"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"
Nelson Mandela

Friday, May 15, 2015


My principal asked me, what is something you learned during your 2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year?  My response, " the one person who knows what is going on in education is the teacher."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Teacher Leadership

        Teachers can find themselves working in an environment of isolation.  There are days that a teacher may not see another adult and this can be taxing on the teacher psyche. There are so many great effective teachers in our schools, but you would not know it unless you were in their classrooms.  This is where we as teachers can empower ourselves as teacher leaders.  Get out of the classroom and make an impact in our schools or even district, state or national level.
         Do you show these attributes or know a teacher in your building that has these attributes?  Teachers who exhibit leadership are good listeners, communicate well, experts in curriculum and instruction.  They are competent in the classroom, credible among their peers and most of all approachable.  These teachers are life-long learners, applying what they have learned in their classrooms.  Most of all they model leadership in their classrooms and create strong relationships in the school and the community.  If this is you, education needs you.  I understand it may take up time, time is precious but so is ensuring all students get the opportunity to be successful.  
         How can you utilize teachers who show attributes of leadership?  You can create professional learning communities within the school to allow these teachers to share their expertise in a casual setting.  Reach out to those teachers and ask for their expertise to help you become a more effective teacher.  It is imperative to use the resources we have.  You would be amazed at how much you can learn from the other teachers in your building.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Teaching is Challenging This Time of Year

Teaching is challenging this time of year, we are getting ready for state wide tests and we start to realize that there is only 4-5 months left in the school year.  These are added on top of being an effective teacher, keeping our relationships strong no matter the discipline problems that may arise, creating engaging lessons, meetings, grading papers, professional development etc…… This does not include our lives outside of teaching.  This is the time of year that we need to pay special attention to ourselves and how the stresses are affecting us.  Signs that the stress may be getting to you are finding yourself withdrawing from social interaction with colleagues, not sleeping well, a feeling of being overloaded, you become negative about situations, not enjoying activities that you normally would enjoy.  We need to remember to take care of ourselves, the 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year, Jeff Baxter  compared self care with putting on an oxygen mask on a plane, put your mask on first before you help someone else.  Sometimes we forget about our well being because we are so concerned with everyone else.  This is a characteristic of being a teacher; this is why we are amazing people doing amazing things.  What we forget is how to take care of ourselves.  Make sure you take 30 minutes if not more a day for yourself.  If that be working out with a colleague, read a book (non educational), breath, take a walk, or call a friend.  We cannot be effective teachers if we do not take care of ourselves.  Take a minute and think about what you are doing for yourself.  If nothing, make that change today, your students are depending on you to stay engaged.