains the lack of balance she has. While everyone needs to establish their own solution, we suggest a few ways to create and maintain set routines for creating this balance. From setting a time where you stop considering school, to setting time aside for family, each solution focuses on recognizing your needs and priorities outside of school. 

     From little experience with parent conflict, to multiple parent interactions. We discuss how teachers can and should handle conflicts with parents. The advantage of having positive parent interactions is well documented, and we explore some solutions to creating a productive relationships with parents. Dave shares some key strategies for positioning yourself as an advocate for students and on the same team as parents. He also drops the great truth that "in every room there needs to be at least one adult."

EdVantage References

Article on John Mielke

The Score on John Mielke


Newest Member of The Nation

Andrew Vought

 It's all over the news. It's taking over Facebook feeds. The President has tweeted about it. We discuss the national debate about arming teachers with guns in an effort to prevent school shootings. The i stands for important, and this hot topic has spawned a social media movement and lots of conversation. We are three educators, and we want to make sure our voices are part of the discussion. 

EdVantage References:

Political Cartoon

#ArmMeWith Movement and Template

  It's just a bunch of complaining. If you don't go, you appear antisocial. The reputation and stigma of the staff lounge is well known from pre-service teachers all the way to teaching veterans, but is it really earned? We discuss the importance of having a positive teaching community at school and how we deal with the negativity that does occur in common areas. 

EdVantage References:

"Find Your Marigold" from The Cult of Pedagogy

Newest Nation Member

We're wondering:

Do all teachers feel welcome in the staff lounge?

How do we create a space that is positive, and free of school "business"?

With many different ideas and philosophies on late work, what is the right policy? We discuss the solutions we've tried, what we've heard, and what the real issue of late work is. From teaching responsibility to having grades that reflect what students know, there are many reasons why a late work policy is reflective of a teacher's educational philosophy. While we may not have the solutions, we have lots of ideas, which are the first step on the road to solutions. 

 Newest Nation Member: 


We're wondering:

How do we hold students accountable for turning in their work? 

Does the issue of late work lessen with more engaging lessons?

Will technology change how we view and accept late work?

 Teachers know that planning for a substitute takes time, energy, and often more work that coming into school. In the age of curriculum workdays, IEP meetings, and the same family and personal obligations teachers have always juggled, we discuss what effective sub-plans look like. From using materials from previous years, to learning new curriculum while planning to be gone, there are many considerations for teachers in the classroom, not to mention wondering who is even going to be in your classroom with your students. 

 EdVantage References

Alternatives To Writing Sub Plans

Digital Alternatives To Writing Sub Plans

We're wondering:

What does the future of substitute teachers look like? 

Will there even be people to sub?

The expectations for teachers' involvement with the community in which they teach has greatly changed. We discuss what this looked like 35 years ago, and what community involvement looks like today. These changes reflect the same changes which are affecting society, and we wonder what this issue will look like in the near future. 


We're wondering:

What are the community involvement expectations for teachers across the country? 

What's working, and what isn't?

 Technology dominates the discussions about innovation in education. We discuss our experiences with technology, from when it was "something that took place in another room" to the world of personal devices in which we now live. We consider the impact of these experiences on our views of technology and how we implement it in our schools. Each of us share the questions and concerns we have about technology, and talk through what all of this means for the teacher in the classroom. 

EdVantage References

TIES Conference - Minneapolis December every year

We're wondering:

How are you innovating in your classroom or school, both with and without technology? 


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