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What’s Your School’s “Kool-Aid Factor?” (

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…



Four Parenting Lessons I Learned from Being a Teacher (

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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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.

Review by John Thompson on “@ The Chalk Face”

“Rereading the second edition… is just as much fun as the first read…. Young teachers should read Elden for her practical advice and humor, while veterans might read first for her wit.”

Read the rest of John Thompson’s review on @ The ChalkFace.

Review on MyEdMatch

“We like this book (and think you will too!) for its no-nonsense, humorous take on teaching, especially during the early years. Whether you’re an aspiring, early career, or mentor teacher needing a gift for your protégé, you’ll appreciate the practical advice on everything from stressing about lessons to due-date blues to taking charge of an out-of-control class.”

Click here to read the rest of the review and find out how MyEdMatch can help connect you with a school that fits your values and teaching style.

Keynote: Future Educators Association National Conference, April 10-12, Minneapolis

The 2014 Future Educators Association® National Conference will take place April 10-12, 2014, at the Hilton Minneapolis. The conference is a n action-packed event filled with networking opportunities, competitive events, and professional development for students and teachers alike. As someone who was once a high school student who wanted to become a teacher, I’m very excited to speak to current high school students who want to become teachers in the future. The title of my keynote is Becoming THAT Teacher – because when you’re in high school and you want to become a teacher, you don’t want to just become any teacher… you want to be THAT teacher.


Interview: Our City Thoughts / Miami

Our City Thoughts (OCT) is a non-profit organization that highlights Miami’s emerging community of startups, entrepreneurs, creators and thought leaders. They aim to refocus attention on a new narrative in Miami, centered on innovation, problem solving and entrepreneurship. (In a diverse city with awesome weather. Just saying.) I got to talk to them about why I love living in Miami, exciting education developments in the city, and what it means to be a “teacher-entrepreneur.