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Check back often for the most recent articles, guest blog posts, and other writing. Downloadable materials are available from the sidebar on the left.

Guidelines for Teacher Attire (Larry Ferlazzo / EdWeek Classroom Q&A)

Larry Ferlazzo, EdWeek Classroom Q&A’s much-loved asker of questions and collector of answers, asked for some helpful guidelines on teacher attire. You can read my response here. (Spoiler alert: I talk a lot about comfortable shoes, accidentally-exposed skin, and avoiding dry-cleaners.)

APEX Award for “Class Dismissed!” Column

The winning column is called Six Tips for Looking Less Like a Rookie, which is pretty self-explanatory. Thanks, APEX award committee!

What’s Your School’s “Kool-Aid Factor?” (MyEDMatch.com)

A school’s “Kool-Aid Factor” is the degree to which everyone in the building must share the same beliefs and behaviors. As you look for your next job, it’s worth thinking about where you’d like your school to fall on this spectrum.  This post on MyEdMatch shares commons signs of a school with a high Kool-Aid factor and some of the tradeoffs they may represent. If you haven’t heard of it already, MyEdMatch is an ingenious new site that uses the technology we normally associate with online dating to match the values and teaching styles of teachers with potential employers. If you’re looking for the school of your dreams, check them out. You know you’re tired of of asking for hookups from friends (and it’s always a bad idea to meet administrators at a bar.) As a bonus, MyEDMatch also gives away free copies of See Me After Class from time to time…

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Four Parenting Lessons I Learned from Being a Teacher (ScaryMommy.com)

Teacher Appreciation Week is the first full week in May. This means just as moms get ready to rock those fashion-forward Mother’s Day t-shirts, teachers get a shot at that tote bag we’ve been dreamily eyeing – or at least a flurry of emails assuring us that “2 teach is 2 touch lives 4ever.” (Occasionally, we also get Starbucks gift cards. Hint hint.) As an experienced teacher and a rookie parent, this is the first year I’ll be celebrating both holidays. It’s also a reminder that it’s been a long time since I’ve been a beginner at something where the stakes are so high. Of course, parenting isn’t exactly like teaching. Teachers don’t have to take their screaming students on airplanes. And moms don’t have thirty other babies watching how they handle the first baby who tries to grab the dog’s eyeball. Luckily, there are enough similarities that some lessons learned as a teacher carry over to parenting.

“After Class, Come Find Me” (My book, now available in China through China Youth Press)

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Sweeeeeeeeeeet.

Your Principal Vs. Your Principles (MyEDMatch blog)

MyEdMatch is a new(ish) service that combines the connection-building potential of LinkedIn with the compatibility-matching philosophy of online dating sites. Their goal? To help teachers find schools where they can work happily ever after… or at least reduce the staggering turnover rate in a profession where fifty percent of teachers leave within five years. Their blog features interview tips and considerations for finding a school that’s a good fit. (As online daters already know, some things are too important to leave to fate alone.) This post, about how to have tough conversations with administrators when you really need to, is an excerpt from my book chapter, Please Report to the Principal’s Office.

 

Class Dismissed! Dealing With Difficult Colleagues (Educational Horizons)

While the majority of your fellow teachers are outstanding citizens, most schools contain a few reminders that carrying a “#1 Teacher!!!” mug doesn’t make it true. This column provides descriptions of some of the difficult colleagues who might be roaming your hallway, advice on how to handle them, and a few tips to ensure that you aren’t the difficult one.

 

Best Practices are Practices that Work for Your Students (Larry Ferlazzo’s Classroom Q&A / Ed Week)

Larry Ferlazzo’s Classroom Q&A asks the questions teachers everywhere are asking, and tracks down answers from educators and experts. This week’s question: Based on your research and what you’ve seen and experienced in the classroom, what are the five best practices teachers can do to help their students become better learners? Click here for my answer, along with answers from Pedro Noguera and Barnett Berry.

Class Dismissed! Five Unwritten Rules of Teaching (Educational Horizons)

Do you feel like everyone is following guidelines that you don’t have? Here are some rules of teaching that aren’t in any manual — but probably should be.

Class Dismissed! How to Slay Teacher Motivation Killers (Educational Horizons)

We know motivating students and engaging families is part of being a teacher. Sometimes, however, just keeping ourselves motivated can feel like a full-time job. But wait, you’re thinking, isn’t the look of delight and the love of learning on my students’ faces enough motivation? No. Not always. (And you weren’t even really thinking that. You thought that in August.) This column discusses some reasons your enthusiasm might be flagging this season — plus some tips for making it through the mid-year slump.