The Things She Carried

By: Mary Hardin | Jun 6, 2016

Right now, I am the most popular teacher in my building. It’s not for any typical reason—no, I don’t give out tons of extra credit, and I certainly can’t be the prettiest or funniest. No, the reason is because I have a sizable box fort in my room. Am I ...
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Teachers: Saints or Sinners

By: Mary Hardin | Jun 6, 2016

Yesterday a student asked me a seemly simple question: “Is teaching just your job or is it your life or something?” On the spot, I didn’t know exactly how to answer that question. I mean, I know that I probably should answer the question with a resounding, “Yes! Teaching is ...
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Special Education and Family Involvement

By: Mary McLaughlin | Jun 6, 2016

One of my friends realized school had let out for the summer and asked me what were my plans for my “time off.” That always cracks me up. Teachers don’t have time off, but that’s a blog entry for another day. Anyway, this pal—a retired Special Education Teacher--also asked how ...
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The “Double Scoop” – Student Emotions

By: Jon Konen | Jun 2, 2016

It's at this time of year we see behaviors in students that we may not have seen since the first days of school in the fall. We wonder what has changed in the student's life to warrant these behaviors.  We have to keep the big picture in the forefront. Many times ...
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Summer Reading: Friend or Foe?

By: Michelle Areaux | May 31, 2016

The idea of summer reading, as wonderful as it sounds to educators, is usually a dreaded phrase to students and parents alike.  For kids, summer is supposed to be full of sunshine, fun, and freedom. Not reading some boring book their lame teachers selected. Right? No! This is a mindset that ...
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Can a Kindness Campaign Truly Change Your School?

By: Jon Konen | May 30, 2016

Back to the main Bully Prevention Guide. PU#151 – Kindness Campaign After trying many things to lessen discipline referrals in our school, we had to step out and think “inside the box.” What do you focus on, the discipline of a few naughty students or the kindness of the majority of students? That ...
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The Big Send-Off

By: Mary McLaughlin | May 30, 2016

Today was our school’s last day of school. My first day of class with this bunch was November 20, 2015; during the course of six months, my kids have worked very, very hard. Their IEP goals were at the forefront of all our activities, their learning styles were the root of my ...
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The Fortune of Failure and Firsts

By: Tricia Koechig | May 26, 2016

Vincent Van Gogh is considered one of the most influential painters of all time. However, few know of his life outside of his famous painting, “A Starry Night.” Van Gogh’s parents gave birth to a still born son just a year prior to having Vincent. The Van Gogh’s had not ...
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Veteran Status

By: Mary Hardin | May 26, 2016

I can’t believe it happened, but it finally did. I remember in my early days, covered in sweat and chalk dust, armpit deep in half-marked essays and desperately constructed lesson plans, that this day would never come. Oh, yes, people told me that it would, but I didn’t believe them. ...
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School Year Alpha, Omicron, and Omega

By: Mary McLaughlin | May 26, 2016

The Alpha (beginning): school year...the beginning of a new year’s adventures in teaching and’s fresh. We’re rested. We’re renewed. We’re rejuvenated. We’re excited. We’re organized. We’re anxious. We’re professionally developed. We’re unpacked. We’re set up. We’re done reviewing I.E.P.’s, their accommodations and modifications. We’ve asked a million and nine ...
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