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. 

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     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

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 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

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  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
@ecasey77

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"?

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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: 

@stephenbernau

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?

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 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?

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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?

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 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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Clay has been focused on instructional design and digital workflow in my classroom since 2008.  With the opportunity to have a mobile digital device in the hands of every student since 2009, He has integrated a variety of educational atmospheres that engage and empower students to guide their own learning.  With over 1,500 published videos and 1,200 blog posts of students and teachers integrating technology tools in an educational setting, He provides an inside view of technology being implemented at the right time for the right reason.

  In his current position as an Digital Learning Specialist for grades 9-12 he is allowed to integrate multiple technology tools, mainly iPads, and strategies with classroom teachers across all subject areas so that students can critically think, create, communicate, and collaborate.  Everything he promote and integrate has a purpose.  Students need to be exposed to and master the common core state standards while integrating the ITL state standards.  It is crucial that students develop skills that can allow them to thrive as a member of our society.  All of his work is documented online and can be viewed in many areas. 

 

ClayReisler.com

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Taylor has been teaching for two years in two different school districts. Her current position is as a 9-12 English Language Arts teacher. As a new teacher, she is focused on creating and implementing relevant and engaging, student-focused curriculum. As a teacher in a newly 1:1 school, she is regularly incorporating technology and always looking for ways to enhance her students’ learning experiences. The challenges of being new to the profession are surpassed by the excitement of facilitating learning for all students.

 

Professional Educator Portfolio

 

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