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Opinion

Our dedicated team of bloggers share their perspectives on the latest trends and happenings in the education space. Read about their experiences and opinions, then join the conversation! Do you agree wholeheartedly, or disagree with a fervor? Either way, we'd love to hear your point of view.

5 Lessons I've Learned From Creating My College Resume
5 Lessons I've Learned From Creating My College Resume
by Patricia Willis September 2017

Your college resume is a snapshot of your accomplishments and a great way to showcase your value. Using lessons I learned can help produce a winning resume that gets noticed.

opinion applying to university
Is It Possible To Get Good ACT or SAT Scores Without Studying?
Is It Possible To Get Good ACT or SAT Scores Without Studying?
by Rachel Tustin September 2017

The SAT and the ACT are among the high-stakes tests students are required to take as part of their college application process. Some students believe that if you are smart, you can get good scores without studying. However, that mindset can be disastrous.

opinion applying to university
Should I Write in My SAT/ACT Test Booklet?
Should I Write in My SAT/ACT Test Booklet?
by Bill Sands September 2017

Students are not allowed to leave stray marks on their answer sheets for the SAT and ACT, but no such rule applies to test booklets. Making notes on this part of the test is allowed and can even help you improve your score.

opinion applying to university
Should I Take the ACT, SAT or Both? - Pros and Cons of Each Test
Should I Take the ACT, SAT or Both? - Pros and Cons of Each Test
by Bill Sands September 2017

Though the SAT and ACT may seem like very similar exams, these tests have several major differences. By learning more about these exams, you can pick the one that best suits your testing preferences and learning style.

opinion applying to university
What Parents Really Think About Online Tutoring for ACT/SAT and Other Test Prep
What Parents Really Think About Online Tutoring for ACT/SAT and Other Test Prep
by Bill Sands September 2017

Online tutoring is an increasingly popular option for test prep, but parents remain divided on its benefits. Some families embrace it for the accessibility and innovations it offers, while others remain hesitant due to concerns about quality and unfamiliarity.

opinion applying to university
SAT/ACT Tutors - How to Decide If You Need One and Find the Perfect Fit For You
SAT/ACT Tutors - How to Decide If You Need One and Find the Perfect Fit For You
by Bill Sands September 2017

Tutors are an excellent resource when it comes to test prep, but only if you pick the right one. Learn more about the role these instructors play and find out how to choose a tutor who can best help you.

opinion applying to university
Should I Help My Child Apply to College? - Words of Wisdom From Parents of Successful Kids
Should I Help My Child Apply to College? - Words of Wisdom From Parents of Successful Kids
by Rachel Tustin September 2017

Parents often question how much they should be involved in the college application process of their child. The answer isn't an easy one. However, there are some tried and true parts of the college application process where you will want to step in and help your child navigate.

opinion applying to university
How Many College Applications is Too Many?
How Many College Applications is Too Many?
by Bill Sands September 2017

While most students spend time trying to decide where to apply to college, they should also be considering how many applications to send out. Applying to too many schools can lead to a heavier workload, added stress, and tougher decisions.

opinion applying to university
Five Things I Learned About Teaching I Want to Incorporate into the New School Year
Five Things I Learned About Teaching I Want to Incorporate into the New School Year
by Rachel Tustin September 2017

Every school year, teachers approach their classrooms with ideas to freshen up their instruction based on what they've learned during their careers. Here are five strategies I want to incorporate into my teaching this school year!

opinion teacher development
What to Wear on Exam Day & Other Tips on Successfully Passing the ACT & SAT
What to Wear on Exam Day & Other Tips on Successfully Passing the ACT & SAT
by Bill Sands September 2017

When it comes time to take a standardized test, knowing the content isn't the only way you can improve your chances of success. Picking the proper attire, along with other test-taking strategies, has a major impact on your performance.

opinion applying to university
Why I Went to Community College Even Though I Already Had a Degree
Why I Went to Community College Even Though I Already Had a Degree
by Rachel Tustin August 2017

Returning to community college after earning a bachelor's degree is not easy. However, in some situations the decision to go back can be life changing. Here is my story of returning to community college.

How I Knew It Was Time to Teach at a Different School
How I Knew It Was Time to Teach at a Different School
by Rachel Tustin July 2017

Teaching is a challenging and often stressful profession. No doubt, you go to work on many days wondering if you should stay or go on to a new school. As I learned in my own teaching career, there are usually clear signs when it's time to move on.

opinion changing schools
3 Books That Every New Teacher Should Read
3 Books That Every New Teacher Should Read
by Amanda Johnson July 2017

Are you a new teacher looking for a few quick, yet informative, reads? From strategic teaching resources and lighthearted stories from the classroom to reflections on the call to teach, these three books provide a well-rounded glimpse into the world of teaching.

opinion teacher tools
How Accepting Late Assignments Helped My Students
How Accepting Late Assignments Helped My Students
by Rachel Tustin August 2017

Late work is often a hot topic for teachers and administrators. However, as teachers, our primary goal should be to educate students. Sometimes that means bending the rules and accepting late work to help our students be successful.

opinion late assignments
What I Learned on My First Day of Teaching That I've Never Forgotten
What I Learned on My First Day of Teaching That I've Never Forgotten
by Rachel Tustin July 2017

The first day of school is nerve-racking for students and teachers alike. Your first day in the classroom is full of joy and chaos, and sometimes they happen in the same moment. There are lessons teachers learn on the first day of school that they never forget.

opinion first day of teaching
I'm a Teacher and Here's My Honest Opinion on Standardized Tests
I'm a Teacher and Here's My Honest Opinion on Standardized Tests
by Rachel Tustin July 2017

Standardized testing is a hard reality we face as educators. It is a high stress, high stakes, and high pressure system that often drives our instructional decisions. So take a moment and listen to a teacher's honest opinion of standardized testing.

opinion standardized tests
How a Year-Long Project Made My Students Focused and Passionate
How a Year-Long Project Made My Students Focused and Passionate
by Rachel Tustin July 2017

Are you daunted by the prospect of projects in your classroom? Don't be. Year-long projects can ignite passion and focus in your students if you make them meaningful to both of you.

opinion year-long project
What You Can Learn from My Experience as a Young Teacher
What You Can Learn from My Experience as a Young Teacher
by Rachel Tustin July 2017

Being a young teacher is often so stressful you don't listen to advice that would make your life easier, and your teaching better. In my early years, I didn't listen enough and cost myself a lot of unnecessary work and stress. Here is my story.

Why Is Summer Reading So Important for Kids' Success?
Why Is Summer Reading So Important for Kids' Success?
by Amanda Johnson July 2017

Summer reading is critical for students to retain knowledge and skills learned in the previous school year. Students who don't read are at risk of falling behind their classmates. Parents and teachers can avoid this by making sure kids take time to read.

opinion parenting tips & tricks
Should Computers Replace Teachers in Class?
Should Computers Replace Teachers in Class?
by Patricia Willis July 2017

Whether humans can or should be replaced by machines in the classroom is a hotly debated topic and one that deserves serious consideration. How far are we prepared to go to give our students a superior education?

opinion education as a service
The 8 Best Movies to Show in Your High School History Classroom
The 8 Best Movies to Show in Your High School History Classroom
by Bill Sands July 2017

Movies can be an effective teaching tool when it comes to history, but you need to be sure that your selections are providing accurate information. Check out these recommendations for films that are both informative and entertaining.

opinion teacher tools
Why You Shouldn't Spend Your Own Money on Classroom Supplies
Why You Shouldn't Spend Your Own Money on Classroom Supplies
by Rachel Tustin July 2017

Classroom supplies are critical to teachers being able to do their jobs everyday. However, across America teachers spend large amounts of money out of their pockets to get the supplies they need. Teachers should stop spending their own money on classroom supplies and get creative in funding those needs.

opinion classroom supplies
How My Favorite Teacher Influenced My Teaching Philosophy
How My Favorite Teacher Influenced My Teaching Philosophy
by Patricia Willis July 2017

Never let it be said that a single person cannot change the world. It happened to me, thanks to one remarkable teacher who showed me the kind of instructor - and person - I wanted to be.

opinion teaching philosophy
Becoming a Mentor Is the Next Step in Your Professional Development
Becoming a Mentor Is the Next Step in Your Professional Development
by Rachel Tustin August 2017

Many advanced professionals shy away from mentoring. However, mentoring is a way you can build your professional profile while helping people at all levels of their careers.

opinion professional development
Why I Volunteered in My Kid's Classroom and You Should Too
Why I Volunteered in My Kid's Classroom and You Should Too
by Patricia Willis June 2017

Volunteering in your child's classroom benefits you, your child, the teacher, and your school community. It's something every parent should consider doing - no matter how busy you think you are.

opinion parenting
How I Improved My Relationship with My Child's Teacher
How I Improved My Relationship with My Child's Teacher
by Patricia Willis June 2017

When my son returned to school after many years as a homeschooler, I faced the inevitable issues of learning to deal with another teacher in my place. It took time and effort to develop a good relationship, but it was worth every bit to give him the support he needed.

opinion parenting tips & tricks
What We Can Change in Our Schools to Better Prepare Students for College
What We Can Change in Our Schools to Better Prepare Students for College
by Rachel Tustin June 2017

Success in college isn't just about grades and SAT scores. There are many key changes needed in schools to prepare students to be successful in college.

opinion education trends
What I Prefer My Students Call Me
What I Prefer My Students Call Me
by Patricia Willis July 2017

Are formal titles going out of style? I asked several teachers how they prefer students to address them, and not surprisingly, their answers were as different as they were.

opinion teaching
What Teachers Think About Excessive Video Gaming
What Teachers Think About Excessive Video Gaming
by Rachel Tustin June 2017

Video games are a hot topic amongst parents and teachers, with people arguing for and against their usefulness. However, when structured appropriately, video graming can be a powerful educational tool.

opinion parenting
This Is How Spanking Impacts a Child's Brain & Behavior
This Is How Spanking Impacts a Child's Brain & Behavior
by Erin Riskey June 2017

It's really no secret that spanking has been a controversial topic for quite some time now - decades, in fact. Today we'll take a scientific look at what spanking can do to a child's brain and behavior.

opinion child development
Teacher's Perspective: What is the Biggest Waste of Time During the School Day?
Teacher's Perspective: What is the Biggest Waste of Time During the School Day?
by Bill Sands June 2017

Teachers already have tight schedules, so tasks and activities that waste time are especially problematic. Let's take a look at a few factors that can eat up time during the school day.

opinion teaching
What Are My Options If College Isn't for Me?
What Are My Options If College Isn't for Me?
by Rachel Tustin June 2017

While society makes it seem like everyone needs to go to college, it isn't for everyone. There are many options for adults who are questioning if college is the right career path for them.

opinion postsecondary education options
Is an Advanced College Degree More Valuabale Than Homeownership?
Is an Advanced College Degree More Valuabale Than Homeownership?
by Rachel Tustin May 2017

We live in a time in the world where in many fields, the educational bubble has burst. We are left wondering if we should invest in advanced college degrees, or in a home. The answer to this question is far from simple.

opinion value of a degree
Which College Degrees Are the Most Valuable?
Which College Degrees Are the Most Valuable?
by Bill Sands May 2017

While all forms of college education come with some value, not all degree programs are equal when it comes to employment opportunities. The type of degree you earn can have a major impact on your career prospects and earning potential.

opinion value of a degree
Life Skills You'll Need in College That High School Didn't Teach You
Life Skills You'll Need in College That High School Didn't Teach You
by Bill Sands August 2017

Making the transition from high school to college requires some serious modifications to your personal and study habits. You'll need to learn some new skills in order to handle the increased freedom and responsibility.

opinion life skills
Get a Grip on How Your Choice of School Affects Your Career Opportunities
Get a Grip on How Your Choice of School Affects Your Career Opportunities
by Bill Sands May 2017

Choosing a college is a major decision full of implications for your future, perhaps none more important than your chances of finding a job. When selecting an institution, you'll need to be aware of how your school will help (or hinder) your career prospects.

opinion career preparation
How I Used My Experience Teaching ESL to Transition My Career
How I Used My Experience Teaching ESL to Transition My Career
by Rachel Tustin May 2017

Teaching ESL may not seem like valuable career experience to some. However, teaching ESL allows you to develop skills that will help you leverage your career in the global economy.

opinion teacher professional development
How Teaching Special Education Changed My Life & My Career
How Teaching Special Education Changed My Life & My Career
by Bill Sands May 2017

Though teaching special education can be a challenging and arduous profession, it offers numerous benefits and rewards, both professional and personal, for those willing to pursue such a career.

opinion special education
Tips for Surviving While Teaching and Earning Your PhD
Tips for Surviving While Teaching and Earning Your PhD
by Bill Sands May 2017

Trying to teach while earning a Ph.D. is an extremely demanding undertaking that requires focus, concentration, and dedication. Use these strategies to stay on top of your teaching workload and keep yourself from falling behind in your doctoral studies.

opinion balancing school & work
What School Subjects Are Going to Be in the Highest Demand in the Next Decade?
What School Subjects Are Going to Be in the Highest Demand in the Next Decade?
by Bill Sands May 2017

As the priorities of the educational system shift, certain subjects are poised to enjoy new prominence. Despite the new wave of additions, some classic topics will retain their importance in the curriculum.

opinion teacher's perspective
My Experience Transferring from Homeschooling to a Regular High School
My Experience Transferring from Homeschooling to a Regular High School
by Patricia Willis May 2017

After years of educating my son at home, I transitioned him into a local high school at his request. Here's what I did to make that transition easy on both of us and ensure he continued to thrive in school.

opinion homeschooling
Virtual Reality & Education: Ideas for the Classroom
Virtual Reality & Education: Ideas for the Classroom
by September 2017

Although still in the early stages, virtual reality is beginning to pop up in classrooms across the country. In today's post, we'll take a look at virtual reality in education, its benefits, and some ideas for using it in your classroom.

opinion education as a service
Here's How I Implemented a Reciprocal Teaching Strategy in My Classroom
Here's How I Implemented a Reciprocal Teaching Strategy in My Classroom
by Patricia Willis May 2017

Reciprocal teaching gives students a chance to switch roles with the teacher, educating their peers through a student-led dialogue that helps to reinforce reading abilities, develop critical thinking skills, and embolden students.

opinion teaching strategy
Co-Teaching Strategies That Were Effective in My Classroom
Co-Teaching Strategies That Were Effective in My Classroom
by Bill Sands April 2017

Having another teacher by your side can be an enormous benefit, but it requires plenty of communication and organization. These strategies can help you get the most out of your co-teaching experience.

opinion teaching strategy
How I Used Dialogue Journals to Build Relationships with My Students
How I Used Dialogue Journals to Build Relationships with My Students
by Bill Sands April 2017

Dialogue journals are an effective way to form relationships with your students while simultaneously improving their writing skills. Learn more about these dynamic learning tools and how they can be of use in your classroom.

opinion teaching strategy
Why You Should Start Using Podcasts in Your Classroom
Why You Should Start Using Podcasts in Your Classroom
by Elena Jacob April 2017

Not every new form of media is suitable for the classroom or conducive to learning, but podcasts can be a fantastic resource for teachers and students alike.

opinion podcasts
Why Every Student Needs Extensive Reading for Language Learning
Why Every Student Needs Extensive Reading for Language Learning
by Michelle Baumgartner April 2017

Encourage your students to read extensively and they will improve both their reading comprehension and their writing abilities - two critical aspects of language mastery.

opinion language learning
The 4 Things Teachers Must Do Before a Planned Absence
The 4 Things Teachers Must Do Before a Planned Absence
by Amanda Johnson April 2017

Planning to be absent from your teaching job in order to care for a relative, attend a family event, or for other personal reasons doesn't have to be a process. Just complete these four tasks ahead of time and you'll be on your way to planned time off.

opinion planned absence
Get Your Elementary Students Outside With These 3 Activities
Get Your Elementary Students Outside With These 3 Activities
by Bill Sands March 2017

Outdoor activities are an entertaining and engaging way to help your students learn. Keep reading for a few suggestions on tasks you can complete outside the classroom.

opinion outside learning
Should You Introduce Your Students to Blogging?
Should You Introduce Your Students to Blogging?
by Megan Patton March 2017

Introducing blogging in the classroom can open the door to new assignments and experiences for your students and help them acquire skills they may use later on in college and the work force. Should you introduce your students to blogging?

opinion blogging
New Class? Here are the 6 Ice Breakers All Teachers Should Know
New Class? Here are the 6 Ice Breakers All Teachers Should Know
by Bill Sands March 2017

Ice breakers are an invaluable tool that can help you and your students relax and get off on the right foot. Here's a couple of suggestions that will help you get to know your new class.

opinion ice breaker activities
5 Learning Tools for Middle Schoolers to Make Your Life Easier as a Teacher
5 Learning Tools for Middle Schoolers to Make Your Life Easier as a Teacher
by Patricia Willis March 2017

Learn about five of my favorite tools middle school teachers can use to make their lesson planning easier and get students engaged during those challenging tween years.

opinion learning tools
What to Teach Your Students About Digital Citizenship
What to Teach Your Students About Digital Citizenship
by Rachel Tustin March 2017

The reality is that we live in a digital society, and our students in particular are growing up with unprecedented exposure and access to the Internet and technology. As a result, we need to be more vigilant as teachers to educate our students how to be good digital citizens.

opinion digital citizenship
5 Ways to Help Your Students Have a Positive Impact on Their Communities
5 Ways to Help Your Students Have a Positive Impact on Their Communities
by Amanda Johnson March 2017

Encouraging students to make positive impacts in their community can be difficult. However, incorporating community based projects into the curriculum can help teachers encourage students to take action in ways that will benefit the community as a whole.

opinion community engagement
3 Real World Skills That You Should Be Teaching Students
3 Real World Skills That You Should Be Teaching Students
by Elena Jacob March 2017

School has an opportunity--arguably, a responsibility--to teach students much more than facts and figures. While skills like reading and mathematics are important, we must remember we are preparing children to be functional adults, not data processors.

opinion real world skills
Why You Should Use a Rotation Model in Your Classroom
Why You Should Use a Rotation Model in Your Classroom
by Bill Sands March 2017

Rotation models offer an innovative and engaging approach to classroom instruction. Check out some of the many benefits and see how this teaching strategy can benefit your students.

opinion rotational model
Easy Steps You Can Take to Help Students Appreciate Math
Easy Steps You Can Take to Help Students Appreciate Math
by Melissa Kreindel March 2017

Math is one of those subjects that students seem to love or hate. Even if your students dislike math, there are some easy steps you can take to help them appreciate math and understand why we teach it.

opinion engaging students
How to Find the Bright Side of Working with Challenging Students
How to Find the Bright Side of Working with Challenging Students
by Bill Sands March 2017

When dealing with difficult students, it's easy to get frustrated and lose your cool. By focusing on the long-term and sticking to positive reinforcement, you can stay on the bright side and turn the situation into a learning opportunity.

opinion challenging students
The Benefits of Learning What Your Students Already Know
The Benefits of Learning What Your Students Already Know
by Rachel Tustin March 2017

As teachers, we sometimes get in a rush under the pressure of standards and standardized tests just to get done. However, if we learn how to draw on what students already know, we can increase our effectiveness and perhaps even free up time to make our lessons as engaging as possible.

opinion learning
Why You Should Have Students Grade Each Other's Work
Why You Should Have Students Grade Each Other's Work
by Elena Jacob March 2017

It might look like pawning off work on students, but in reality, having students grade each other's assignments in class can have huge educational--and social--benefits.

opinion student grading
Are You Doing Enough to Prepare Your Students for the Real World?
Are You Doing Enough to Prepare Your Students for the Real World?
by Bill Sands March 2017

Though your students may wonder aloud about the real world application of course topics such as calculus and Romantic poetry, these classes serve as valuable building blocks that develop essential job and life skills for life outside the classroom.

opinion preparing students
Take Heed of These Warning Signs That You're Ready to Leave Teaching
Take Heed of These Warning Signs That You're Ready to Leave Teaching
by Patricia Willis March 2017

What do you do when the stress of overcrowded classrooms, an overreaching administration, and aggressive students becomes too much? Can you regain your love of teaching, or is it time to hang it up and look to another career?

opinion teacher burnout
How I Found Classroom Resources Without Dipping Into My Bank Account
How I Found Classroom Resources Without Dipping Into My Bank Account
by Erin Riskey March 2017

Furnishing a classroom with supplies and resources is often a tedious and expensive task for teachers, but it doesn't have to be. Keep reading to learn how I am able to supply my classroom without ever touching my personal bank account.

opinion classroom resources
Why I Prefer a Lecture-Based Teaching Style
Why I Prefer a Lecture-Based Teaching Style
by Elena Jacob March 2017

As technology advances and becomes more capable, there are many new teaching styles coming into play. There's a lot of 'new and improved' to be seen, but it's important to remember that sometimes, newer isn't always better.

opinion lecture
The Story of How I Successfully Dealt with Bullying in the Classroom
The Story of How I Successfully Dealt with Bullying in the Classroom
by Patricia Willis March 2017

Bullying can be hard to identify and deal with, especially if your students are actively trying to hide it from you. I had one such case and, while it wasn't easy, I managed to deal with it constructively and turn it into a teachable moment for my students.

opinion bullying in the classroom
Relax - Your Kids Are Learning More Than You Think!
Relax - Your Kids Are Learning More Than You Think!
by Laurie Smith March 2017

We all want our children to learn as much as they possibly can, but as homeschool parents, it's easy to worry if they're learning enough. Do you sometimes wonder if your children are really learning all they need to? Relax, and read on...

opinion homeschooling
I Got My Advanced Students To Help My Struggling Students: Here's How
I Got My Advanced Students To Help My Struggling Students: Here's How
by Patricia Willis March 2017

Getting students to see the value of helping their classmates of differing abilities isn't always easy. I've found a few key ways to make it happen and give every student the opportunity to excel.

opinion students helping students
How We Used College Instructors to Teach Our Homeschool High Schoolers
How We Used College Instructors to Teach Our Homeschool High Schoolers
by Laurie Smith March 2017

Let's face it, homeschooling your high schoolers can be tough work, but you don't have to do it alone. We used college instructors to teach our homeschoolers. Here's how we did it.

opinion homeschooling
Why I Let My Homeschooler Fail Sometimes
Why I Let My Homeschooler Fail Sometimes
by Laurie Smith March 2017

As parents, we naturally want the best for our children. Sometimes, though, children learn best from their mistakes. See why it's important that your homeschool child fails - at least once in a while!

opinion homeschooling
The Pros & Cons of Homeschool Dual Enrollment You Should Consider
The Pros & Cons of Homeschool Dual Enrollment You Should Consider
by Laurie Smith March 2017

Dual enrollment can be a great way for your homeschooled high schooler to finish high school and start college - at the same time! If you are considering this option, read on to weigh the pros and cons of dual enrollment.

opinion homeschooling
I Had My Best School Year Yet By Getting Parents Involved
I Had My Best School Year Yet By Getting Parents Involved
by Erin Riskey March 2017

Getting parents actively involved in their child's education and classroom can reap great benefits. In today's post, I'm going to explain how boosting parental involvement led to my best year of teaching yet.

opinion parents
My Secret to a Better School Year? Getting Difficult Parents on My Side
My Secret to a Better School Year? Getting Difficult Parents on My Side
by Patricia Willis March 2017

Getting difficult parents on your side is key to a productive, harmonious school year. Doing so can not only improve your outlook; it can help all your students to have a better, more positive experience in your classroom as well.

opinion parents
Here's Why Microlearning Didn't Work for Me
Here's Why Microlearning Didn't Work for Me
by Irene Cooper February 2017

Microlearning is a hot trend in corporate training, cheap and easy to incorporate into the workday. But as one new hire discovered, it's not the universal choice for developing skills and competence.

opinion microlearning
Try These Classroom Projects - Your Middle School Students Will Love Them
Try These Classroom Projects - Your Middle School Students Will Love Them
by Irene Cooper February 2017

Looking for rocking project ideas for your middle school students that will get them excited while bringing home the lesson? From board games to marketing campaigns, the following are sure to engage.

opinion classroom projects
Here's Why I Stopped Using Lectures in My Classroom
Here's Why I Stopped Using Lectures in My Classroom
by Irene Cooper February 2017

The data is in: the lecture is out as the go-to learning tool for the live classroom. Here's how one educator improved her teaching with less talk, at least from the lectern.

opinion lecture
Tips for Transferring from a Classroom Teaching Model to a Blended Classroom
Tips for Transferring from a Classroom Teaching Model to a Blended Classroom
by Lindsay Mattison January 2017

Transferring your classroom from a teaching model to a blended classroom can have an important impact on your students. Read on to learn how to successfully make this transition.

opinion blended classroom
Why I Stopped Using Letter Grades in My Classroom
Why I Stopped Using Letter Grades in My Classroom
by Erin Riskey January 2017

Recently, there has been a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of traditional letter grading systems--and for good reason. Read on to learn why I made the decision to get with the times and stop using letter grades in my classroom.

opinion letter grades
My Favorite, Most Effective Classroom Projects for Elementary Students
My Favorite, Most Effective Classroom Projects for Elementary Students
by Patricia Willis January 2017

Classroom projects are my favorite way to get my students involved and make even the most worn-out subjects come alive. With access to the Internet and a little creativity, it's possible to infuse wonder on the cheap and have some fun doing it too.

opinion classroom projects
The Classroom Disciplinary Strategies That Worked for Me
The Classroom Disciplinary Strategies That Worked for Me
by Patricia Willis January 2017

Keeping order in your classroom can seem like a losing battle, but it doesn't have to be. Using a few easy tips, you can give control back to your students and bring back the serenity you've been missing.

opinion discipline
Classroom Projects That Engaged My High School Students
Classroom Projects That Engaged My High School Students
by Bill Sands March 2017

Keeping students engaged while trying to teach them monotonous material can often be a challenge. If you find yourself having trouble getting your class to participate, check out these fun and challenging ideas.

opinion classroom projects
How the Blended Classroom Model Intensified Student Engagement in My Classroom
How the Blended Classroom Model Intensified Student Engagement in My Classroom
by Irene Cooper January 2017

When a teacher lightened up on the lectures and adopted a blended learning model in his classroom, students demonstrated deeper interest in both subject matter and each other. It's all in the balance, he says.

opinion blended classroom
How I Took Back Control of My Rowdy Classroom
How I Took Back Control of My Rowdy Classroom
by Michelle Garrigan-Durant January 2017

All teachers deal with rowdiness in the classroom from time to time, whether it involves one or two students, or the entire class. Read on to find some tips on how to take back control of your rowdy classroom.

opinion classroom control
New to Virtual Classrooms? Here's What You Need to Know
New to Virtual Classrooms? Here's What You Need to Know
by Megan Patton January 2017

So you're using a virtual classroom for the first time. Online courses can sometimes be more demanding than a traditional classroom setting, and the professors and instructions just as focused. Here are some easy ways to keep yourself accountable, plugged in, and excited about your classes.

opinion virtual classroom
Why Letter Grades Work for My Teaching Style
Why Letter Grades Work for My Teaching Style
by Patricia Willis February 2017

Letter grades give my students a clear way to measure their progress and the motivation to do well because they have a clear goal they can measure and see. They don't get that with a pass/fail system.

opinion letter grades
My Success Story with Microlearning
My Success Story with Microlearning
by Bill Sands January 2017

Microlearning is the hot trend in the education world, and for good reason. This style of teaching is extremely effective at reaching students and presents information in a clear and easily digestible format.

opinion microlearning
The Evolving Role of Teachers as Lifelong Learners: A Deep Dive with Michael B. Horn
The Evolving Role of Teachers as Lifelong Learners: A Deep Dive with Michael B. Horn
by Meghan Cooney January 2017

Expert teacher Bo Cheli and education disruptor Michael B. Horn take a deep dive into how technology and innovation are forcing the role of the teacher in the classroom, as well as our entire education system, to adapt and transform.

Why You Should Give a BYOD Classroom a Shot!
Why You Should Give a BYOD Classroom a Shot!
by Elena Jacob January 2017

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classrooms are becoming more and more popular, and with good reason--implemented correctly, the BYOD model can change the way you teach.

opinion byod classroom
How Professional Development Made Me a Better Teacher
How Professional Development Made Me a Better Teacher
by Patricia Willis January 2017

Extra training and the support of professionals I respected helped me to become the kind of teacher I wanted to be and offered me access to resources I hadn't known existed.

opinion professional development
What I Wish I Knew Before Attempting a BYOD Classroom
What I Wish I Knew Before Attempting a BYOD Classroom
by Bill Sands January 2017

BYOD classrooms have been gaining in popularity in recent years, but they are not without their fair share of risks. Before starting one of your own, you need to be ready.

opinion byod classroom
When Homeschooling Gets Hard - And How I Handled It
When Homeschooling Gets Hard - And How I Handled It
by Laurie Smith January 2017

If you have reached a point in homeschooling where things have gotten hard, take heart. Here's how I navigated the rough patches of our homeschool journey.

opinion homeschooling
Decoding the Differences Among Virtual, Hybrid & Flipped Classrooms
Decoding the Differences Among Virtual, Hybrid & Flipped Classrooms
by Elena Jacob January 2017

In the ever-changing landscape of modern classrooms, it's important to keep up with new innovations and teaching techniques. Understanding what separates virtual, hybrid, and flipped classrooms is the key to educational success in the digital age.

opinion virtual classroom
Top of the Line Ideas to Implement in Your Blended Classroom
Top of the Line Ideas to Implement in Your Blended Classroom
by Irene Cooper January 2017

The benefits of using technology in the classroom are increasingly evident but maintaining a balance between your space and lesson plans is not always easy. This post goes over some tips for creating and sustaining a blended classroom.

opinion hybrid classroom
Help, Homeschooling Is Taking Over Our Lives!
Help, Homeschooling Is Taking Over Our Lives!
by Laurie Smith January 2017

Homeschooling can be a rewarding way to educate your children, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Read on to learn how you can save your family from the grips of the homeschool monster.

opinion homeschooling
Popular Homeschool Trends You Should Try in 2017
Popular Homeschool Trends You Should Try in 2017
by Laurie Smith January 2017

It's a new year, so what better time to check out these popular trends in homeschooling? From math to history, homeschool parents everywhere are turning to these resources. It's never too early to start planning for fall!

opinion homeschooling
7 Things People Don't Tell You About Homeschooling
7 Things People Don't Tell You About Homeschooling
by Laurie Smith January 2017

No matter how much you prepare, you can't really understand exactly what homeschooling will entail until you experience it. Here are seven things I wish someone had told me before we began our journey.

opinion homeschooling
The Problem with Professional Development in Today's Schools
The Problem with Professional Development in Today's Schools
by Michelle Garrigan-Durant January 2017

Ideally, professional development aims to continually inform teachers and make them better at their jobs. The problem with professional development is that there are a few pitfalls that are often repeated, yet easily avoided, as we'll discuss here.

opinion professional development
How Homeschooling Brought Our Family Closer
How Homeschooling Brought Our Family Closer
by Laurie Smith January 2017

Our kids definitely benefited from homeschooling - both academically and emotionally. However, they weren't the only ones to benefit. Homeschooling also brought us closer as a family. Here's our story.

opinion homeschooling
How I Survived My First Year As a Homeschooling Parent
How I Survived My First Year As a Homeschooling Parent
by Laurie Smith January 2017

Homeschooling sounded like such a great idea, but a school year can be a really long time - especially the first year! Here's how I survived my first year of homeschooling our kiddos and what I learned along the way.

opinion homeschooling
Why We Are Moving Towards Virtual Instruction
Why We Are Moving Towards Virtual Instruction
by Megan Patton January 2017

With the rise in use of cellphones, tablets, and handheld devices in every day life, ever wonder when you'll have that classroom in your pocket? You already do.

opinion virtual instruction
My Convoluted Transition From Classroom Teaching to Virtual Instruction
My Convoluted Transition From Classroom Teaching to Virtual Instruction
by Rachel Tustin January 2017

We go into teaching with idealistic notions of what life will be like. But sometimes, the challenges of the classroom becomes too much. In such cases, we teachers can turn to virtual teaching to do what we came into the profession to do: make a difference.

opinion virtual instruction
Ethical Issues with Using Technology in the Classroom
Ethical Issues with Using Technology in the Classroom
by Lindsay Mattison January 2017

As we increase the use of technology in the classroom, we must also be conscious of ethical issues that arise from that technology use. Understanding the biggest ethical issues affecting our classrooms will help us better understand how to address them.

opinion technology in the classroom
10 Must Know Tips for Virtual Teaching
10 Must Know Tips for Virtual Teaching
by Amanda Johnson January 2017

Virtual teaching may sound like teaching at a more relaxed pace and flexible schedule, but in reality it involves as much work as teaching in a traditional classroom. Here's a list of important reminders that every virtual teacher should keep in mind.

opinion virtual teaching
Technology Dependency Gives Teachers Better Options for Engaging Students
Technology Dependency Gives Teachers Better Options for Engaging Students
by Elena Jacob January 2017

Technology in classrooms has always been a bit controversial. But as our society advances and attitudes shift, technology is quickly becoming an essential part of the educational process, especially when it comes to engaging students.

opinion technology dependency
My Fight for School Funding to Implement the Latest Technology in My Classroom
My Fight for School Funding to Implement the Latest Technology in My Classroom
by Patricia Willis January 2017

The battle to add new tech to our early learning classroom was harder than I had imagined it would be, but the gains our students made were worth the struggle

opinion school funding
Switching to a Hybrid Classroom Ruined My Classroom
Switching to a Hybrid Classroom Ruined My Classroom
by Rachel Tustin January 2017

Hybrid classrooms are a much talked about trend in education these days. Despite the benefits touted in the media and research, the reality is that this model is not suited to every student or teacher.

opinion hybrid classroom
What I Wish I Knew About Hybrid Classrooms Before Switching
What I Wish I Knew About Hybrid Classrooms Before Switching
by Rachel Tustin January 2017

Converting to a hybrid classroom model is tempting for educators who want new strategies to meet the needs of their students. However, if you don't have an experienced mentor to follow there are some serious pitfalls you can face.

opinion hybrid classroom
New to Blended Classrooms? Here Is Your Quick Start Guide
New to Blended Classrooms? Here Is Your Quick Start Guide
by Patricia Willis January 2017

Introducing technology into your modern classroom can offer students access to a world of information and resources, and it's easier than you might think

opinion blended classroom
How School Funding Impacts Technology in Your Classroom
How School Funding Impacts Technology in Your Classroom
by Patricia Willis January 2017

Access to funding, or lack of it, can set students on a path to success or failure in a world that is increasingly reliant on machines to connect and inform us

opinion school funding
What You Must Incorporate Into a Hybrid Classroom to Find Success
What You Must Incorporate Into a Hybrid Classroom to Find Success
by Rachel Tustin January 2017

Setting up a hybrid learning environment takes a lot of deliberate and thoughtful planning. You need to plan things from the digital infrastructure to more traditional components of teaching such as interactions and assessment.

opinion hybrid classroom
Why Virtual Teaching Will Never Ever Replace Classroom Teaching
Why Virtual Teaching Will Never Ever Replace Classroom Teaching
by Amanda Johnson January 2017

Teaching in a classroom setting may be on its way to becoming a method of the past, but it is still a training tool needed for the future, especially as a means of learning how to lead, instruct and engage students in any type of classroom setting.

opinion virtual teaching
Overcoming Legal Issues with Implementing Technology in the Classroom
Overcoming Legal Issues with Implementing Technology in the Classroom
by Laurie Smith January 2017

If you are excited about implementing technology in your classroom, you're not alone. There are so many great resources available to enhance your existing lessons. However, do you have the legal right to use them? Read on for some quick tips to navigate the legal issues and get technology into your classroom.

opinion technology in the classroom
How I Advanced My Career by Earning My Degree
How I Advanced My Career by Earning My Degree
by Patricia Willis January 2017

Putting my education first put me in the perfect position to take charge of my career. It wasn't always smooth sailing, but in the end, it was definitely worth it.

opinion career advancement
Thanks to Online Classes, I Graduated College on Time!
Thanks to Online Classes, I Graduated College on Time!
by Irene Cooper January 2017

Setbacks to graduating in a timely fashion—whether the goal is a high school diploma or a college degree—range from illness to irrelevant course offerings. One successful graduate tells how she used online classes to sprint past the hurdles and make it to the finish line in record time.

opinion online classes
Pros & Cons of the Different Instructional Environments
Pros & Cons of the Different Instructional Environments
by Rachel Tustin January 2017

Students in K-12 have access to a variety of instructional environments, including traditional, online and a hybrid of both. In this post, we'll discuss the pros and cons of all three.

opinion instructional environments
How My College Transition Was Easier Than I Thought It Would Be
How My College Transition Was Easier Than I Thought It Would Be
by Amanda Johnson January 2017

Transitioning from high school to college does not have to be as intimidating as it sounds. Many schools offer a variety of valuable resources to help students take the step from high school into college. Here's a firsthand look at how I was able to make my journey a smooth one.

opinion college transition
How Earning A Degree Helped With My Career Advancement
How Earning A Degree Helped With My Career Advancement
by Lindsay Mattison December 2016

Committing to a college education put me in the perfect position to take charge of my career. It involved a lot of hard work, but in the end it definitely helped me to become more successful.

opinion career advancement
Things People Don't Tell You About Your First Year of Teaching
Things People Don't Tell You About Your First Year of Teaching
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

There are lot of things people don't tell you about teaching for the first time. It is stressful and overwhelming, but there are some strategies you can use to make it a lot more fun.

opinion new teacher
How Virtual Teaching Changed My Teaching Approach
How Virtual Teaching Changed My Teaching Approach
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Teaching in a virtual environment was a fascinating experience that made me reconsider how I connected to all my students, making me a much better teacher than I was before the experience.

opinion virtual teaching
Beware: Lessons From Setting Up My Virtual Classroom
Beware: Lessons From Setting Up My Virtual Classroom
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Setting up a virtual classroom is a challenge if you have no idea what you're doing - and I didn't. Learn from my mistakes and take your online lessons to another level.

opinion virtual classroom
The Downsides of Implementing a Blended Classroom
The Downsides of Implementing a Blended Classroom
by Laurie Smith December 2016

Blended classrooms open a world of possibilities for your students. However, this new world of learning comes at a cost. Read on to learn more about the downsides of blended classrooms.

opinion blended classroom
How I Transformed My Classroom to Incorporate Active Learning
How I Transformed My Classroom to Incorporate Active Learning
by Patricia Willis December 2016

A few simple tools, a small cash investment, and the support of my fellow educators made it possible for me to transform a borrowed classroom and incorporate active learning on a budget.

opinion active learning
How Changing to a Hybrid Classroom Helped Catapult My Students to Success
How Changing to a Hybrid Classroom Helped Catapult My Students to Success
by Rachel Tustin January 2017

Hybrid classrooms are a unique opportunity for educators. This design allows students to take control of their academics and become more self-directed learners with deeper critical thinking skills.

opinion hybrid classroom
How Technology Is Helping Alternative Learning Groups
How Technology Is Helping Alternative Learning Groups
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Students who would once struggle to keep up with the rest of the class are now thriving in today's classroom thanks to technology. In fact, new technology and online resources bring learning to students in a way that was once seen as little more than science fiction.

opinion technology
How Technology Dependency Has Changed the Teaching Landscape
How Technology Dependency Has Changed the Teaching Landscape
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Technology impacts everything we do, including education. What does our constant connection mean for our modern classroom and what can we do to help our students overcome their addiction?

opinion technology dependency
What I Wish I Knew Before My 1st Year of Teaching
What I Wish I Knew Before My 1st Year of Teaching
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

When they say hindsight is 20/20, it is definitely true for teachers. While teacher training programs do their best to prepare you for the job, there are so many things I wish I had known going into the classroom. These tips will help you with the reality of your first year in the classroom.

opinion new teacher
The Biggest Surprises From My 1st Year of Teaching - And How to Prepare for Them
The Biggest Surprises From My 1st Year of Teaching - And How to Prepare for Them
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

We think when we leave a teacher preparation program that we are prepared for the classroom. But the reality is that there are many surprises first-year teachers experience that college can't prepare them for. Brace yourself for these surprises to make your first year in the classroom a smoother and happier time.

opinion new teacher
Online Classes Helped Me Get Ahead in College
Online Classes Helped Me Get Ahead in College
by Erin Riskey January 2017

Have you ever considered enrolling in online college classes? Have you wondered what the benefits of online classes are? Here, you'll learn how online classes gave me a head start in college and how they can do the same for you.

opinion online classes
How I Used Online Classes as an Alternative Learning Opportunity
How I Used Online Classes as an Alternative Learning Opportunity
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Online classes allowed me to reach my educational goals and improve my life on my own time without sacrificing the things that mattered most to me in the process

opinion online classes
Why My Classroom is an Active Learning Only Zone
Why My Classroom is an Active Learning Only Zone
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Teaching children requires flexibility, choice, and an openness to try new things in order to facilitate learning. An active classroom has the potential to do all that and more when used properly.

opinion active learning
Why Attending Community College Worked for Me & My Career
Why Attending Community College Worked for Me & My Career
by Lindsay Mattison December 2016

If you're trying to decide between a community college or university education, let me share my story. My community college program helped me to land my dream job, advancing my career without driving me into debt. Read on to find out how!

Here's How I Successfully Prepared for My 1st Year of Teaching
Here's How I Successfully Prepared for My 1st Year of Teaching
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Taking a few simple steps ahead of my first year of teaching helped me to walk into my classroom composed, confident, and ready to give my students the best year ever

opinion new teacher
How Virtual Instruction Can Help Alternative Learning Groups
How Virtual Instruction Can Help Alternative Learning Groups
by Patricia Willis December 2016

For students who are poorly or incompletely served by their local schools, a virtual classroom can provide the ideal solution and level the educational playing field.

opinion virtual instruction
Thinking About a No Homework Policy? Here's What You Should Know
Thinking About a No Homework Policy? Here's What You Should Know
by Amanda Johnson December 2016

Homework has been around since the early 20th century and so has the debate of whether or not homework is a healthy policy for students. This editorial piece explores homework, its history, and its purpose so that you can decide if the no homework policy is right for you.

opinion no homework policy
Things You Don't Think About While Transitioning to College
Things You Don't Think About While Transitioning to College
by Jordan Mitchell December 2016

If you're about to go to college, there are a few things you may not have considered about the transition. While immensely important, such aspects go overlooked by thousands of students each year, leading to a needlessly stressful period of time. To help you be among the prepared, this article discusses a few key areas that you should focus on for a smooth college transition.

opinion college transition
My Favorite Things About Being a Virtual Teacher
My Favorite Things About Being a Virtual Teacher
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

Being a virtual teacher offers you the best of the teaching world. You get to spend your time focusing on student relationships, while often enjoying a flexible schedule and saving money.

opinion virtual teacher
What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Virtual Teacher
What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Virtual Teacher
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

Whereas some people will think that virtual teachers have an easy job because they don't have to manage a traditional classroom, the reality is far from that. Virtual teachers face a variety of challenges unique to their teaching situation.

opinion virtual teacher
What I Would Have Done Differently During My College Transition
What I Would Have Done Differently During My College Transition
by Jordan Mitchell August 2017

The transition to college can be intimidating, especially with so many unknowns involved. To help make your transition as smooth as possible, here are some tips from someone who's been there and done that - and what she'd do differently.

opinion college transition
The Reasons Why Virtual Teaching Is Supplanting Classroom Teaching
The Reasons Why Virtual Teaching Is Supplanting Classroom Teaching
by Patricia Willis December 2016

New technology, teacher shortages and the rise of internet-based classrooms may spell the end for the traditional classroom, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing.

opinion virtual teaching
I Increased Student Participation Remarkably with Active Learning
I Increased Student Participation Remarkably with Active Learning
by Patricia Willis December 2016

Engaging my students with active learning exercises helped to improve their scores, made learning more interesting, and even improved their self-confidence.

opinion active learning
My Reaction When I Learned My Child's School Implemented a No Homework Policy
My Reaction When I Learned My Child's School Implemented a No Homework Policy
by Irene Cooper December 2016

The debate over the pluses and minuses of homework for K-12 students has been going back and forth in the United States since the 1940's. One mother, particularly, was delighted when her daughter's school recently decided to nix the take-home worksheets and limit the coursework to the school day.

opinion no homework policy
Why I Believe in a No Homework Policy to Keep My Students More Engaged
Why I Believe in a No Homework Policy to Keep My Students More Engaged
by Patricia Willis January 2017

Killing the homework assignments in my class increased engagement and lead to healthier, happier students that are more invested in learning what I have to teach them.

opinion no homework policy
What I Wish I Knew Before Taking Online Classes in College
What I Wish I Knew Before Taking Online Classes in College
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

Some students believe online courses are an easy way to earn college credits. The reality is that online and traditional face-to-face courses present similar challenges, which we'll discuss in this post.

opinion online classes
The High School to College Transition Was Much Harder Than I Expected
The High School to College Transition Was Much Harder Than I Expected
by Michelle Garrigan-Durant December 2016

When I was in high school, my only thoughts about transitioning to college involved the college application process and which college I would eventually choose. I didn't consider how challenging it would be for me to transition from high school to college, both academically and socially.

opinion college transition
Here's Why No Homework Policies Don't Work
Here's Why No Homework Policies Don't Work
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

The homework debate has waged in America for decades. Do we give too much homework? Do we not give enough homework? This has spurred no homework policies initiated by teachers all the way to school administrators. Despite the wave of no-homework policies, the reality is that they are ineffective in battling student underachievement.

opinion no homework policy
My Biggest Surprises While Taking Online Classes
My Biggest Surprises While Taking Online Classes
by Michelle Garrigan-Durant December 2016

When I decided to get my MS degree a few years ago, I knew my hectic work schedule wouldn't allow me to take traditional classes. New to online learning at the time, I completed my degree in 2015 without ever stepping into a classroom. Read on for my biggest surprises while taking online classes.

opinion online classes
Why You Should Assign Homework Over the Holidays
Why You Should Assign Homework Over the Holidays
by Rachel Tustin December 2016

There is a great debate amongst parents and educators alike about assigning homework over holiday breaks. There are definite benefits for students completing homework over winter break, especially when it is designed appropriately.

opinion holiday homework
Here's Why Holiday Homework Assignments Are Not Worth It
Here's Why Holiday Homework Assignments Are Not Worth It
by Erin Riskey December 2016

Homework has always been a controversial topic, but when it's assigned over the holidays, it can spark even more debate. Let's take a look at why holiday homework assignments are just not worth it.

opinion holiday homework
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