Mimio Educator

Retaining New Teachers

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Feb 7, 2019

In some areas of our country, finding great teachers is becoming harder and harder. There are many teachers retiring, fewer joining the profession, and new teachers who don’t last more than a few years. We will focus on the third group here to consider what can be done to help retain new teachers.

For starters, we need to determine why people choose to leave the profession. After giving four years of college to the degree, why would someone abandon teaching in just a few years’ time?

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Topics: Administrator Resources

Obstacles to Changing Education

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 30, 2019

 

Over the past few decades, there has been a great deal of interest and desire to change, and most of the time improve, public education. Some of these ideas have been innovative, and some less than so. Some have been on a large scale, while some are more at a building level. Some have had political backing (charter schools), while others have had financial backing (think The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or Summit Education founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg).

So, what does all this focus on “change” matter for a school building? Or does it not matter at all? Are the teachers or the principals in individual buildings impacted by these changes? Many experts, some more expert than others, have many opinions about what should or should not be going on in schools. But what impact does this have on schools that are trying to improve from the inside?

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources, education industry

“School Is Your Job.” Well, Not Exactly.

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Jan 29, 2019

The metaphor usually goes something like this, and often when a teacher is frustrated with a class of students: “School is your job. You need to show up to work every day and work hard. Your grades are like your paycheck—the harder you work, the more you can earn in our classroom. Some of you aren’t working hard and need to be fired.”

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Tech Tips for Paraprofessionals

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 23, 2019

Paraprofessionals are critical to a student’s success—I think any teacher, principal, or student would attest to this. A great para can make a difference in a classroom in a lot of ways, but they are often forgotten about. Even though they are important cogs in the educational wheel of a student’s life, they might not always be treated as such. They may not have the keys they need, the desk they need, or the training they need.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

The Role of a Mentor

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jan 10, 2019

Mentors play a critical role in the success of teachers. Even following a quality student teaching experience, new teachers still have a lot to learn. There are so many nuances to the profession, to the grade level, and to each particular school. Plus, there is much to be learned even after the teacher has graduated. 

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

Grade What Matters—and If It Matters, Grade It!

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Fri, Jan 4, 2019

 

As humans, we tend to become comfortable doing something and like to do it the same way over and over again. It’s easy for our brain to become more “automatic” so we don’t have to think as much about each specific task. But for some things, as they have become more and more automatic, we may have forgotten about the original purpose for doing them in the first place.

I would contend that giving letter grades to students is one of these “things.” It has become automatic—so automatic that most educators don’t really stop to think much about the original purpose behind giving them.

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Topics: tips for teachers, classroom assessment, Administrator Resources

Coming Back From the Conference: How to Maintain the Fire and Energy of New Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Dec 12, 2018

For most of us, conferences can bring about a familiar pattern. We attend the amazing conference full of great speakers. We are inspired to try new things in our school. We understand the research and the significance of how we can impact our students. It is exciting and we are ready to move forward.

Then we return to school. Issues came up with the substitute, grades are due, there are a few parent emails to respond to—you get the idea. So, we take the handouts and materials from the conferences and put them on the shelf behind the desk. We tell ourselves we can get to it over the weekend and really get some things planned to implement next week, but this probably never happens either.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

5 Tips for Delivering Effective Professional Development

Posted by Daniel Leis on Wed, Dec 5, 2018

 Teachers Make the Worst Students!

Teachers say it themselves all the time: Teachers can make the worst students. While we know there are no bad students, we do agree that professional development needs to be truly excellent to make an impact. From the thousands of PD sessions we have delivered, we’ve learned there are five key insights that may help you develop and deliver more effective PD—especially when technology is part of the mix.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources, Professional Development for Teachers

Learning: Timing Is Everything

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Dec 4, 2018

Often—maybe too often—in schools, we carve up the day into finite sections of learning. An hour for reading, and hour for math, maybe 25 minutes for science. We know on some level that learning really doesn’t work this way, but it is the best way we have to make sure content is covered and not skipped.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

ESSA and Increased Flexibility for Schools

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Nov 15, 2018

The Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) is recent federal legislation passed to serve as a support and guide for public schools across our country. The law is comprehensive and influential in a variety of aspects concerning early childhood, K-12, and higher education. Everything from special education and Title 1 services to English language learners and professional development is included in the scope of the law. In particular, the ESSA law has created increased flexibility to states, and therefore schools—but with this flexibility also comes challenges and considerations for all districts involved.

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Topics: Administrator Resources

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