Top 10 Ways to Spark Your Creativity


One of TeacherPop’s favorite contributors, Brittany Viklund (Toll), wrote a really thoughtful post in 2012 about creativity and its impact on her work inside and outside the classroom. We’re bringing it back today, with a few editorial additions, to get your creative juices flowing on this February Tuesday.

By |February 24th, 2015|General Pop, Your Best Self|0 Comments|

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

stay on path

Many first and second-year teachers are getting ready to make THAT decision about next year. Should you stay in teaching? Or pursue other dreams?

It’s a hard choice, a personal one, and there is so much wrapped into it. Almost every major city is thirsty for experienced, high-quality teachers. You undoubtedly love your kids, and would love your next batch just as much. But you arrive home exhausted for a late dinner every night, and you are tired of feeling disappointed in situations and yourself. Maybe the other side of the fence doesn’t seem just greener; maybe it has a water slide, too!

Helping a Friend in Need


As teachers, we often work closely with our colleagues. Not only is this a great way to share our workload, but it is also a way to share how you are doing generally. Sometimes we get into situations where it becomes very clear that our friends and colleagues are struggling. They may tell us outright, or it might be clear through their behaviors.

Teaching Is Leading: How to Be Your Best Self


On Christmas Eve I received a text message that a dear friend of 12+ years was in the ICU in critical condition from an ongoing eleven-month battle with cancer. I met Zack in August 2002 at summer camp for children with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease; cancer was likely a result of medicine he was taking to stabilize the chronic disease we shared. With every day that passed of winter break, I sat by my phone waiting for an update on his condition. In January, Zack was taken all too soon from his family, his fiancée, his friends, and his camp family.

Making a Case for “Good Enough”


We have all encountered some version of perfectionism within ourselves. There are certainly ways in which perfectionism benefits us. Striving for flawlessness can often mean that you are thorough and scrupulous when approaching projects, which can be a useful skill. Perfectionism likely played a contributing role in your life successes thus far—a great resume, excellent grades…you get the picture.

Shameless Optimism: 4 Ways to Get to Know Your Students


In her TED Talk, Every Kid Needs a Champion, educator Rita Pierson said, “You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” When I first watched this video, everything seemed to make more sense. I was having issues with classroom management for many reasons and among these was the fact that not all my kids knew me well enough to like or respect me. Once I cultivated strong relationships with my students, I noticed that things in the classroom went much smoother. Here are four things that I did to get to know the kids in my classroom:

Don’t Take It Personally

cell phone

I refuse to participate in the online dating scene. Here’s why: Imagine you’re at a bar, and your blind date is running late. You sit awkwardly at the bar swiping through Instagram posts and old text messages in an attempt to look less lame.

Practicing Mindfulness for Teacher Stress Relief


In the early spring of 2007, I took my first graders on a field trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Back in the classroom in an effort to occupy ten minutes before dismissal, I had my students take out a notecard and write about the trip.

I saw a tulip and a duck and a daffodil. And I was happy.