Stage 2: Joyful and Efficient

Why the first week of school needs to be rigorous

Ask students and they'll tell you: the first week of school is a throw-away. Yesterday, I interviewed a group of kids nearing the end of their summer camp experience about the start of a new school year. When I asked, "What are you expecting from the first week back?" the overwhelming response was that the first week… Continue reading Why the first week of school needs to be rigorous

Stage 2: Joyful and Efficient

3 key resources to help with joy and efficiency

Yesterday we set you up with a simple tool for reflecting on your past attempts to create a strong culture of learning in your school. Today, we offer the words of three experts in creating joyful, efficient classrooms. Take a few minutes to read the following excerpts and then a few more to plan for joy and efficiency… Continue reading 3 key resources to help with joy and efficiency

Stage 2: Joyful and Efficient

3 keys to a culture of learning

A new school year is just around the corner, which means that most of us are trading in sunshine and travel for lesson plans and class rosters. Yes, it's a bit sad to leave summer behind, to set our morning alarms and gear up for another first day. But it's also exciting. And it's what makes our profession… Continue reading 3 keys to a culture of learning

Stage 2: Active Processing, Stage 2: Joyful and Efficient

Sensory Learning

Although my passion is teaching older children, I'm currently learning so much about early childhood development as a mother of a toddler. Babies are natural explorers, everything is new! After my son carefully examines an object visually, he tries to stretch it or bang it against something to test is physical properties and then there's… Continue reading Sensory Learning

Testing and Assessments, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Are we melting their brains?

Earlier this month, art students at Burlington High School in Massachusetts were asked to create pieces that responded to this question: "How do you FEEL about standardized tests?" Their teacher, Ms. Chang, published some of their pieces on her class website, here. Check out two of the pieces below. The first is by Josephine Samarjian and… Continue reading Wellness Wednesday: Are we melting their brains?


Wellness Wednesday: Feeling Frazzled

I feel like a hypocrite writing about wellness today because this is what I feel like right now: In less than two weeks I have a Spanish test, my son ends day care and the next day we move out of our apartment and take a six-hour car trip with a toddler. Sprinkle in three more… Continue reading Wellness Wednesday: Feeling Frazzled

Stage 2: Joyful and Efficient

Laugh, smile, play

My little boy has several teachers at daycare, so everyday he is with a different teacher when I pick him up. Most days he claps his hands and rushes towards me when he sees me -- except when he's with Ms. Denise. When she is there with him at the end of the day, he… Continue reading Laugh, smile, play


Wellness Wednesday: Thank somebody

The school year is drawing to a close. Kids are taking final exams, cleaning out their lockers, and heading off with another grade under their belts. Those of us who work in schools are busy finalizing grades, planning graduations and organizing awards assemblies. These last few weeks are packed with activity and it can be tough to… Continue reading Wellness Wednesday: Thank somebody


Research says…stop working so hard!

As we head into the weekend, keep in mind a few words of advice from the experts who remind us that not only is it unenjoyable, it's unproductive to work so much! In a recent New York Times article, "Relax! You'll be more productive," Tony Schwartz urges us to pay attention to a "new and… Continue reading Research says…stop working so hard!


Wellness Wednesday: Overcoming Ego

Our ego is the force that is convinced that we are perfect. It does all kinds of ridiculous things to try and make that impossible idea true. When was the last time you got frustrated with someone or with a situation? Mine was today when I was late for a doctor's appointment. It seemed every… Continue reading Wellness Wednesday: Overcoming Ego