My Favorite Ways to Practice Teacher Self Care!

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My Favorite Ways to Practice Teacher Self Care!

It took me a long time to prioritize and understand how important self-care is as a teacher.  For the first eight years of my career I burned through hours of grading, planning, rearranging, and constantly making myself available to students.  Those eight years were rewarding and I sure learned a lot about my profession, but I also felt (and still feel) the physical and mental health consequences of making y life 100% dedicated to teaching.

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RIP Powerpoint Lectures

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RIP Powerpoint Lectures

Long gone are the days that I stand in front of my class before the start of a novel and go through a three day powerpoint slide.  Ten years ago, that was best practice for so many of us. They were lessons I looked forward to, but I fear it’s because I loved being center stage.  The trouble with that? Planning lessons so highly teacher-centered just isn’t the way to go! We can do better and I have six solutions today that you can try.

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How to Build a QR Code Classroom Management System

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How to Build a QR Code Classroom Management System

Starting in a new school next year had me all amped up to dig in hard to my classroom decor, but I was able to take a big, deep breath, and focus on what classroom DESIGN really means.  It means functionality. It means positive behavior. It means creating a space where my students can learn and be their best selves. What it DOESN’T mean is splurging for every adorable Dollar Spot or “hot steal” that I find while endlessly shopping this summer.

So I set a budget.  $100. 24 hours. I resolved to spend my time and hard earned money on my family this summer and not get out of control with projects and cash for my classroom.  It’s tempting to think I have to do ALL THE THINGS with a brand, spanking (institutional-looking) new classroom this year, but I don’t have to do that. And neither do you

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My 9 Favorite Fictional Moms {and one real one, too!}

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My 9 Favorite Fictional Moms {and one real one, too!}

#MomLife is new to me this year, so this will be my very first Mother’s Day!  The journey through motherhood has already (in just five and a half months!) surprised me with a joy that I could never capture in a sentence.  

To celebrate, I’d like to share my list of my FAVORITE Fictional Moms.  These moms span from childhood picture books to blockbuster hits, from traditional mother figures to nannys and caretakers.  Here are my favorite fictional moms and how they exemplify and celebrate the real moms in our lives.

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Slam Poetry 101:  An Introduction

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Slam Poetry 101: An Introduction

I can't think of a more authentic experience that I've had teaching poetry with my students than through the incredible power of slam poetry.  Here in Chicago, we're lucky. The slam poetry scene is strong. We're actually the city that gave birth to the slam poetry movement in the 80s...

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An Open Letter to My 8-Week Old Son

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An Open Letter to My 8-Week Old Son

When your dad and I found out we that you were a boy, we were not immediately overjoyed.  Actually, we were pretty scared. You see, the year that you were born, it was pretty difficult to find a man in our world to admire.  Right now, boys and men on the news and in our media culture are not the kind of men we want you to grow up to be.

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