Tag Archives: teaching

Advice to Sink in Slowly

With many of us gearing up for the new school year, you might think that I am about to offer you my own advice on how to Sink in Slowly.  However, I am kind of a jump-in-the-deep-end-of-the-ocean-and-hope-there-aren’t-any-sharks kind of person.  When I ran across this post by Maria Popova on Brain Pickings, though, I liked the idea of advice from students for students.

Advice to Sink in Slowly is a website dedicated to the following:  “We help graduates to pass on advice and inspiration to where it can make a difference.”  It’s hosted in the UK, and offers posters designed by graduates in Graphic Design.  The posters are sold as a fundraiser, but the site recently offered some for free to all first-year students in the UK.  However, it appears their stock has been depleted.  You can access the catalogue here, but the posters that can be currently purchased are here.

Many of these would be great to display in a classroom – or even to show to new teachers.  It would also be fun to show a few to your students (but don’t set them loose on the site, as some of the images might be considered questionable for young students), and to see if they can design their own, kind of a twist on the “write a letter to next year’s students” activity.

by Chloe Trundle for Advice to Sink in Slowly
by Chloe Trundle for Advice to Sink in Slowly
by David Plant for Advice to Sink in Slowly
by David Plant for Advice to Sink in Slowly
by Luke Tonge for Advice to Sink in Slowly
by Luke Tonge for Advice to Sink in Slowly

Arrr Ye Ready to Make This a Great Year, Matey?


You might think this is a post to remind you about Talk Like a Pirate Day, which is scheduled for September 19th.  But that would be a frivolous use of this blog space, right?  I mean, what does that have to do with education?

So, I am not going to try to convince you to talk like a pirate, but I would like to recommend that you Teach Like a Pirate – at least if you can do it the Dave Burgess way.

I first saw a reference to Teach Like a Pirate, by Dave Burgess, on Vicki Davis’ blog.  She referred to his Play-Doh activity, and I was immediately curious about what pirates have to do with Play-Do, much less teaching.  So, I downloaded it to the Kindle app on my iPad (because I wanted it immediately and Amazon told me I would have to wait 4-6 weeks).  And I have to say that I like this guy, Dave Burgess.  Apparently, I’ve been kind of trying to advocate for pirate-teaching for awhile without even realizing it.  Who knew?

In Dave’s case, “pirate” is actually an acronym for: passion, immersion, rapport, ask and analyze, transformation, and enthusiasm.  Dave asks two questions about your teaching: “If your students didn’t have to be there, would you be teaching in an empty room?”  and “Do you have any lessons you could sell tickets for?”

Hmm.  Excellent questions.

Don’t worry.  If you answered, “No,” to both of those questions, Dave has a ton of suggestions for changing things up.  His book includes 30 “Hooks” for engaging minds, including “The Mission Impossible Hook” and the “Reality TV Hook” among others.

I love Dave’s passion and I can’t wait to incorporate some of his ideas this year.  I even found this great video trailer on YouTube for a school that actually hosted a “Teach Like a Pirate” Day, which I would love to see happen at more schools.

Coincidentally, I happened to recently read Kelly Tenkely’s post about “De-Tox Week” at her school, which referenced this Pinterest board of activities that I also think would help me to Teach Like a Pirate.

I am ready to make this a great year, and to make sure my students don’t ever want to “walk the plank” right out of my classroom.  (Sorry, I know that was bad, but I couldn’t resist.)  What about you?

True Colors

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 9.01.06 PM

This performance by John Legend for TED says it all.  This is what all children want to hear from the adults in their lives.  I think it makes a good companion piece to this post by David Brooks, “The Seven Most Important People in A Child’s Life”.  And, maybe it’s the kind of connection high school student, Jeff Bliss, really wishes all teachers would establish with their students…

Real Change: Artists for Education

from "Estella's Brilliant Bus"
from “Estella’s Brilliant Bus”, one of the short clips featured here

Real Change is a television program that will air this evening, Tuesday, April 23rd, on CBS.  According to IMDb, the show “celebrates teachers and individuals who make a difference in American schools today.”

I’m not sure about you, but we are in the middle of standardized testing season here in Texas.  At a time when so many people decry the value of our school system and, sometimes, the abilities of the teachers it employs, it is nice to see some reminders that we educators really can have a positive impact.

Below, I’ve embedded the trailer for the show.  You can find other clips on this page, sponsored by Office Depot.  You can also visit this link online to watch the show – officedepot.com/realchange.  And, if you would like to give a shout out to a favorite educator, you can tweet  it, #TeachersChangeLives.

Interested in seeing more inspirational videos for teachers? Visit my Pinterest Board, http://pinterest.com/terrieichholz/inspirational-videos-for-teachers/.

To a Bright Kid with Trouble(s)

photo credit: A.Ddiction via photopin cc

In view of recent disturbing events, of which the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, is the latest in a series, I thought this post from Tamara Fisher at Education Week Teacher would be particularly apropos for today.  Although it is addressed to a “Bright Kid with Trouble(s)“, I think that all of us who work with children could benefit from the resources and advice in Tamara’s article.  And, her words may remind you of a gifted kid whose life you touch, who may need help and not know how to ask for it.

Standing Ovation for DC Public Schools

Tameka Petticolas – the subject of one of DC Public Schools’s Standing Ovation videos

It is quite obvious from looking at my blog stats that a lot of people on the internet are searching for inspirational videos for teachers.  During this time of year, when many teachers are returning to the classroom to begin a new school year, there is, perhaps, a desire to find some material that will help to motivate and invigorate these educators.

One source for inspirational teacher videos that I discovered recently is a YouTube Channel for DC Public Schools.  On this channel, there are several videos that spotlight Washington D.C. teachers who have won D.C.’s “Excellence in Teaching” Award.

Watching each of these teachers in their classrooms, and their obvious dedication to their students, reminds me of the reasons I went into Education – not for the glory of winning an award, but for the absolute delight exhibited whenever I help a child to reach his or her goal.

From what I can tell, every one of these featured teachers embody the principles of Universal Design for Learning, making them shining examples for teachers all over the world.

The video for one of the teachers, Eduardo Gamarra, is embedded below, or you can go to this link:  http://youtu.be/vy42aoC49LQ