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Preparing for the End of the School Year

Preparing for the End of the School Year Students often ask me, “When does this class end?” to which I would answer, “Never. What you are learning here applies outside of school.” As you can imagine, this response gets expressions ranging from annoyance to confusion and enlightenment. But the point was delivered and reinforced – […]

ESSER Funding Ends in 2024…What Next? 

ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds that were part of The American Rescue Plan Act passed on March 11, 2021, provided $122.7 billion in supplemental ESSER funding, known as the ESSER III. The funds allocated to local districts are meant to be flexible. Federal guidance outlines 20 different uses for ESSER III funds, and we […]

Early Childhood Education and K-12 Education Collaborations

The WHY of Early Childhood Education and K-12 Education Collaborations A child’s brain develops very quickly in the first five years of life. Having quality early learning is vital for their future success. Studies show the importance that educational programs have on a child’s social and academic growth. Many supporters understand this, but there are […]

Combating Teacher Shortages in 2023

Combatting Teacher Staffing Shortages Teaching staffing challenges are here to stay. Hopes of the issue being a short-term effect have been dashed. And no school type, level, or location is immune.  Positioning your organization to be a partner in combating staffing shortages is both an act of self-preservation and an opportunity to be an innovator […]

Spring Cleaning in 2023

Spring Cleaning in 2023 It’s Time For…Spring Cleaning! I find myself looking at stacks of clutter that have built over the LONG winter months and ask myself if I have a problem because I’ve seen too many episodes of the Hoarders series. Something needs to be done because it’s not only in my classroom but […]

Step Into Spring!

Step Into Spring! Spring is here! Time for a fun lesson that embraces the season.  I have always loved the symbolism behind the lifecycle of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Teaching students is much like living this lifecycle out as we watch them develop, spread their wings and turn into something magnificent! There are so […]

The Importance of School Safety

The Importance of School Safety American public schools have been under increasing pressure to prioritize safety. For institutions across the nation, from K-12 schools and early learning to higher education, security in the school climate is becoming more valuable than ever. A supportive and safe environment is essential when it comes to creating a place […]

Supporting Student Well-Being

Supporting Student Well-Being The topic of student well-being has gained significant attention among educators since the COVID-19 pandemic. If we’re honest, anxiety cases and social isolation incidents are currently elevated among students and teachers.  How is your school approaching student well-being? In my district, I co-sponsor a student organization that provides insight to our superintendent […]

Ruff Day at School?

For our elementary students, therapy dogs were just what the doctor ordered. Our students meet with “Fox,” our therapy dog, on a rotating schedule. Initially, the idea started with the K-2 librarian. He became a reading buddy at first, but then the idea grew. Having a therapy dog is not the same as having a […]

Tax Tips for Teachers

It’s officially tax season…cue the groans! Taxes are a task that few people look forward to.  However, as a teacher, several deductions can be utilized to maximize your tax breaks.  Check these out!  The Educator Expense Tax Deduction If you were employed as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or teacher aide for students in kindergarten […]

Test Season: Stage 1 – Preparation

Schools across the United States are fast approaching a time-honored annual stage in the school year – Testing Season.  And although this is an experience common to schools regardless of their type (private, public, charter, etc.) or level (elementary, secondary, preparatory, etc.) how the testing season plays out varies dramatically.  Part of the reason for […]

Testing Pressure

It’s that time of year when educators spend hours preparing for the “test”. Dating back to the From the 1800s to today, with the Every Child Succeeds Act, there is a long history of standardized testing used in our school systems. These tests are developed to provide a snapshot into the learning and teaching that […]

Testing, Testing?

It’s springtime, which means the flowers are beginning to bloom, and teachers all over the country are preparing for “testing season.” Truth be told, teachers prepare for the testing season all year long. Springtime is the finale of tests, and it’s stressful for all parties involved.  Many have asked why there are standardized tests. Or […]

Academic Recovery and Student Success: The Tutoring Promise

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted nearly every aspect of education. Moreover, the disruption is magnified without a national system due to the variations across and within states. This constellation of learning realities produces variance in course sequencing, assessment models, and student expectations among neighboring districts. In turn, student achievement is also part of this spectrum.  Beyond reports that […]

Spring Break Ambitions

I was in a meeting last week that opened with this icebreaker prompt: What plans do you have for spring break? As I quickly arranged my wish list and turned to my “shoulder partner” to share, I thought, “when is spring break again?” The short answer, it is fast approaching…, and I better get started. […]

Problem-solving Technology for K-12 schools

This past week we had a horrible snowstorm. Not unusual for February, but the snow, rain, and sub-zero temperatures caused havoc the following day for internet and cell phone providers. Thinking nothing of it, I bundled up and headed off to work. I was greeted by an intercom announcement stating the internet was down and concluded […]

How Teacher Shortages Impact Elementary Schools

How Teacher Shortages Impact Elementary Schools The term “teacher shortage “ has been a growing national problem over the years. Many feel Covid asurbated this issue. However, in rural Montana it isn’t just a problem, it is a dire situation. Many positions go unfilled for years. In a recent article, I addressed what schools are […]

The Importance of Family Engagement

“Family Engagement” is one of the latest buzzwords in education. However, events planned by school districts are about more than just fun and games. Research on family engagement and activities supports their students’ and community’s academic and social needs. Furthermore, holding family events can shape the lives of all involved. Therefore, it is a vital […]

Flexible School Year Calendars Provide Relief, Retention, and Renewal

There is a growing trend amongst public K-12 schools throughout the country, and it is a shift in scheduling. Flexible school year calendars are a happy medium between a traditional school year calendar and a year-round calendar, providing relief, retention, and renewal.   The verdict? Teachers approve, and so do students and their parents. A flexible […]

Falling in Love with Teaching…Again 

It’s February, and love is in the air, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Stores are full of candy and exploding with all things red, pink, and heart-shaped! Some people love Valentine’s Day, while others are indifferent or think it’s silly. Celebrate as you wish!  As a teacher, it’s a joyful time in the classroom. Elementary teachers celebrate with […]

Real World Classroom Tech Issues

When I entered the education profession, I was warned and nurtured about the use and roles of technology in my classroom. The advice was well-meaning and helped frame my personal vision regarding educational technology in relation to my content knowledge and instructional practices.  A synthesis of these three domains (content, instruction, and technology) is best articulated in […]

Help Wanted

Help Wanted There is a lot of talk about teacher shortages in the 2023-2024 school year, as there should be. A recent survey by USA Today showed that 86% of public schools need help to hire educators, and nearly 9 out of 10 public school districts struggle to hire teachers heading into the school year, […]

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