Mimio Educator

Retaining Teachers

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Feb 13, 2020

Teachers vacate positions and the teaching profession for many different reasons. In our region, teachers are hard to come by and positions are often difficult to fill. As a result, all schools should consider the best ways to not only recruit great teachers, but to also retain the ones that we already have.

As we start to think about how we could better retain teachers, we usually think first about our pay scale. Teacher contracts and pay scales are, for the most part, not very flexible. In larger urban areas, the market demand for teachers is much higher than the supply. Pay differences aren’t big enough to persuade teachers to come or to stay, so there must be other intangibles they can be used in order to recruit and retain the best of the best.

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Topics: tips for teachers

Automating Classroom Processes for Efficiency

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Feb 11, 2020

There are so many “things” in a classroom. And no, we are not calling our students things. Consider all the supplies, textbooks, technology tools, cleaning supplies, and visuals on the wall—and this doesn’t even get us started on the living things in the room. 

I have written in the past about how complex our classrooms are. This is a real challenge for our teachers and, I feel, adds to their stress, burnout, and sometimes their eventual departure from the profession. There are many solutions to help with this, but the one we will focus on for this article is automation.

Technology has allowed for us to automate more and more of our processes. The advantage of this is that we don’t have to think as much about the mundane and routine tasks that we need to complete. The disadvantage of this is that, at times, we think we can automate everything. Education cannot be automated—regardless of how strong the technology is. The relationship between a teacher and a student is the foundation of the student’s learning; without this relationship, learning can’t happen in the same way.

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Topics: tips for teachers

School Customer Service

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Feb 6, 2020

There are some people in our country who claim that public schools have a monopoly on the educational market. I personally believe that nothing could be further from the truth.

Public schools are the primary means of educating students in the U.S. Despite this fact, the past decade has seen a significant increase in students attending private and charter schools or being homeschooled. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (a division of the U.S. Department of Education), the number of students enrolled in public school has dropped from 74% to 69% since 1999. Enrollment for charter schools and homeschooling has increased during this time, while private school enrollment has remained relatively flat.

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Topics: Administrator Resources, tips for teachers

5 Ways to Support Students’ Mental Health With Technology

Posted by Travis Rink on Wed, Feb 5, 2020

With one in five children being affected by a mental health disorder, mental health is the most common health issue among children in the U.S. today. American students spend about one-sixth of their waking hours in school, which puts much of the weight of identifying and supporting students’ mental health on the shoulders of teachers. Teachers already hold so many torches in their schools and classrooms, and coming up with ideas to support students can be a challenging task.

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Topics: tips for teachers

February Tips and Training for Teachers

Posted by Travis Rink on Mon, Feb 3, 2020

While February is a short month, it still has so much to offer! Black History Month, Valentine's Day, and Presidents' Day provide an array of interesting facts, people, and history to weave into your lessons throughout the month.

Here is our collection of themed content to engage your students in February:

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers, tips for teachers

Six Digital Learning Resources From Museums All Over the Country

Posted by Travis Rink on Thu, Jan 30, 2020

Bringing students on field trips to museums can be invaluable to their education, but if you don’t live in or near a major city, it can be difficult to find local museums to visit. Luckily, technology has made it possible to access world-class museums right from the comfort of your own classroom with digital learning resources. Because there are so many museums in the U.S. to search through for valuable resources, we’ve highlighted some of the most prestigious museums and their online resources below.

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Topics: tips for teachers

References and Resumes: How to Stand Out

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 29, 2020

As teachers begin to think about applying for positions for next school year, it’s important to consider who the references on the application will be. As a former principal, I’ve looked through hundreds of resumes and applications. I’m not an HR expert, but here is my personal experience with how teachers can stand out when it comes to the references they use.

In no particular order, here are my thoughts on what applicants should consider when setting up references in their application:

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Topics: tips for teachers

Two Models for Personalizing Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Jan 23, 2020

There are clearly some potential barriers for teachers as they seek student input into their lesson design and curricular choices. It can feel overwhelming on the teacher’s end, and might be considered just one more thing for them to think about. It can be hard to trust that the students will actually be good co-pilots on the learning journey—even if all the desire in the world is present, it might be hard to know how to actually put it all into action.

Fortunately, we have a few models we can look to that will assist us in how this can look in the classroom. These concepts might seem divergent and like squeezing a round peg into a square hole, but even so, I think the philosophies are definitely worth considering for every teacher.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Personalized Learning

Spicing Up Learning During the Winter

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 22, 2020

It’s that time of year when a nice, warm bowl of soup can make a dreary winter day feel warm and comforting. Those soups, every now and then, need a little extra something to help them hit the spot. Our lessons in our classrooms are not much different. When the learning might feel dreary, adding a little bit of spice to our lessons can go a long way. 

To go a little further with the metaphor, not all soups need the same thing to make them better. Some might benefit from more salt or pepper, while others need more substance to them or might need thinning out. Each of these can create a perfect balance for the consumer, making sure the “spice” is just right for the season.

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Topics: tips for teachers

A New Year

Posted by Kristy Nerstheimer on Thu, Jan 9, 2020

Happy New Year! I can’t even believe it—where has half the school year gone? Hopefully, you have just enjoyed a restful holiday and are gearing up for the second semester. Resolutions seem to be a thing of the past these days, and focusing on a single word is now the way to go. It’s less pressure, but still gives you something to work toward.

What better word to focus on for the new year than the word “new” itself? Webster defines new as: not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time.

Here are a few ways to adopt some newness into your life in 2020:

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Topics: tips for teachers

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