Category Archives: Teaching Tips

Motivate Students to Learn Without Rewards

Basic behavior management tells us that you need to give something back when you take something away. It’s not good enough to say, “Don’t do this” without saying “Do this instead.” Mediocre teachers master the art of saying “don’t” very … Continue reading

Posted in Student Motivation, Teacher Motivation, Teaching Tips, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Loving the Unloveable Student

I recall clearly an experience I had early in my career that changed my perspective on teaching forever and made me an immeasurably better teacher. On the day before school started we received our class rosters in our mailboxes. I was … Continue reading

Posted in Student Motivation, Teacher Motivation, Teaching Tips, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

No More Teaching

When thinking about teaching, many of us conjure images of a wise sage standing in front of a group of youngsters, dispensing knowledge as eager students absorb new enlightenment. In fact, Webster defines teach as “to cause to know something,” or “to … Continue reading

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The Testing Bribe

Many schools give various rewards to students for their performance and/or hard work on a high-stakes test.  Young people like to have a reward for working hard, and I can’t say I blame them.  I like to have a reward … Continue reading

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Motivate Students for “The Test”

With testing season on us, here are some tips for helping build enthusiasm and motivation for that high-stakes test: Parents write letters of encouragement for their kids to read. Pass the letters out on the first day of the test … Continue reading

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Inspiring Students to Learn

As I’ve written before, a teacher’s first and foremost job is to motivate students to learn. Teachers need to look in the mirror each morning and say, “I am a motivator. I find ways to inspire every child in my class to want … Continue reading

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Can Students Help us Improve our Teaching?

When I was in the classroom teaching high school math and science, I made a practice of surveying my students at the end of each year to get feedback regarding how they perceived my effectiveness at a teacher. I realize … Continue reading

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Is Rote Memorization Getting a Bad Rap?

As an asst. superintendent of curriculum and instruction, I struggled with the balance between encouraging teachers to engage students with higher-order learning activities and the need to ensure that students simply must know certain facts that are learned by rote … Continue reading

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Prepare Students for Success on a Test

A middle school teacher shared with us her use of the acronym PIRATES to help her students develop test-taking skills. She trains her students to remember: P     Preview the test and Prepare for success. I     Inspect the Instructions on every … Continue reading

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7 Innovative Ideas that are Being Used in Schools

Education reporter Emily Alpert shares seven of the most interesting ideas she came across while writing about San Diego schools this year. As she says, “maybe you agree with them,  maybe you don’t, but they are bound to get you … Continue reading

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