Be the change, being a teacher, inspiration, new year, Student-centered

A Kinder, Slower, More Receptive Approach to the Start of School

If We Would Just Stop Talking We Might Learn Something

I was fortunate enough to have my very first article published by EdWeek this week in anticipation of my book release this fall.  I have been so excited to move into the editing stages of my book, titled “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom back to Our Students Starting Today.”  This book is meant to be a how-to book for new teachers and veterans that want to change a little or a lot of how they have been teaching.  It is a practical book filled with ideas and examples to hopefully inspire you to give the classroom back and give students a voice in their education.

So here is an excerpt from my article, please click the link to see the rest

No teacher begins a teaching career with ill intentions. Yet most of us make our biggest mistake on our very first day. I was no different, nine years ago. I chose to do everything the way I had been taught in college—the way the popular new-teacher advice books said I should.

Sure, I laughed with the students and made noises about our “class community.” But as the all-important first week of school progressed, I went about dictating rules, establishing who was in control, and setting tight boundaries for the year.

As a result, I lost the opportunity to create the kind of relationship with my students that leads not only to motivation and engagement but to real ownership of learning and ultimately greater achievement. At the time I didn’t recognize the loss—it took several years, in fact. If you’re a new teacher about to begin your journey, maybe my lessons learned can help you avoid the pitfalls of a pretend partnership with your students.


To see the rest and my ideas for a better way to start, go here

7 thoughts on “A Kinder, Slower, More Receptive Approach to the Start of School”

  1. As I watch my colleagues jump into academics right way, I find myself beginning to worry that my kids are going to be behind. Then I have to remind myself that the time I spend setting routines and getting to know my learners helps us build a strong learning community that will make leaps and bounds through the school year. Thanks for sharing your article!

  2. Excellent! I am writing a book as well about using iPads for struggling students. Ours should probably be done towards Christmas time. I love your topic as well. Great job!

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