Making the Most of Your Holiday Break

With the winter holiday season rapidly approaching, students everywhere are counting down the days until they can stuff their textbooks into their lockers and not think about them until “next year.” It probably goes without saying that a lot of teachers are doing the same thing. Though the thought of taking some much needed time off is a great comfort, many teachers also use their break time to grade and plan. Here are a few ways in which you can best prepare for and make the most of your much deserved winter vacation time.


Top 15 Teacher Resources for the Classroom

I recently posed a question to all of my teacher friends as to what websites and apps they use in their classrooms. I was blown away by the responses I received; I couldn't believe the number of free, quality, and readily available resources out there for the taking. However, the downside is that it can be overwhelming to navigate all of these websites and apps, and with precious little free time to dedicate to that kind of research, many teachers are often unaware of these potential gold mines. But fear not, for I have done the legwork for you! Here are the top 10 websites and top 5 apps I discovered after sifting through the seemingly endless list of resources.

Teacher Burnout: Rekindling the Fire

In the first installment of this piece, Teacher Burnout: Feeling the Burn, I shared with you several reasons why teacher burnout is so prevalent in the United States. But all hope is not lost! In this piece, you will discover ways in which you can prevent and reverse teacher burnout. Some of these methods will require you to shake up your routine and forge unknown paths. Then again, that might be precisely what you need. 

Teacher Burnout: Feeling the Burn

I began teaching in 2004. Before the start of the school year, the administration held a staff meeting. I remember sitting in awe as the principal recognized teachers beginning their 25th, 30th, and 35th years. That’s going to be me some day! I thought to myself, swelling with pride at the thought of standing up and receiving my round of applause after so many years of service. Twelve years later, I walked out of my classroom on the last teacher workday of the school year, a box nestled under my arm containing a few binders and tokens from students over the years. I set the box in my trunk, turned back to the building, and heaved a huge sigh of relief. I was done teaching—forever. No recognition. No applause. Just me standing alone in the June sunlight taking it all in one last time. 

Guide Your Instruction through Common Assessments

District common assessments are a critical dimension of effective instruction. Common assessments provide specific information on each student's performance on standards and reveal what we should spend time on instructionally. The term "common assessment" may have an ambiguous meaning because it is often used interchangeably with other related terms such as formative assessments, district created assessments, and summative assessments among others. It will be helpful to clarify these terms.

8 Features Tech Directors Want in Student Data Storage & Analytics

No one is more invested in student data management than district technology administrators. Am I right, tech directors, tech coordinators? After all, you are the folks who maintain this data and often spend countless hours gathering and disseminating valuable data points to teachers, principals, curriculum directors, counselors, and superintendents.

Graduation Requirements for Class of 2018 Finalized With Ohio's State Budget

The Class of 2018 finally has clarity for what they need to do to graduate. After a great deal of debate in educational and legislative circles over the past year, new pathways to graduation are now official for seniors beginning this fall. Governor John Kasich signed Ohio's state budget in late June, approving the state school board’s recommendations. Before the approval of the budget, this year's seniors had the following graduation alternatives available to them:    

What it Takes to Lead a High-Performing School District

Wyoming City Schools, serving just under 2000 students, proves that small districts can achieve big results. Not only was their superintendent, Dr. Susan Lang, named the 2017 Ohio Superintendent of the Year for being an exemplary educational leader and innovator, but the district has also been regularly recognized at the state and national level for academic excellence.

Under Dr. Lang’s tenure, Wyoming City Schools has earned top rankings in US News & World Reports, the Washington Post and numerous national and statewide competitions. However, Dr. Lang attributes much of the district’s celebrated accomplishments to the school community, where stakeholders are committed to education and the whole-child learning experience.

We sat down with Dr. Lang to ask her about her career, her leadership style, and the “Wyoming Way” school culture.  

Teachers: Your Top 15 Summer Activities for a Great School Year

Teaching is one of the noblest professions known to man that brings many challenges and benefits. One of the attractive benefits of being a teacher, beyond the love of working with young people, is the opportunity to have time in the summer to pursue other interests, hobbies and pastimes. Moreover, the summer is also an extremely valuable time for educators to immerse themselves in various activities to position themselves and their students for an outstanding school year. Below are 15 of the best measures teachers can take during the summer that will pay off in time and efficiency.

Blended Learning and LMS Use in Ohio Classrooms: ProgressBook Teacher Survey Results

We recently surveyed 3,900 Ohio PreK – 12 teachers (and ProgressBook users) about their approach to digital learning and use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in their classrooms. Our goal was to gather insight about what teachers currently use, want, or need from tools designed to facilitate coursework, enhance teaching, and improve learning outcomes.