Mindset & Motivation

What are your secret rules for how everyone else should behave? – Education Article

Anytime you give a paper and pencil assignment, you will have at least one student who does not write their name (or the proper heading) on the paper. There is no amount of teaching, procedure practice, rewards, or punishment that will ever change that fact. There are things that you can do to increase the likelihood that the majority of students will head their papers correctly. However, there is nothing you can do to eliminate the problem altogether so that…

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When you’re doubting your abilities as a teacher… – Education Article

You’ve heard of “fake it till you make it” and “acting as if” until you actually feel it. That’s NOT what we’re talking about in this episode, though I think there’s some value to that, for sure. When you tell yourself affirming thoughts, it impacts your mood and can give you a confidence boost. That’s not just woo-woo stuff, because think of the opposite: If you spend three minutes ruminating about all your greatest failures as a teacher and replaying…

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How to deal with teaching frustrations you cannot change – Education Article

Today we’re talking about radical acceptance. This is a concept I mentioned briefly in my book Fewer Things, Better, as well as Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching. But I wanted to do a deep dive on how it actually works, because it’s a tricky principle for a lot of people. Radical acceptance is a useful approach in our inner dialogue or self-talk when there are certain things about our work — or any aspect of your life,…

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Real talk on communicating with difficult colleagues at school – Education Article

This episode of the Truth for Teachers podcast is more informal and off-the-cuff than normal. If you’re new to the podcast, I typically try to keep things structured and focused on practical info. This episode will be different. Sometimes, I like to just speak directly from the heart, without rehearsing or planning what I want to say in advance.  Our topic is communicating with difficult colleagues. I’m hearing more and more teachers having this problem in recent years, where coworkers…

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How one teacher set boundaries and stopped bringing work home – Education Article

I’m talking today with a member of the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club named Jessica Holdaway about how she balances home and work. I encourage you to listen for specific things she’s done to create boundaries and consider how you could find approaches that work for you. We’re not prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach here. Every teacher’s workload is different, and maybe bringing work home is the best or only possible way to get things done for you — that’s fine! My…

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How to act (rather than react) and stop wasting class time when kids are off-task – Education Article

One of the frustrations that I think has been common to every teacher, in every location, across the history of time, is that of having your instruction interrupted by someone who’s not paying attention. And I lead with that, because I think it’s important to have the larger context: Students being off-task is not a problem that is unique to you, caused solely because of you, or that you can ever solve 100%. There is no classroom in which every…

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Finding the extraordinary within the ordinary – Education Article

It’s time for a break from school-related topics! This summer on my Truth for Teachers podcast, we’re doing a 4-part series focused on self-development instead of professional development. Every other week in June and July, I’ll bring you a short episode to help you focus on what matters most, and I’ll share some things that have been on my heart that might be otherwise off-topic for a teaching podcast. Let this be a time for us to reflect, think deeply,…

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5 summer traps to avoid so you can slow down and rejuvenate – Education Article

This is the time of year when summer stretches ahead of us endlessly, but we all know how quickly it will actually fly by. There are 5 traps you want to avoid so you can make sure you feel rejuvenated when school begins again.  1) Under-planning your time off The teacher who under schedules or under plans their summer thinks: “This is my vacation, why would I need to plan anything? I’m just going to enjoy my break. If…

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How Kim Lepre trimmed 15 hours off her workweek – Education Article

Kim Lepre is a 7th grade English teacher and the founder of the Teachers Need Teachers podcast. She’s also a Beginning Teacher Mentor and Ed Tech Specialist in her district, and a Level 2 Google Certified Educator. How has Kim managed to make time for all of that? She made a significant reduction in her workload during her 13th year of teaching. That’s when she joined The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. I’ve invited Kim on the podcast to tell…

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Overcoming mom guilt / dad guilt when you spend more time with other people’s kids – Education Article

Our topic today is parenting guilt. I’m going to share some info and studies about how this has become an increasingly bigger issue in recent years, and then I’m going to let you hear directly from other educators about how they’re managing it. Want to listen instead of read? Download the audio, and listen on the go!  I think it’s a particularly pervasive issue in education because you’re not just choosing between work and family. It can feel like you’re…

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No, teachers, you don’t have to consume yourself to light the way for others – Education Article

This week on the Truth for Teachers podcast: We’re debunking 10 of the most annoying — and dangerous —teacher platitudes. I’ll share my thoughts, along with the opinions of other educators from a great discussion on my Facebook page. If there’s a common saying in education that’s always sort of bugged you but was so popular you felt like you must be the ONLY one concerned, this is going to be super validating and empowering! Read or listen in as we…

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4 beliefs to help you focus on what matters most – Education Article

In this episode of the Truth for Teachers podcast: the four core beliefs of doing fewer things, better that will give you the courage to focus on what matters most. I’m guessing the title of this episode piqued your interest because you want your life to have a real impact on the world. You care about making a difference, not only in the classroom, but in your family and community, too. And yet it feels impossible to have that focus…

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How to thrive as an introverted teacher – Education Article

This week on the Truth for Teachers podcast: Betsy Potash of Spark Creativity and I talk about how to make teaching more enjoyable for introverted teachers. After almost a decade of teaching in the secondary ELA classroom in the United States and abroad in Bulgaria, Betsy started the Spark Creativity website and podcast. Now she spends her time creating and sharing innovative teaching strategies like escape rooms, book tastings, one-pagers, sketchnotes, hyperdocs, and more. Betsy is such a lovely guest, she…

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How do you know when it’s time to quit teaching? – Education Article

I read a comment on a thread in the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club that I just can’t stop thinking about. It’s from a teacher named Rosie. She wrote, “My wife and I are planning on beginning the adoption process in the next year or so. I’ve implemented many of the strategies from this group for over a year, which has helped tremendously with being efficient and developing systems to decrease the number of hours I am working (at one…

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