Teaching is, by nature, a collaborative and community-driven profession. Over the past few decades or so, this need for professional teamwork has evolved into the concept of Personal Learning Networks (PLNs).
While the PLN moniker itself has a foggy origin, it is generally accepted to mean a group of colleagues and fellow educators that can turn to each other for professional support, advice, and discussion. These communities share useful information, best practices, and moral support in an effort to grow both as educators and as active learners.
In the digital age, this PLN concept has taken on a new life as educators from around the globe can now collaborate and share with each other. Creating a digital PLN is a tremendous way to improve your teaching practice. What’s more, it’s easier to get started than you might think!
The concept of teacher burnout is nothing new. However, much of the discussion surrounding teacher burnout focuses on new teachers that wind up making a quick exit from the profession.
The reality is, only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of teachers who leave teaching each year are novices. Veteran teachers too, it turns out, are quite susceptible to burnout . Each year, a growing percentage of the nation’s experienced teachers are voluntarily leaving the classroom.
Educating students truly takes a village. From teachers to administrators, board members to maintenance staff, there are a lot of adults involved in making schools productive and safe places for students to learn.
So often the focus is placed upon the relationships between these adults and the students they reach. However, maximizing the value in these staff-to-student interactions requires the adults to form positive bonds amongst themselves as a school faculty.
As administrators, it is important to acknowledge that part of the responsibility that comes with running a productive school for students also includes finding ways to forge encouraging and productive relationships with staff members.
Here are four key ways administrators can foster positive relationships with their teaching staff:
Taking notes is a vital skill in acquiring and retaining knowledge. Unfortunately, note-taking skills are not always explicitly taught in schools, or, when they are, they are often taught in a one-size-fits-all manner. A teacher or tutor can have an immediate positive impact by matching a student to a note-taking style that blends their learning style and organizational preference.
Here are some potential note-taking styles and strategies you can offer to your students. By presenting multiple options, you allow your students to choose an organizational method that works best for their needs.
Any teacher or parent of adolescents will tell you, kids love to argue! With some effort, you can harness this natural inclination in your classroom as a way to improve your students’ content knowledge and literacy abilities.
Two of the targeted initiatives in the Common Core standards are a focus on developing students’ speaking and listening skills and a focus on developing students’ abilities to support claims with evidence. Debating is a way to address both of these concepts in a fun and engaging way.