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Moving Students from Passive Consumers to Active Creators

In the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, an arrogant graduate student in economics embarrasses Will Hunting's non-academic friend (Ben Affleck) by pointing out his lack of education and tries to prove his own intellectual...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (27895)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Connecting with the Larger World

Connecting with the Larger World

You belong. We do this with you, not in spite of you. You can trust me not to humiliate you and to keep you from humiliating yourself.

These are the messages in action or in word that students want to hear daily from teachers. To promote these themes, we give students positions of responsibility and the know-how to do them: running the daily...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (25182)/Comments (0)/

Graphic Representations of Student Achievement

Let's interpret the data as it's written: 80, 90, 0, check, check-minus, absent, 55, 87, absent, 77, one day late 90, check, 90, check, 12, 91, check, check, 88, absent, 84, check, check, check, check, check, absent,...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (23143)/Comments (0)/

Building Empathy

We all know that late-in-the-day feeling—we’ve taught the same lesson in each of four class periods, and there’s still one more to go. In this 5th period, we’re on automatic pilot, relying on...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (19906)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

Confronting Our Assumptions and Biases

When my wife and I were thinking of names for our children, and yes, our dogs, they were difficult conversations. As you probably understand, some of the students I've taught through the years were particularly rough...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (18912)/Comments (0)/

Contributing by Writing

Writing for education publications is a thrill. It’s synergistic, too. Writing about teaching makes us better teachers, and teaching students makes us better writers. And though we may not realize it at first,...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (18733)/Comments (0)/
Principles First

Principles First

Effective teachers strive to make their actions reflect their principles.

The afternoon is a rush of activity. Your mind is on hyper switch-tasking mode, denying the growing reality that you'll never get it all done. On the way to the school office to pick up your mail, grab your lunch bag...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (13932)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Getting to Know Our Students

Getting to Know Our Students

A successful school year starts—and continues—with knowing well the students we serve

One of the highest forms of respect around the world is to prove to someone that we really know them, and that we see them as worth knowing. We can connect with the grumpiest of individuals when we prove such things,...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (11927)/Comments (0)/
Humor? Yes, Please!

Humor? Yes, Please!

Embracing humor in the classroom invites creativity, reduces stress, and enhances retention

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." – Victor Borge In my first year of teaching, I taught kindergarten. There are moments from that year that parallel later moments teaching middle...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (8291)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Panic Anxiety Disorders in Middle School Students

Panic Anxiety Disorders in Middle School Students

Informed educators can have a positive impact on students who are struggling

In her 1994 book of poetry, Something Permanent, writer/poet Cynthia Rylant gets inspiration from the photographs of Walker Evans, a photojournalist who documented rural America during the Great Depression in the...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (8229)/Comments (0)/
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