All about teaching with technology for teachers and teacher educators to share, comment, repost and view.

AERA Day 2: Making Sense out of Meaning

My brain is still spinning with musings from AERA Day 2 in which I was honored to meet Dr. Linda Darling Hammond, albeit it was in the bathroom.  I saw her reflection and couldn't help but say "Linda" she responded "yes" , and I responded "I love your work Linda" (there would be a picture of us here if it was not for the situation). 

Getting to meet the guru of teacher professional development in the most unlikely place makes this event so exciting.  But what drives me out of bed every morning is the opportunity to meet so many other researchers in the field of education who are creating a ripple effect in the field of education.  Just like Linda, they too have an impact on the lives of students and teachers in public education.  

Day 2 was a hodgepodge of papers and presentations from researchers around the world.  I was happy to learn that professors from California State University, East Bay are developing a toolkit, Next Gen ASET for teacher educators to influence how preservice teachers are prepared to teach science.   The heavy lifting they are doing to develop this science education frameworks will certainly support teacher's efficacy and ability to teach science.  

Technology is also having a much bigger place and space at this year's AERA conference.  Several studies focused on the impact of technology on student learning and teacher professional growth.  A study by IES showed that technology is influencing student learning and the gap between computers at home and income is shrinking

Facebook and Twitter were popular social media platforms for researchers to examine how technology mediates teacher professional development (note this is how I promote my blog maybe a future study here).  One study by Zainuddin and colleagues found that Facebook has a positive impact on preservice teachers social interaction, knowledge sharing and problem-solving.  Another study by Dr. Fischer at UCI  examined what elements of Twitter influence teacher interaction.  Although negative Tweets get much media coverage these days, with teachers it is positive and caring tweets that get the most attention.  The idea that this particular tool is open, democratic and collaborative with less hierarchical leadership structures is what it makes it so popular and engaging for teachers.  

 We are at the final stretch today! My colleague Cynthia Sistek-Chandler and I will be at our poster session: Investigating the Motives, Strategies, and Tensions of Instructional Technology Coaches: How Coaches Influence Teachers' Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge.  I know it's a long title but there is a high correlation between title word count and acceptance rate at AERA ;) This is part of the SIG (Special Interest Group)
"Technology as an agent of change for teaching and learning"  today at 12:25 so it's times to pack up and get ready to go! If you are in the NYC area I will be at the New York Hilton Midtown, third floor Americas Hall from 12:25-1:55 today I promise to capture a picture and post in my final day of AERA musings. 

I finally made it to my first Broadway Show Phantom of the Opera

See you all on the flip side as I travel back to my hometown of Santa Cruz this evening and I hope to see you all again next year in Ontario for AERA 2018! Read my first day of musings here

Day 1: AERA 2018 New York City

My first day at the American Education Research Association (AERA) 2018 conference was met with a few challenges, one being trying to walk successfully around Times Square while using Google Maps to find hotel locations.  I believe there are over ten hotels where conferences sessions are being held at this year's conference.  Overall I logged a total of 5 miles  and 10,123 steps. 

                                   Selfie in Times Square! 

I was fortunate to be selected to present my research paper on "The Role of Teacher Leadership for Promoting Professional Development" this morning at the Special Interest Group on School and University partnerships. It was a great panel focused on how universities are partnering with schools to build teacher capacity and support professional development and teacher pipelines. Check out my presentation below! 

The rest of the afternoon I spent attending sessions where my other research interests lie such as in science education for elementary teachers, and social media.  I really enjoyed learning about Jason Engerman's work on the role of gaming experiences as an ethnographic phenomenon.  You can read about his work here.  His research resonated with me about the value of gaming for student learning, and that there is a boy's crisis in education that should call forth a change to how we teach.  In an earlier paper Sousan Arafeh shared that most students don't have access to mobile devices during school and so this connects back to my research area in teacher professional development.  The reality is technology will  become available to students once teachers' develop the efficacy to use it in the classroom.  

After a day packed of conference sessions I attended the USC alumni mixer and met my classmate Dr. Jerry Sun who is now a professor in Taiwan.  I am so proud of him and the work he has accomplished.  As Jerry shared USC has really prepared us to follow our dreams and pursuits in education, and ironically that is the theme of this year's conference "The Dreams Possibilities and Necessity of Public Education" 

Public education has opened many doors for me in my life.  Growing up in the projects of Boston, I have come a long way and education has made it possible.  I look forward to sharing more research rumblings tomorrow in Day 2 of AERA events! 

Join our Facebook Group Teacher Prep Tech to be part of our digital discussion or consider writing for us and sharing your research with a larger teacher community! 
Read Day 2 Musings here


Top Two Tips to Ditch that Paper Trail

If you've been in education as long as I have you probably remember the days when 6 foot file cabinets were considered an asset in your class and you would take it and move it no matter the cost or extraneous circumstances (and I had quiet a few, try moving your classroom every three months)!  These giant storage containers were a blessing when having a paper trail was a necessity and not just a curse.  

Today, storage has gone digital and you might be considering upgrading your Google Drive account to 100GB (like I did) rather than parking one of these classics in your classroom.   In the 21st century classroom having extra space is a necessity.  How can your students be expected to communicate, collaborate and construct knowledge if there's no room to move about.   

So are you ready to go paperless and leave your chevy classic in that creepy storage room with the rest of the antiques this summer?That reminds me the first time I went into our school storage room I encountered rat poop but thought it was chocolate jimmies! 

So glad those storage days are OVER!!!

And you can be too! 
Step 1: Manage your online Classroom with Google Classroom
There's no reason to spend your time at the xerox machine, or circling your class to find your magical notebook that always disappears.  When it's "in the cloud" you can find what you need on your tablet, smartphone, desktop or laptop.   Not only will you be digital but your students will be too! All you need to do is share your assignments, presentations and files for your students to access. You can create a class for all of your periods and invite your students by sharing your Google Classroom Code or their email addressed. 

Here are a few of the awesome features you will find with Google Classrooms:
  • Assign work and differentiate assignments.
  • Post announcements and share resources.
  • Grade an assignment with your feedback.
  • Use the Parent Notification feature to keep parents up-to-date.
  • Store all your files and assignments in one place.
  • Digital records of all student work without any printer needed.
  • Use to manage student behavior digitally.
  • Share notes with parents, special education teachers, and other colleagues.

Step 2: Record Anecdotal records with Evernote.  
If you're like me, having a cell phone in hand has replaced the clipboard I use to carry when I started teaching decades ago (yes I am old).  With Evernote I have access to another FREE tool that can break my habit of buying one too many notebooks that become a catch-all for everything including my four-year old daughters stick figures.  Anecdotal notes can be recorded by typing, speaking and taking images on your smartphone, tablet or computer.  Here's my favorite ways to use Evernote for Anecdotal records: 

  • Record students fluency by creating an audio note. 
  • Take snapshots of students work when they are using manipulatives to show what they know in math. 
  • Create files for students in your class to organize work samples (digital portfolio). 
  • Set reminders to work with certain students and record what they need to work on.
  • Keep track of student behavior.
  • Share notes with parents, special education teachers and other colleagues.  

    Rather than share with you a plethora of web-based tools to choose from I've shared with you my top two to get you started and KISS.  I've realized that when working with teachers sometimes less is more.  Hopefully by including these two tools into your teaching toolbox you will find more time to do something for yourself, after you get rid of the six-foot file cabinet of course! 

Please share with us your favorite webtools for being productive as a teacher, or better yet write for us and promote your digital footprint with my lovely audience! 

Join our digital discussion on Facebook Group: Teacherpreptech

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


5 Reasons Why You Should Flip Your Classroom

The Need for Flipped Learning in our Classrooms
By Guest Blogger: Dom Gibson
Flipped learning has long been used as a highly effective pedagogical
approach in classrooms. Flipped classrooms completely transform
the nature of the in-class activities of the students. Instead of
teacher-delivered lectures, students receive the curriculum content
through other mediums. These include online video lectures and
other delivery tools utilizing cutting-edge educational technologies.
However, it’s not technology but the pedagogy of flipped classrooms
that matters. By delivering content outside of class, students and
teachers alike can utilize the in-class time period for other
activities. Students are able to listen to video lectures online,
for instance, and then use classroom time for discussions. This
enables a more interactive learning experience, with a deeper
understanding of educational concepts. It also allows the instructor
to provide more personalized mentoring to the students.
Flipped learning offers overwhelming advantages when compared to
traditional classrooms. Here are some of the key reasons why we
need flipped learning in our classrooms.

1. Making it relevant for the students
Students today have a digitally connected lifestyle. From Facebook to
Youtube and gaming apps, they spend a considerable time everyday
online. For many kids, their mobile devices are with them 24/7, even
if they are forced to shut them down in traditional classrooms.
When such students are taught in traditional classrooms, they feel
a disconnect. It’s hard for them to relate to a pedagogical method
which they consider obsolete.
Flipped learning takes a different approach. By utilizing the same tools
which students already use, on devices which they already have,
flipped learning makes the educational experience incredibly relevant
for the students. Students are able to connect with the flipped
approach and this leads them to enthusiastically participate in it.

2. Making it more interactive
In traditional classrooms, the teacher typically spends most of the
time delivering a lecture-style lesson. Student-teacher interaction
is limited and usually happens in the form of questions and answers.
Some traditional classrooms may use interactive activities such as
discussions but lectures remain the mainstay of such classrooms.
Flipped learning, on the other hand, removes the content delivery
from the classrooms. Content is delivered online or through other
means outside of the classroom. This means that the in-class time is
entirely available for interactive activities. For students, this means a
more fun and engaging way of grasping concepts which they have
already read about. For teachers, this affords an opportunity to spend
more time on individual students and cater to their unique
educational needs.

3. Helping all students to excel
Every classroom has students of various learning abilities. Some are
quick to grasp the key concepts, others
take some time and may require a more interactive approach.
Flipped classrooms provide the opportunity to cater to this entire
range of abilities.
By being able to walk around the classroom, engage in discussions
and talk to students, teachers are able to discern their learning needs
better. They can, for instance, spontaneously create discussion groups
for all students struggling with a given concept. Then they can focus
on this group to help them learn more effectively. Alternatively, the
teacher can assign each student with a keen understanding to help a
few struggling students. This leads to healthier student-student
interactions while helping all students to excel in the classroom.

4. Catering to all learning speeds
In a traditional classroom, the teacher delivers lessons at their own
pace. For some students, this pace is good enough to grasp the key
concepts. For others, the teachers are either too slow or too quick.
If they are too slow for the students, students lose interest.
If they are too quick, students miss out on many things.
Contrast this with flipped classrooms. Online video lessons allow
students to play, rewind, pause and replay the lectures as many
times as they want. As a result, each student is able to digest the
content at his or her own pace. For students who struggle with any
concept, they can easily replay the lecture as many times as they
want and consult it again whenever they like. This makes the content
delivery in flipped classrooms a truly revolutionary learning
experience for the students.
5. Accommodating the student lifestyle
Gone are the days when being at school meant having a simple
combination of playground fun and classroom focus.
Today’s kids have to handle a multitude of extra-curricular activities,
often have to deal with changes to the nuclear family format, and
also navigate the positive and negative applications of digital media
and the impact this can have on them.
Flipped classrooms accommodate this lifestyle by being incredibly
flexible. Students have the entire curriculum content available to
them. So, for instance, if a student needs to take work between two
homes, or wants to share the content with a tutor to work through
the concepts together, this is easily achievable. This way, amidst the
often overwhelming bombardment of video games, tv and mobile
devices, kids can also see the productive uses of tech as well.
The flipped learning model essentially gives students the opportunity
to manage their time. Apart from helping them academically,
this also lets them learn a valuable lifestyle habit.
Flipped classrooms are an excellent way to cater to the unique needs
of today’s students. This approach puts the remote in the hands of
the students while turning teachers into guiding mentors instead of
full-time lecturers. The end result is a far more effective learning
experience for the students. For the students of today’s digital age,
flipped learning is truly the way forward.

Join the digital discussion about using technology online in our Facebook Group Teacher Prep Tech. Got a burning idea you want to write about please contact us!
About the Author:
"Dom Gibson is the educational content editor at Tutorful, the UK’s fastest growing tutoring marketplace. He spends most of his day researching new topics in education and writing articles on the subject. He is a passionate learner and believes education is the most valuable gift a person can be given, which is nice, because so does Tutorful. You can find links to the the Tutorful blog, website and social media here." 
Kathleen Fulton (2012) Upside Down and Inside Out: Flip Your Classroom to Improve Student Learning
Clyde Freeman Herreid and Nancy A. Schiller (2013): Case Studies and the Flipped Classroom


Reboot Your Teaching Practice with Design Thinking: 5 Tips to Get Started

Here's a sign of a powerful professional development event, your laptop and cell phone never leave your book bag once.  The idea that a 1-day workshops won't grow dendrites for teachers, has been exclaimed by researchers for decades, yet if the one-day event creates disequilibrium in the way you view teaching and learning it's possible that change can take place immediately.  Researchers say professional development needs to be ongoing and continuous, but when an adult learner experiences a surge of inspiration in a moment in time, the intensity of the experience can disrupt your practice.  

This was my experience at DesignCamp Monterey.  For those of you unfamiliar with #DesignCamp it is rooted in the philosophy of Design Thinking in which designers tackle problems by rethinking an issue in a human-centric way as a means to explore possibilities and unleash creativity.  This is possible with hands-on tasks that have a "low-ceiling and high floor" to engage all learners and promote as many solutions to a problem as possible.  Design thinking gets kids to think just like an engineer and view learning as ongoing process which occurs when designers (a.k.a students)  partake in an iterative cycle of sketching, prototyping and testing concepts and ideas. 

This model of instruction definitely shifts the role of the teacher from director of information to coach and facilitator.  Students immediately take an active role in constructing learning and everyone has a voice and a choice for participation. The process of design is authentic in the sense that children quiet naturally are curious, flexible in thinking and willing to take risks (this reminds you of preschool right).

It is teachers who are most likely static in their approach to instruction, afraid of taking chances and rigid in their thinking.  So your biggest challenge might not be will my students be engaged in Design Thinking, but will I be able to get outside my comfort zone.  You see the process is learner-directed so the sage on the stage, is more like the coach on the sideline, you still have the expertise and the plays, but it's your students who will make all the moves.  

So what might design thinking look like in your classroom? Think of a concept you might be working on like:  
Common Core Math 5 MD.C3 Recognize volume as an attribute of solid figures and understand concepts of volume measurement

Then provide your students with a problem in which they must design a solution: 
Students will create and use a model that can transport fresh water over long distances with no human contact in between locations, design a water transportation model to scale, test it to ensure success and then show and explain how it works.  Students iterate and record data as they improve their designs.

 This approach to instruction is interdisciplinary in construct and connects various disciplines across the framework of the Four C's: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking.  

At our #DesignCamp we participated in several tasks from designing a suit for the Winter Olympics Mardi-gras event based on the users needs and interests, to building a rocket, and creating a solutions to transport water.  

Children as young as Pre-K can engage in an activity that allows them to think creatively and apply solutions.  This is what children do naturally from the time they are born.  They are testing out their environment and seeing what works.  

Here are my 5 Tops Tips for Implementing Design Thinking: 

1. Begin with Empathy: when tasks are rooted in empathy the collaboration and culture of the school and classroom shifts to recognize all students as individuals, who they are, what they believe in and what is important.  Building on students' funds of knowledge is what makes Design Thinking learner-centric, but when the task has meaning and value then students will go deeper with their learning and become passionate about what they are doing. 

2. Don't Go It Alone: If you are new to design thinking you need to share and reflect on your process and what you learned about your students during the task.  Create a team of teachers at your school site who can observe your students in action and help you make interdisciplinary connections across subject areas.  This is especially important at secondary schools as you will want to consider how you can integrate subjects: Want to see what this looks like in a middle school? Check out Vista Innovation and Design Academy in San Diego 

3.  Start with a plan and connect the standards:  Trying out Design Thinking without a solid plan might be the last time you take a big leap.  Your students might think it's fun, but are they learning?  Determine what your goals are for your students, consider the materials and resources needed and the kinds of task that will hook your learner. Without structure, Design Thinking can turn into playtime at Chuck-e-Cheese. Look at these Design Thinking Challenges from Raft Resources that includes standards-based lessons, planning and include materials and resources to get started immediately. 

4. Stay Connected and Continue to Learn: social media and twitter can get you digitally connected to teachers who have been developing Design Thinking tasks for quiet some time. But it's important to know who to follow on Twitter here are my recommendations:  
Principals Dr Chagala  @drchagala and Kaleb Brashad @kalebrashad are leaders who are charging their schools forward with Design Thinking.  Science teachers Brian Delgado @bluedotbrian and Andrew Lerario @bluedotandrew and English teacher  Dan Ryder (@wickeddecent) are forging the way for teachers to jump on board with Design Thinking.  

5. Start Small and Stay Humble: this process is definitely not about perfection it's all about the process.  So be gentle with yourself and know that kids are still learning even if you're not getting the exact results that you want.  Learning can occur when mistakes are made and projects fail.  Failure is an opportunity for growth and a chance for kids to know that just because you fail does not mean you need to give up.  Here's an inspiring video of kids at HighTech High building a rocket 

So if you've got a growth mindset and a willingness to step outside of the box, then creating, implementing and facilitating a Design Thinking task is the right step for you.  Let us know what works for you, what are your challenges and where you need to grow, because that's what being humble is all about, and if we can't own our mistakes how can we teach empathy to others?

Join the digital conversation on our Facebook Group: Teacher Prep Tech 

Making Multiple Representations in Math with Digital Tools

Let's be clear counting in small quantities is a skill most kids do naturally without much prompting or coaching needed, in fact the region of the brain we use for counting includes the same portion of the brain that controls our fingers. Research suggests this may be attributed to the fact that our ancestors first experience with numbers involved the fingers (Devlin, 2000).  However counting and calculations that go beyond our friendly finger tips are likely to result in errors. 

When it comes to calculations students need strategies and not just one.  Research suggests students will most likely use a particular strategy that they find to be a more efficient solution for a particular type of problem (Sieger & Jenkinds, 1989). Take for example the problem 6 x 42 . Students who have proficiency with breaking apart numbers can determine they will need to calculate 6 X 40 (240) and 6 X 2 (12) and mentally calculate the total of 252, but when these numbers become much larger 656 X 3245 the standard algorithm may be more efficient. 

Common core mathematics shifts the focus from learning one-way and one-algorithm to understanding the underlying principles of a concept and applying multiple algorithms.   This approach certainly lends itself to going deeper with math through multiple representations and ways of showing what you know.   

The idea that students don't begin with the end in mind but begin with understanding and developing concepts is at the heart of the common core. 

This shift in standards does not guarantee a shift in learning, this will only happen when teachers change the way they teach and curriculum evolves from focusing on some learners, to all learners in the classroom.  From gifted and talented to students with special needs and English language learners, our approach and modes of instruction need to be flexible and supportive of our classroom population.  Students need a variety of pedagogical approaches from number talks that support discussions of strategies and mental calculations, to manipulatives that allow students to construct models and make meaning of concepts.  

So when parents ask, "Why can't they just memorize their multiplication facts"  we can assure them that memorization does not promote understanding and automaticity will develop with practice.  Elementary teachers should begin introducing concepts by building on what children already know and albeit this may be intuitive, it can lead to a deeper understanding of the concepts.  

Rooting math in the lives of the students we teach can support building conceptual understanding as well as transfer the learning of math  (number words, symbols and quantities) into their informal learning experiences such as the park, playing games and with friends.  Take for example the idea of using arrays to introduce the concept of multiplication.  Arrays are all around students but this knowledge needs to be brought forward during instruction and through practice.  It's not enough just to talk about where you might see arrays kids also need to  construct , discover, apply and identify. We should understand that what works for one kind of learner might not work for another.  Woodward and Baxter found that students with disabilites in math tend to make significantly less growth in discussion-oriented classes (1997) than traditional ones.  

Technology can be a great mediator to support, and challenge students with open ended tasks and flexibility.  It can also be useful to move from the abstract to the real-life connection.  
Available as a Google Slide here

Repeated addition is the knowledge students can start with to build an understanding of multiplication, but some students in your class might not have developed automaticity of their addition facts.  Working with arrays that are highly contextualized and not just on a piece of graph paper can provide practice in addition while also introducing the concept of multiplication.  In this video a second-grader works on a Google Slide presentation his teacher made to drag and drop cars into a parking lot.  

If our ancestors first counting tool was their fingers then digital devices might be consider the cultural tools for our students today.  

 Using this digital lesson teachers can scaffold instruction and allow students to work at their own pace.  While some students might work with benchmark numbers 2's, 5's, and 10's to construct an array, students who understand the concept of multiplication and have strong number sense in this area can move to more complex equations.  

Are you using technology to support students conceptual understanding in your math class? Share your ideas here and join the conversation on our Facebook Group


Bringing the L Factor into your Teaching Practice: In 3 Simple Ways

By Guest Blogger: Jack Yee

One of the biggest myths about teaching is that you have to love your students.

Love is a loaded word and many people have difficulty with this complex emotion. I am a great example. I love ”all you can eat” pizza night, but I struggle to love my students especially when they refuse to line-up after I have asked them (at least 900 times) to do so. Even people that I do love on a regular basis like my wife, I have moments when I wish I could buy her a one-way ticket to a place far away. Regardless of this fleeting feeling, I still deeply care about her no matter how upset I get.

This is the attitude that I have toward my students and I highly suggest you do the same. Asking teachers to love all their students isn’t realistic or necessary. What is essential is that you care 100% about all your kids even the ones that you feel indifferent towards. This isn’t easy, I know that.

Heck, I had kids in my classes that drove me to high blood pressure medication, but I had to find ways to care about their well-being. I’m not talking about fake interest either. Kids have a built-in BS meter that can detect insincerity instantly.

What you need to do is develop genuine care for all your students, especially kids you are lukewarm towards. Once I found it in myself to have real concern for all my students, it completely changed the dynamics in our relationship. In other words, things just got better between us. You can experience this positive shift as well.

Here are three tips to help you care more for your students:

1. Find Compassion: It’s hard to love anybody when you’re running out of patience. All you want to do is scream and berate them for their misbehavior. In difficult times when it’s hard to find love, shift your emphasis to compassion. Instead of honing in on your anger, look for reasons behind their struggles. What you will discover is an explanation for your students’ inappropriate actions. This by no means excuses them, but it will help you see the bigger picture. 

How to be more compassionate: A while back I struggled with making a connection with a student that was constantly acting out. When I decided to develop a reward system for him, I realized that I knew nothing about him! Then I discovered he had no contact with his parents and he was living with his grandmother.  My feeling toward him changed dramatically and I dedicated spending more time with him. As a result, his disruption in class became minimal. The lesson is get to know your learners. Spend some time finding out who your students are. Ask them questions about their life. Be inquisitive and curious about what their needs are. The best way to do this is greet them in the morning and ask about how they are doing and what they did the previous night.  Don't forget to be sincere when you’re asking questions.  Kids will pick up on your insincerity. Be truly interested in who they are and they’ll feel it, but more importantly, they’ll know that you really care about them. 

2. Find your empathy. Many teachers tell me that have a hard time loving some of their students because they just can’t relate with them. It’s hard to care for somebody when there seems to be nothing in common between you and the other person. However, you have more similarities with your students than you ever realize. When you become more empathetic toward your students, you’ll see yourself in them, even those that push your buttons. When you find the commonality, you’ll have valuable insights on their behavior and how to correct it. How to be more empathetic. I need to remind myself that being empathic is a skill. It’s a skill that I must hone everyday, if not, my negative emotions can take over. For example, I had a student that was apparently throwing F-bombs at me for no specific reason at all. My natural instinct and boiling emotions wanted to scream and holler back at him. But, my sharpened empathy skills got the better of me and led me to pause. I then had an instant flashback when I was in a similar situation where I was cursing up a storm at my poor car mechanic. Like my student, I wasn’t upset at the mechanic, but at another situation and he was just an innocent bystander that I was projecting my anger towards. To develop your empathy skills, try this trick. The next time you get upset, repeat the following mantra . "Johnny is ____ (insert the inappropriate behavior or negative trait here like “Johnny is talking back to me….Johnny is fighting on the yard" just like how I used to be. This mantra will lead you to see that your student’s negative action is inside of you too. By doing so, it will elicit a more empathic response out of you and perhaps leading to a solution. 

3. Learn to be a better listener: This one has been very difficult for me. When I see my students being disrespectful, my mind instantly begins to rage and a long harsh diatribe begins writing in my head that I can’t wait to deliver. Even when my students try to explain their actions to me, it sometimes goes over me because my mind is working so quickly with counter-arguments and better comebacks to respond back to them. My intention to speak feels so urgent, most of the time, I don’t even let my students finish speaking. Unfortunately and sadly, I’ve been told by some of my students that I can be unfair because I don’t always listen to them. 

How to be a better listener: When your mind is fuming and you are overly eager to prove your point, it’s hard to process what your students are trying to say to you. You’re not really listening and instead focusing all your attention on building up your argument. The next time you get in a heated situation, just change your intention. Instead of listening to reply, listen to understand. Try to understand the whole picture instead of just the small details. Also, focus your attention of the non-verbal aspects such as body language, facial expressions, and tone and put everything together. By taking in the whole experience of the speaker, it can lead you to a more empathetic and compassionate response. By doing so, not only will you deescalate the student, but it will calm BOTH of you down so you can get reach a viable resolution to the problem. 

In sum, if you implement these caring skills to your classroom, I have no doubt it will help improve your relationships with your students. By doing so, not only will you open up your heart, but don’t be surprised at how you will change even more. You just might find yourself loving them.

Jackson Yee has been teaching for over 30 years. He currently teaches ESL in Massachusetts. Also, he is a mental toughness and strength conditioning coach. You can follow his blog at:
FB Page:
To get in the best mental shape and state of your life check out his book “Mental Toughness Training: Get in the Best Shape of Your Life.” 


About Me

About Me
Dr. Patricia Dickenson has taught grades K-9 she currently works with pre-service teacher candidates. She has three school aged children and loves to create curriculum.

Check Out My You Tube Channel

Join Us on Facebook

Most Popular



About & Social

Recommended Posts




Popular Posts


Total Pageviews

Recent Posts