In the Classroom
Camp Seeker: Decreasing the Summer Slide
September 5, 2018
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Camp Seeker: Decreasing the Summer Slide

Beth Gotcher
@b_gotcher

During the summer, while many students were far from their classrooms, 15 students in Maryville were in the middle of their writer’s workshop. The district was fortunate enough to receive a Read to be Ready Summer Grant. This experience was a wonderful learning experience for both teachers and students. Six key takeaways from this experience could benefit future Read to be Ready Camps.
Leadership
Back to School – The Journey Begins
August 20, 2018
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Back to School – The Journey Begins

Mark Wittman
@wittmanmarks

The first day of school is quickly approaching for students around the country.   Stores are stocked with back to school supplies and there are mixed emotions around the words “Back to School”.   These three words can stir a range of emotions depending on who is hearing them.  Some parents may hear these words and experience excitement at the thought of their children spending their day at the schoolhouse.  While other parents may face anxiety at the thought of getting all the school supplies and completing the necessary paperwork to ensure that their child is ready for the first day of school.   Some student may dread these three words because it means the end of days filled with freedom, while others may get excited because it means structure and routines.   Some teachers may hear these words and experience dread, while other teachers will experience excitement and joy at returning to their classroom.   It is my hope and prayer that as you read this “Back to School” article that your journey will be one of growth and prosperity.
In the Classroom
10 Things Teachers Should Remember as They Begin Another School Year
August 8, 2018
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10 Things Teachers Should Remember as They Begin Another School Year

Lynnsey Metcalf
@sterchimetcalf

10. Restart your attitude every day! Some days are rough. Things go wrong. Always start your day with a positive attitude. Forget about the negative things that happened in the past and focus on the amazing opportunities in front of you.
In the Classroom
The Trouble with Deadlines: Accountability in the Secondary and Post-Secondary Classroom
July 31, 2018
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The Trouble with Deadlines: Accountability in the Secondary and Post-Secondary Classroom

Jeff Gray
@iteachushistory

When I was a junior in high school, my best friend and cousin finally succumbed to her lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis and died at the age of seventeen.  It was devastating for everyone in my family.  The morning after her death, I had a trigonometry exam.  The policy of the teacher – and all my teachers – was unless you have a doctor’s excuse, you were required to take an exam.  Since there was no doctor’s excuse, I came in that morning to take the exam.  Once I finished the exam, I left to aid in the preparation for the funeral.  There was no question I was going to take the exam.  It didn’t even dawn on me to try to get an extension as this was not a qualified excuse for missing the exam.  It was the expectation.
In the Classroom Professional Learning
Targeting Academic Success: How They Hit the Bullseye And How I (Almost) Missed It
July 24, 2018
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Targeting Academic Success: How They Hit the Bullseye And How I (Almost) Missed It

Amy Crawford
@AmyKCrawford

Over spring break, I had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua with a group of eight high school seniors. While many of their peers were frolicking on beaches, guzzling beer through funnels, and striking provocative poses in barely-there bikinis, these kids were serving, leading, sacrificing, sharing, and loving. What makes this group even more unique is that all of them are graduating high school with GPAs north of 4.0 and an average ACT score of 32. Two of the students attend a private school, and six attend public high schools. 
 
In the Classroom Uncategorized
Each School Year Is a Fresh Start
July 14, 2018
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Each School Year Is a Fresh Start

Al Feldblum
@afeldblum 

Have you seen the commercial with the parents gleefully riding on shopping carts while their two children watch with sad, remorseful faces? The background music lyrics are “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” The family is back-to-school shopping.
In the Classroom
Teaching Is a League of Its Own
June 12, 2018
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Teaching Is a League of Its Own

Hayley Cloud
@hcloud_tn 

Probably one of the most “feel good,” memorable movies I remember watching growing up is A League of Their Own. I watched it many times, and I can still recall many quotes from the movie, such as the famous “There’s no crying in baseball!” But my favorite line from the movie is when Jimmy Dugan says, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!” As a teacher, those words are something with which I can connect.  Teaching is hard. If teaching were easy, everyone would do it. Somehow, the hardest moments seem to always yield the greatest.
Professional Learning
Micro-Credentials – Personalized Learning for Teachers
June 7, 2018
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Micro-Credentials – Personalized Learning for Teachers

Jessica Childers
@JDouttChilders

According to the Center for Teaching Quality, 84% of teachers report that they have participated in inservice days but only 20% are satisfied with their professional development. I believe we can do better than this. In the past few years, personalizing learning for students has become a focus for many educators. iNACOL defines PL as “tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests...to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery..." We should apply these same ideas for professional learning for teachers as well. Through micro-credentials, I have found a way to personalize my learning in a way that directly influences student learning in my classroom.
In the Classroom
What are We Missing with Story Problems?
June 6, 2018
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What are We Missing with Story Problems?

Cindy Cliche
@CindyCliche1

This summer a colleague attended a conference and was so excited to share her learning. One “take away” was a speaker that shared teachers should use the term “story problems” instead of “word problems” because the word “story” indicates that it is more than just a bunch of words and numbers. There is a context. Reflecting on this discussion, I begin to think about how much focus we are seeing in math instructional resources with numberless word problems, Bet Lines, and “notice and wonder.” I wondered if what we call the word/story problem is the whole solution, or is it how we support student understanding of the context of problems?
In the Classroom
End of the Year Letter to Parents
June 3, 2018
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End of the Year Letter to Parents

Amy Crawford
@AmyKCrawford

Every year, I write an End of the School Year letter to parents. This year, I took advantage of the opportunity to share some wisdom I’ve acquired through raising four children and teaching for over 25 years. Admittedly, I was a bit anxious to find out how the letter would be received. Thankfully, I’ve received multiple requests to “share” the letter on social media, as well as notes of appreciation from parents and grandparents. I’d like to share the letter with you in the hope that you will have the courage to share it, modify it, or simply think about the responsibility we have as teachers to educate our students.