The Teacher (as Designer)'s Tool Box

A teacher is a designer of learning experiences. This blog provides resources for teaching all subjects through creativity and art.

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68 notes

itssnix:

This document was the back page of an application for a school I looked at in my job-hunting stage. I don’t know where it originally came from, or why it was part of the packet, but I found the right two columns particularly helpful when anticipating interviews.
Since there are a lot of recent graduates looking for jobs, I thought it would be a useful resource to throw out there.
Click through to download the .PDF!

itssnix:

This document was the back page of an application for a school I looked at in my job-hunting stage. I don’t know where it originally came from, or why it was part of the packet, but I found the right two columns particularly helpful when anticipating interviews.

Since there are a lot of recent graduates looking for jobs, I thought it would be a useful resource to throw out there.

Click through to download the .PDF!

(via itsssnix)

Filed under Education Topics

220 notes

Sticky Teaching

world-shaker:

As teachers we rely on the fact that human beings are fundamentally curious creatures. Additionally, people tend to have a natural curiosity about themselves and those around them, which gives psychology teachers an excellent advantage in the classroom. Despite this advantage, many of us see our students again in higher-level classes and wonder why the lessons we know we taught them did not stay with them. We wonder, why didn’t my teaching stick? We all know that it’s far easier to recall the contents of a Discovery Channel program than a two-hour topical lecture, but few of us understand why this is the case. Malcolm Gladwell and Dan and Chip Heath have looked to the business and advertising worlds and discovered six concepts that are surprisingly relevant to making ideas “stick” in peoples’ minds: Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotion, and Stories. These ideas can be applied to teaching, and in this essay, I will show you how you can apply them in the classroom.

A great read if you have a few minutes.

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)

Filed under Education Topics Management Teaching

337 notes

Diary of a First Year Teacher: What's it Like to Be a First Year Teacher?

What’s it Like to Be a First Year Teacher?

A colleague of mine is teaching a secondary social studies methods class at a local university this spring. He asked if I and another first year s.s. teacher would be willing to speak to his teacher candidates about what it’s like to be a first year teacher. Here’s what I know so far:

  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Do not isolate yourself in your classroom
  • Get involved in your school! I coached 6th grade volleyball and ran the middle school dance and while it was overwhelming at times I am so happy I did it.
  • Get to know your students as individuals - this makes ALL the difference
  • You will make mistakes - learn from them and move on
  • Do your best to involve parents and contact them with positive information about their students (not just concerns). Depending on the school you are at this might seem next to impossible and at times will be.
  • Be responsive and communicate
  • Sometimes a phone call is better than an email
  • Don’t hide behind email as an excuse for not responding
  • Create partnerships with your colleagues and borrow ideas and materials
  • Don’t be a gossip 
  • Heed other people’s advice but listen to your instincts
  • Make time for yourself and those you care about outside of school - there will always be more work but you need to be able to go home and relax
  • Listen to your students
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Smile and laugh a lot - kids are funny! Being serious all the time is boring.
  • Be who you are! It’s easy to want to emulate another teacher (and of course you can always learn something) but if it’s not who you are it’s not going to work. I worked with a teacher a few years back who did the “tough love” thing REALLY well. When I tried to do it I came off as a huge asshole. For me, it’s better to be more nurturing and sympathetic. I work better with students one-on-one when trying to accomplish something major.
  • Don’t yell, even if you feel like yelling (who likes that?)
  • It’s okay to cry - just try give yourself some privacy
  • Don’t forget about all the things you learned in your teacher ed program! Reread books and review ideas if necessary. 
  • Never quit learning
  • Find an outlet… like Tumblr!
  • Don’t vent to your significant other too much about your job - it’s not fair to them
  • Don’t gossip - I’ll say it again because it’s so important. Teachers can be just like their students in this area and it’s damaging.
  • Offer solutions when you’re frustrated with a situation, don’t simply complain
  • Advocate for yourself and your students, chances are no one else will
  • Apply for grants to get the materials you need to be a better teacher
  • If you have curriculum you don’t love use it as a starting point to create something better
  • Remember, the one doing the talking is doing the learning
  • Have high expectations and hold students to them
  • Be consistent!!! 
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself
  • Have fun!

Students/Parents/Veteran teachers - what advice do you have to add to the list?

More tips mentioned by others and a few more of my own:

  • Get to know the facilities and main office staff - they make a lot happen in your building, more than you probably realize!
  • Make yourself valuable to your school
  • Be flexible - know when to ditch your plans
  • If your students are really interested or invested in a concept it’s okay to spend more time in this area. Pacing be damned!
  • Make your classroom a safe place for students to share ideas and opinions
  • Establish a positive classroom culture - positive reinforcement is powerful and effective
  • Take that sick day/personal day
  • Don’t simply teach the same lesson over and over - adapt it to different students and classes. This will take some time, years even.
  • Focus on the positive
  • Finally, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” T. Roosevelt

(Source: jibteaches)

Filed under Education First Year Teacher Topics

25 notes

Read Write Think is an excellent website with thousands of lesson plans aligned with US standards. The lessons are printable and free for all. The are organized well according to grade and subject area and specifies learning objectives such as collaboration and critical thinking. 

Read Write Think is an excellent website with thousands of lesson plans aligned with US standards. The lessons are printable and free for all. The are organized well according to grade and subject area and specifies learning objectives such as collaboration and critical thinking. 

Filed under Education Lesson Plans Topics

146 notes

Ms. Leah, HBIC: Adaptions in Art for Special Needs Students

General Suggestions:

- Be aware of the goals on the student’s IEP in order to help the student achieve personal goals. It might be a more important goal for the student to learn socialization, to complete a task, or develop fine-motor ability than to make a work of fine art.

- Relaxing background music or headphones may help a student who has trouble focusing on the task at hand.

- A “time-out” table or area is helpful. Some students might be able to concentrate better by being allowed to work somewhat apart from other students for awhile.

- Pair a special-needs student with a different buddy each month (to help get supplies and to make sure the student understands). This is good for both students. 

- Give support only as you sense the student needs it, instead of automatically assuming you know what his needs are selections from The Art Teacher’s Survival Guide for Elementary and Middle Schools by Helen D. Hume.

(Source: msleahhbicoftheartroom)

Filed under Art Special Needs Topics