What Kids Notice

How to Create a Safe and Loving Classroom Environment “When my children used to walk in the room … I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re … Read More

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Professional Success Shouldn’t Cost You Your Personal Joy

How to Find Your Happiness Balance Inside and Outside the Classroom I often receive messages from my readers thanking me for posting about the important issues that so many educators face. I’ve been where they are; I’ve lived through a lot of the same things they have. And I love that we can connect, share … Read More

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Go for the Grant

Personal Renewal is a MUST for Teachers In 2011, I submitted a grant to the Teacher Creativity Fellowship Grant committee. This is a program for Indiana teachers who want to be personally renewed outside of their profession. (Can you all give me a “Hallelujah!”?) The goal of this grant is to recognize and renew our … Read More

Educating Corey

How a Troubled Student Impacted My Life—and Changed His This is Corey. Years ago, I was his 4th-grade teacher. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Corey struggled with an alcoholic mother and a dad who really wasn’t a part of his life. They had no money, no support, and he and his older brother had … Read More

A Teacher’s Message from the Heart

My son, Spencer, has been blessed to have Amanda Atkins as his ELA teacher for the last two years. She’s a progressive teacher, always willing to be a learner herself. The curriculum and expectations for her classes are extremely rigorous—and I’m 100% OK with that. She has prepared my son to handle complex texts and … Read More

Teachers Matter—So Tell Them!

A Challenge for Teacher Appreciation Week   In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to single out one of my favorite teachers—one who really made a difference in my life. Her name is Betty Wilgus, and she was my 1st grade teacher. I know it’s hard to imagine that I remember what it was … Read More

Ask and You Shall Receive

How Recognizing Your Value Opens Up Opportunities   Do you feel shy, anxious, nervous, or scared to ask for what you want and need? It’s OK to feel this way, but my advice is “DO IT ANYWAY!” When you aren’t willing to ask for what you want, you miss out on opportunities and connections. And … Read More

My Purpose

I am a teacher, and I always have been. As a little girl, I remember how much I loved working with children, helping and supporting them. I always felt energized by spending time with them. I then went on to earn my education degree, and taught elementary school for several years and became an administrator. You … Read More

Finding Inspiration in the Back-to-School Blues

And just like that, the first day of school has already come and gone here in Tell City. Summer break is over, and we begin the transition to a different routine. For me, this used to mean waking up extra early to fix homemade donuts for my crew before sending them off to tackle their … Read More

5 Tips for Summer Break & Renewal

An acquaintance and I were recently talking about the struggles and stresses teachers face in the current education system, and what can be done to address these issues. First and foremost, I think teachers need to give themselves rest over the summer. We all know there’s still work to be done during this time, but … Read More