Fear of Being Wrong: A Candid Conversation About Calling Out Students

It’s been a while since my last blog post. Welcoming our fourth child into our home has disrupted more than a few of our routines. But I am excited to share this post because you get the chance to listen in on a conversation about what students experience when sitting in our classrooms, waiting to see if the teacher will call on them.

At the opening of spring semester, one of my sophomores wrote an entry in her Writer’s Notebook titled, “The Fear of Being ‘Wrong’.” Shay’s brief 150+ word depiction of what goes through her mind when she shares a wrong answer in a classroom setting was captivating! Shortly after reading it, I asked her if she would let me post it here at Make Them Master It. Not only did she allow me to publish her entry, she also was willing to sit down with me and record a conversation about it. Continue reading “Fear of Being Wrong: A Candid Conversation About Calling Out Students”

“Am I Saying ‘Yes’ to Too Many Things?” With Matthew M. Johnson

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Dear Teacher,

When I was in my ninth year of teaching, out of the 180 I was contracted to spend in front of my students, I was out of the classroom for 33 of them. For thirty of those days, I was out of the classroom for one of the three district committees I was participating in. I’m ashamed to admit, that the other three were due to illness and the birth of my third child! Luckily, for our family, she was born at the very beginning of a break in the calendar. At the end of the year, I had to look at my situation and ask, “Am I saying ‘yes’ to too many things?”

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Several months ago, I started interacting with Matthew M. Johnson. Beginning a friendship around the content we publish online, we eventually learned one another’s stories about the twists and turns of our teaching careers. There were a few stand out parallels, and I asked him if he would be willing to share about the time he almost left the teaching.

As Matthew learned what opportunities to say ‘yes’ to–and which ones to pass on–not only did he become a better, more focused teacher, he was also able to make time for what mattered most: his loved ones. With the little time what little time remains on his calendar, he writes about how writing teachers can give timely feedback, deeply improving student writing, all while make it home in time for dinner each night.

Listen to our conversation and get more details about how to connect with Matthew HERE.


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“Am I Allowed to Have a Life?” with Dave Stuart Jr.

 

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Dear Teacher,

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You have a roster full of students who are at differing levels of ability. And it’s your job to get ALL of them to an acceptable level of proficiency. As the year unfolds, to do this, you realize that you need to stay at work a little later, take home a few more assignments to grade, get up just a little earlier in the morning to be in the classroom for a few more minutes to get it all done. Tired, and leaving your classroom after the sun has set for the third day in a row, in a flash of sudden anger, you say, “Am I allowed to have a life!?”

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In this episode, you will hear from teacher, content creator, and professional developer, Dave Stuart Jr. Several years ago, Dave started a blog that turned into a website, which developed into a couple of books, and eventually lead to the creation of a couple of online courses.

Believe it or not, a few years into the job, Dave actually quit teaching! For many of us, this is hard to believe. But after you hear his story, you will get a clearer picture of the why behind Dave’s writing, speaking, and professional development workshops. You will hear about how Dave figured out how to set limits on himself, two teacher archetypes to avoid, and why you should write an Everest Statement right now. And, as mentioned in the podcast, here’s the first chapter of Dave’s book, These 6 Things: How to Focus Your Teaching on What Matters Most.

If you want to connect with Dave, and get more details about his story, CLICK HERE.


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“Am I Valued?” with Andy Milne — Episode 3

 

 

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Dear Teacher,

When you got your first job, did you get the most undesirable position in your department or grade level? What about passed up for a position because the other applicant had more seniority? Have you presented ideas at meeting only to get shot down?

Our guest for this episode of Dear Teacher, Don’t Give Up! is National Health Teacher of the Year, Andy Milne. He’s a teacher at the top of his game! Outside of his teaching duties, he also runs the website slowchathealth.com and is a sought after public speaker. And though he presents as very “put together,” he’ll be the first to tell you that things weren’t always that way for him. For a time, he questioned whether he was a good fit for the job.

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Seven years into the job, feeling undervalued at the school where he was teaching at the time, he walked away. And that time away gave him the perspective he needed. He eventually made his way back to the classroom, and he has some great perspective to share about his journey.

If you want to connect with Andy, and get more details about his story, CLICK HERE.


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March Madness: The Anxiety College-Bound Seniors Face This Time of Year

When turning the page from February to March, I was reminded of what many college-bound high school seniors face at this point in the year: an anxiety-filled waiting where students collectively hold their breath as colleges and universities send messages of congratulations to some and condolences to others.

As first period opened on Monday morning, I did not have any plans of discussing this time of anxious waiting. But, per usual on Monday mornings, the router and the internet were not communicating with one another, and the web access my students needed was not yet available. Needing to stall while the network did all of its beeps and boops to grant us access to the world wide web, I took the opportunity to address this expectant waiting many of my students were experiencing. Continue reading “March Madness: The Anxiety College-Bound Seniors Face This Time of Year”

“Don’t You Trust Me?” with Nancy Erwin — Episode 2

 

 

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Dear Teacher, 

When it comes to what you believe is the in the best interest of the students enrolled in your class, have you ever asked this question: “Don’t you trust me?”

Nancy ErwinIn today’s episode of Dear Teacher, Don’t Give Up! we are going to hear Nancy Erwin’s story about the first few years of her teaching career. As a first grade teacher, when her district made Nancy and her colleagues administer assessment after assessment (which included a lot of hand scoring), she wondered if this is really all there was to teaching, or if there was something more.

At one point, she stepped away from the classroom, and Nancy took the time to reflect, “Should I keep going?”

Hear the rest of Nancy’s story HERE.


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The Standing Quiz: Get 100% Participation, Engage Student Metacognition, and Grade None of It!

What if I told you that there is a classroom activity that . . .

  • helps students prepare for upcoming multiple choice tests,
  • promotes metacognition,
  • gets students moving,
  • strengthens longterm memory, and
  • you don’t have to grade any of it?

Not only is there such an activity, but it is the kind of activity that can be appealing to teachers from different backgrounds and different styles. If you are the kind of teacher who appreciates traditional lecture, this is for you. If you prefer a more progressive approach to teaching, this is for you. And if you like research-backed strategies, this is for you! Continue reading “The Standing Quiz: Get 100% Participation, Engage Student Metacognition, and Grade None of It!”