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Finding Your Niche: Teach100 Mentors Talk Transitions

Most teachers have asked their students at one point, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" But do they ever ask themselves the same question?

The reality for most of those working in education is that finding your niche--your subject, grade level, specialty, etc--is a gradual process. That's probably why most of our Teach100 mentors (58% of those who took our most recent survey) reported having worked four or more jobs in education. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to discover what you like, what you're good at, and what type of environment you want to do your job in.

With that in mind, we asked our Teach100 Mentors

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From Teacher to PhD Student: 8 Questions With Scott Haselwood

8 QUESTIONS is a new series of interviews with teachers who have effectively transitioned their classroom skills into new and exciting careers in the field of education. We at Teach.com believe that teaching is a rigorous and diverse classroom in and of itself; the skills learned “in the trenches” can translate into an exciting portfolio of professional options. From education tech to consulting, the only “X factor” is where you want to go — our interviews hope to shine a light on the steps it takes to get there.
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Using Crowdfunding To Motivate Students

The following is a guest post from Teach100 blogger Carissa Peck

When I read about motivating students, a lot of it comes down to things that I as the teacher am supposed to do, including:

  • Reinforcing positive behavior
  • Providing options for student assignments
  • Planning lessons around student interests
  • Providing students with positive reinforcement (i.e., pizza parties, stickers, extra credit)

The list goes on.


These teacher-focused motivation tools got me thinking — if I want my students to be motivated, why am I the one putting in all of the effort to keep them motivated? They should be intrinsically motivated, …

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From Teacher to Instructional Coach: 8 Questions with Angela Watson

8 QUESTIONS is a new series of interviews with teachers who have effectively transitioned their classroom skills into new and exciting careers in the field of education. We at Teach.com believe that teaching is a rigorous and diverse classroom in and of itself; the skills learned “in the trenches” can translate into an exciting portfolio of professional options. From education tech to consulting, the only “X factor” is where you want to go — our interviews hope to shine a light on the steps it takes to get there.

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Five Ways To Create a Healthy School Climate

When children feel cared for by the adults in their school, it creates a sense of belonging and trust. Collaborative and caring interactions boost self-esteem. In turn, self-esteem boosts academic achievement and decreases problem behavior like bullying.

Here are five ways to create a healthy school climate:

  1. Create a school-wide plan.
  2. Get everybody on board. All teachers, staff, students and parents need to feel like they have an investment in creating a positive school climate. Why? Positive and safe schools are necessary in order for students to learn and thrive, for teachers to enjoy and continue their work and for parents to feel like they have a connection to their child’s academic world. 

  3. Teach behavior expectations.
  4. If …
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Standardized Assessment: Perspectives and Solutions

Despite educators’ growing concerns, standardized testing is not going anywhere — at least not any time soon. Valerie Strauss, a writer for The Washington Post, outlined a few of these reasons in her recent article, citing money as a main reason. The standardized testing movement is a lucrative business, and the people who determine the direction of education reform are the people who are funding education reform.

Our culture’s focus on standardized testing has led to our classroom’s focus on “teaching to the test,” an understanding that teachers’ lessons and curricula should be targeted toward state standards and test preparation. The implementation of the Common Core Standards is another reason for this focus on standardization. Adopted nationwide (with some exceptions), the Common Core’s main goal is to mea…

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Tools and Strategies for Classroom Organization

For teachers, organizing lesson plans can be just as challenging as drafting them. And when it comes to actually keeping a lesson on track (by starting and ending activities on time, regaining control of an unruly classroom or getting kids to turn in assignments the next day), a whole other set of challenges presents itself.

Teaching is so much more than helping kids learn: It’s also being your own administrative assistant, a disciplinarian, a scheduler and, at times, a referee.

We asked our Teach100 Mentors about their greatest challenges with classroom management, and what tools they use to organize their lesson plans and classroom resources.

What is your s…
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