Browse by Topic: Inspiration

The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

I'll never forget the time a seventh grader gave me the bird. When I caught him and the gesture, it changed me as a middle school teacher. And somehow it reminded me of the middle school characteristic that states,...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (7865)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Inspiration
Polishing Our Sea Glass

Polishing Our Sea Glass

Every student in middle school is precious—some simply need some polishing.

When I was a young adolescent, my parents took me and my two sisters, Sally and Betsy, to the shores of Lake Erie. While certainly not a breathtaking ocean with crystal clear waters, Lake Erie was beautiful...
Author: Tom Burton
Number of views (2839)/Comments (0)/
Excellence vs. Mediocrity: What’s Your Choice?

Excellence vs. Mediocrity: What’s Your Choice?

“If I demand excellence from my students, I must first demand excellence from myself.” I often meditate on these words. As classroom educators we always want our students to excel at what they put their...
Author: Kelsey Eursery
Number of views (4681)/Comments (0)/
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 (4898)/Comments (0)/

Do We Still Believe?

Some things we as educators choose to forget: situations and events such as troublesome students, disastrous meetings with parents, or ugly disputes over which grade level gets to read (or has to read) Beowulf. Other...
Author: Jack Berckemeyer
Number of views (2589)/Comments (0)/

The Battle over Student Engagement

I can’t claim to be a major history buff, nor can I recite all of the major battles of the European Campaign in World War II. But I have learned one important lesson from war movies such as Saving Private Ryan...
Impressions

Impressions

The Nature of the Middle Level

When I walk, I frequently forget to look down. My eyes scan trees and the sky for signs that nature is still talking to me through its elaborate language. This tendency to look up can be a hazardous habit for a number...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (4207)/Comments (0)/
The Nature of Middle Level

The Nature of Middle Level

A Turtle’s Journey

During the Tennessee Council of Teachers of English conference a couple of weeks ago, I was walking around the spacious grounds of the event between sessions when I did something regretful and then noticed something...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (10490)/Comments (0)/
The Nature of Middle Level

The Nature of Middle Level

Transition and Change

It is difficult for me to look at an autumn leaf and not think about Greek mythology. There is an undeniable connection between the rich reds, auburns, ambers, and crimsons of fall and the ancient gods and goddesses....
Why Connect? A Connected Educator's Story

Why Connect? A Connected Educator's Story

When I talk to colleagues about being a “connected” educator, the first response is often “I don’t have time!” followed by “Why? What’s in it for me?” I can relate....
Author: Todd Bloch
Number of views (27951)/Comments (2)/
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