Blogs offer an excellent way for communities to come together over a common interest despite physical location. Whether they are in Alaska or Hawaii, Educators and students completing online degree programs for Education can take advantage of this shared pool of knowledge to find inspiration, enhance their teaching, and help students learn more. The following blog posts come from a variety of bloggers sharing their passion and insight.
These posts take a look at what makes a good teacher and will inspire you to appreciate what you do or maybe even improve your style as an educator.
- What Makes a Good Teacher. This post from The Reading Workshop includes six important elements of effective teachers.
- Top 5 Character Traits of Great Teachers. This list is actually a compilation from a reader survey and includes many great traits of quality teachers.
- "Steal". This teacher considers use of the word "steal" when discussing teaching ideas and urges teachers to embrace collaboration as a means to better teaching.
- Reminders to teachers: Don’t get sick. This post, authored by W.R. Chandler from northern California, highlights what can happen with a poor-quality substitute teacher and offers suggestions for the next time you must be absent.
- Are you trained or educated?. This thought-provoking post asks you to consider whether you are trained or educated as an educator.
- Short Story: On Mercy Killing in the First Grade (or, how I stopped worrying and learned to appreciate punch lines). Read how this educator learned an important life lesson in the first grade.
- Training. This post compares how teachers-in-training are taught to the education of students and wonders at the differing standards held for each.
- Do Leaders Wear Jeans? Does What You Wear Show Who You Are?. This article offers a great approach to fitting in fashion-wise–even in jeans, and was written by Liz Strauss from Chicago, Illinois.
- On being a passionate beginner. Learn why it is important to welcome failure and embrace the newness of situations to become a better teacher.
- 5 Altruistic Values of Teaching. This post offers a great reminder of why many educators entered into the field of teaching.
Working with Students
Learning about how students learn, perceive, and grow and discovering how you can help students succeed are the focus of these blogs.
- Paul Potts, Susan Boyle, and the problem of undiscovered talent in schools. This brief post urges educators to help recognized untapped potential in students.
- How Much is a Field Trip Worth?. Examine the educational value of taking learning–and students–out of the classroom.
- Home Ec Returns. Learn what Michael Mazenko says about the importance of teaching practical skills to high school students in this post. Mazenko is an AP English Teacher in Colorado.
- Tutoring is like a GPS. This thoughtful post explores how teachers and tutors can work best to help students truly learn.
- Why A Financial Education Should Not Be Postponed. Directed more specifically at parents, but an important reminder for educators as well, this post shares why children should learn about finances from an early age.
- How DO We Learn Math?. This post explores the ways in which students learn math and how to incorporate these styles into effective learning.
- The Library of Congress Pushes Primary Sources. Find out about this initiative at the Library of Congress and why teachers should support primary sources for students.
- Ways of the Teacher-Feminist: Text, schema, and stereotypes, oh my!. This post looks at why it is important to teach diversity in the classroom.
- When Parents do the Homework. This blog post offers a gentle reminder that the best way to get a student to do their own homework is by assigning child-appropriate tasks.
- Knowledge is the Key. This teacher looks at the connection between knowledge and learning and shares some reading material that helped shape his approach as a teacher.
- What do General Education Teachers Need To Know about Special Education. Learn about the importance of IEPs and how you can better serve your students by understanding what is written in them.
- 52 Teachers, 52 Lessons: Week 14. See what this teacher has to say about picking your battles in the classroom in this blog post that is part of an ongoing series intended to offer helpful information for teachers.
Ideas, Tips, and Resources for the Classroom
Find great suggestions and resources you can use in the classroom with these posts.
- The Best Places To Find Theatrical Movies On Science, Math, & History. Everyone loves movies, so learn how you can incorporate movies in your science, math, and history classes here.
- Expressive Social Studies. Find a handful of methods for bringing history and social studies lessons to life.
- Writing Tip #3: Pictures aren’t Just for Babies. Use this tip to encourage students to write more descriptively.
- Essential Gardening Books for Kids. This list not only names some great gardening books to use in school, each is accompanied by an age level and what is special about the book.
- More Classroom Ideas for Old Fashioned Index Cards. Get some creative and inexpensive ideas for using index cards in the classroom.
- Serial Success: 6 Strategies for School. These six tips offer suggestions for making the most of the students’ time in class. These tips are geared toward older students.
- Teaching Students to Ask the Right Kinds of Questions. Learn ways to encourage students to ask questions and ask well-thought out questions at that.
- Finding Their Voices. This blogger attempts to define the tricky term of "voice" in a way that may help you share that knowledge with your students.
- Look to Learn Launched. Discover this new resource that strives to help teachers promote media-rich learning opportunities in the classroom.
- Teaching Antigone. This teacher shares an effective way to teaching Antigone to high school sophomores.
- Reflections on Student Blogging. Get great tips and suggestions from this teacher on how to start blogging with your middle and high school students.
- Educational Videos. This post introduces the PBS library of American History in Videos as well as tips on integrating videos in your lessons.
The Economy and Education
The recent economic downturn has affected education in many ways. Read these posts to see what others are saying about education and the economy.
- Will There Be "Urban" Poverty in the Future? From the Inner-City to the Doughnut. This post takes a look at the connection between education, funding, and the spread of poverty out of inner cities.
- The Impact of Market Norms on Education…. Bill Ferriter shares his thoughts on an educational system that has moved from one based on social norms to one based on market norms.
- The Need for Breakfast Clubs. This call for a Canadian breakfast program emphasizes the need for a healthy breakfast each day to ensure the best start for students.
- Part 1: What is happening with teaching jobs?. This is the first in a five-part series examining teaching jobs in America and what is happening to help prevent teacher layoffs.
- A Dozen Ways to Save Dough. These twelve tips offer suggestions for administrators to consider when feeling the financial pinch.
- The Union President’s Dilemma. Take a look at how the current financial crisis is impacting school districts and some of the tough choices that are being forced on educators.
- Poverty and Education – The Challenge of Improving Schools. This post explores the issue of educating students faced with the challenges of living in poverty.
- Education is harder to steal (and therefore also harder to tax) than physical wealth. Here’s one man’s perspective on why spending on education is a smart move.
- Work-Study Will Get a Boost. Referencing a recent article in the New York Times, this post illustrates the importance of work-study programs for students.
- Education Publisher’s Perspectives on the Economic Downturn – Panel on Education Technology. Read this post that encapsulates a panel Q&A of four learning publishers’ perspectives on the economy and education technology.
Educational Issues and the Future of Education
Many feel that the educational system is in need of reform. Others may not see that need so much, but recognize changes that are coming. Find out what people are saying about the current and future issues central to education.
- Let’s just put them all in jail 24/7. This post offers a thoughtful counter-position to Arne Duncan’s statements that schools should be open 6 days a week for 11 or 12 months of the year.
- Newton lectured to empty rooms. Not only does this post warn against the dangers of boring lectures, it also theorizes on why some lecturers prefer this manner of teaching.
- International Tests of Mystery. Nancy Flanagan writes an intelligent post examining the differences behind various tests and what they measure and argues for investing in education of all students, regardless of their scores.
- Jacks of All Topics, Masters of None. Based on a recent study that shows high school students who study a topic deeply perform better than those who do not, this post explores the downfalls of teaching to the test.
- Curricula: a short essay about education. This post advocates restructuring education so that it is a more natural form of learning and teaching–with better results and less work to make it happen.
- The Retention Myth. This post reflects on current thinking about retaining science and math teachers.
- John Rawls is Twisting in His Grave. Read about the voucher system in connection with providing appropriate education for children with disabilities who cannot afford private education here.
- Education Reform and the Freedom to Mod. Andy Carvin explores what education reform looks like to many teachers and parents.
- Innovation And It’s Discontents. This post provides links to several other posts discussing innovation, teacher satisfaction, private capital in education reform, and more.
- Schools Taking a Bite Out of Lunch Time. Find out why some schools are changing the way lunch time looks at the elementary level.
Every teacher knows that behavioral issues can disrupt class, especially teachers with a background or bachelor’s degree in Management. Read these posts to learn effective classroom management techniques to enhance what you already know.
- Catch them Doing the Right Thing. This veteran teacher explains why this method of positive reinforcement works well to encourage effective learning and better classroom behavior.
- Where Does Hard Work Come From?. Mr. McGuire ponders from where student motivation derives and opens the comments up to hear from readers.
- My classroom management plan on Scribd. Check out the suggestions shared by this elementary teacher with her revised classroom management plan.
- Losing It (In the Classroom). This post focuses on managing teacher anger in the classroom.
- A Time for Timeout?. Specifically for those teaching younger students, this post explores time-outs and effective use of them.
- Do It Now or Else. This post shows just why spending extra time for students with behavior problems is necessary.
- America’s Next Top Student. This teacher talks about appropriate dress for students.
- Lost My Cool. This teacher shares her frustration and how both she and her classroom came through the incident successfully.
- Self Esteem: Part 1. Exploring the connection between low self-esteem and behavior issues, this post proposes that relying on teachers to raise self-esteem through feel-good tactics is not an effective method of dealing with these situations.
- Que? – A Funny Experience I Had as a First-Year. This story will not only give you a chuckle, but may help put your classroom difficulties in perspective.
Technology is the topic among these blog posts–from blogging to Internet safety to making the most of your technology funds.
- Chatting Up Internet Safety. This teacher explains how she used Chatzy with a 7th grade class to work on Internet safety and technology.
- Keeping students cybersafe!. This blog post offers suggestions on how you can protect your students while enjoying blogs in the classroom.
- Responsible blogging. Based on a collaborative effort between a teacher and his 10th grade students, this is the list of rules they developed for safe blogging.
- Managing Comments and Posts On Student Blogs Using Google Reader. Sue Waters provides an easy way to keep up with student posts and includes a helpful tutorial on how to set it up with Google Reader.
- Around the World with 80 Schools. Read this post for an inspirational way to use Skype in the classroom to connect your students with others around the world.
- TECH & TE(A)CH. Explore how technology has become an important element in education and think about ways in which it can best be used.
- Re-Visioning the Writing Classroom. This teacher used a computer lab opportunity to improve writing skills in a 5th grade class.
- Project This! Technology Purchasing Priorities. Learn what pieces of technology should be purchased prior to others so that you can build your resources efficiently.
- 50 Awesome Semantic Apps for Educators. Educators who are looking for ways to take advantage of the semantic web will appreciate these tools to help get the job done.
- The future of e-learning is social learning. Find out what Jane Hart has to share about e-learning and social learning.
- Taking It Global with TIGed. This program allows students to connect globally with others. Learn how you can incorporate the same technology and learning in your classroom.
- Your Digital Dossier. Learn about digital portfolios and why they matter to you as an educator.
- Copyright for Educators. This blog post includes an hour-long presentation on copyright issues specifically for teachers.
Preparing Students for Life after High School
Whether you are a high school teacher or counselor, if you are in a position to help students make the transition to life after high school, then you should check out these posts.
- who says you have to go to college?. Advocating preparing students for life and successful careers doesn’t have to depend on college, this blogger explores the possibility of students who are not college material still succeeding.
- Don’t Go to College. This article proposes an alternative method for those who choose not to go to college to showcase their skills and talents without the negative connotation of not having a degree.
- Tech Education Opens Career Doors for Working Adults. This post describes how many adults can opt for tech education rather than college to succeed in having a promising career.
- Book Review: 411 SAT Prep Series. Find out why this book is recommended as a great SAT prep for high school students.
- 100 Terrific Tools and Resources to Find Your Perfect College. This blog post offers tons of resources for students looking for a college, including how to select, financial aid, and more.
- Rejection tweeting. Take a glimpse at some students Tweets in reference to their college application rejections.
- Why Earn an MBA? An MBA degree pays off!. If you have students who are the business school type, share this blog post with them when considering their future.
- 23 Warning Signs of Scholarship Scams. Scholarships offer promise to those who may not be able to afford college, but help ensure your students are applying for legitimate scholarships with the help of this article.
- Stanley Tate says; “Don’t Raise Tuition. Raise Hell!”. Think about the perspective presented here that institutes of higher learning are taking advantage of students when they raise tuition.
- SCAMPER Your Way to Success. Learn this technique to help students prepare for college life.
- How to Get off the College Wait List. This article offers suggestions to help students get off the wait list and accepted into a college of their choice.
Links to Resources
The following blog posts provide lists and links that offer plenty of additional resources on everything from online lectures to tools for using Twitter.
- 100 Free Online Lectures that Will Make You a Better Teacher. This blog post shares online lectures that can inspire you as a teacher.
- 50 Online Reference Sites for Teachers. This listing is a great resource for teachers looking for quality online resources for students and educators.
- 122 For You: Cool Cat Teacher’s Favorite Apps, Software, and Sites. In order to give back to a community that has taught this teacher so much, she has compiled a list of all the apps, software, and sites that she finds helpful both professionally and personally.
- Friday Five – Finding Ada (Role Models of Women in Tech). Get several sites that present women as role models in the field of technology from this blog post.
- Get Smart: Receive Daily Learning Inspiration. This blog post tells you how to sign up to receive daily updates with information about learning resources, books, and more.
- 100 Tips, Apps, and Resources for Teachers on Twitter. Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced Twitter user, these resources will offer something for you.
- Top 100 Tools for the Twittering Teacher. Get 100 great tools to enhance your Twitter experience at school.
- Digital Image Resources on the Deep Web. This blog post offers tons of links to resources offering quality digital images.
- 100+ Open Courseware Resources for Teachers. Teachers using open courseware material to enhance their personal knowledge or to use in the classroom will find useful information here.
- Student Tools – Let them fly!. This teacher has compiled a good list of web 2.0 tools students can use in the classroom to enhance their learning.