Sheldon Soper is a New Jersey middle school teacher with over a decade of classroom experience teaching students to read, write, and problem-solve across multiple grade levels. He holds teaching certifications in English, Social Studies, and Elementary Education as well as Bachelor's and Master's degrees in the field of education. In addition to his teaching career, Sheldon is also a content writer for a variety of education, technology, and parenting websites. You can follow Sheldon on Twitter @SoperWritings and on his blog.

The Classroom Tech Choice: Chromebooks or iPads?

The move towards student-centered, inquiry based learning experiences has made technology a ubiquitous part of the modern classroom experience. Instead of flipping through expensive (and continually outdated) textbooks, students can use digital tools to navigate a limitless trove of information as well as create amazing products. This shift mirrors the demands of the modern world where so much depends upon technology and the skillset required to make the most of it.

As such, more and more school districts are revamping their approach towards technology. The days of the isolated computer lab are fading away, and instead, technology is integrating seamlessly into the day-to-day routines of the classroom. In many cases, districts have gone as far as creating 1:1 environments where every student can have access to their own device to use.

Sure, a piece of technology for every student sounds amazing, but what tools make the most sense?

How Teacher Shortages Can Actually Benefit Teachers

Finding and landing a teaching job can be a challenge depending on your area of expertise and where you want to teach. Finding a teaching job that you love can be even harder. However, if you are willing to broaden your search and target specific high-need subjects, you can be in the driver’s seat when it comes to your teaching career. American public schools are facing a teacher shortage crisis, particularly in subject areas like math, science, and special education. If you equip yourself with the skills and qualifications to fill these high-need positions, you can flip the script on the whole job-search process. Rather than competing against piles of qualified applicants, schools could very well be courting you.

4 Ways for Administrators to Foster Positive Relationships with their Teachers

Educating students truly takes a village. From teachers to administrators, board members to maintenance staff, there are a lot of adults involved in making schools productive and safe places for students to learn. So often the focus is placed upon the relationships between these adults and the students they reach. However, maximizing the value in these staff-to-student interactions requires the adults to form positive bonds amongst themselves as a school faculty.

Note Taking Styles and Strategies

Taking notes is a vital skill in acquiring and retaining knowledge. Unfortunately, note-taking skills are not always explicitly taught in schools, or, when they are, they are often taught in a one-size-fits-all manner. A teacher or tutor can have an immediate positive impact by matching a student to a note-taking style that blends their learning style and organizational preference.

Using Classroom Debates to Engage Students

Any teacher or parent of adolescents will tell you, kids love to argue! With some effort, you can harness this natural inclination in your classroom as a way to improve your students’ content knowledge and literacy abilities.

Two of the targeted initiatives in the Common Core standards are a focus on developing students’ speaking and listening skills and a focus on developing students’ abilities to support claims with evidence. Debating is a way to address both of these concepts in a fun and engaging way.