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Spotlight Teacher: Joy Kirr

Congrats to Joy Kirr, our April Teacher Spotlight honoree!

Joy has been an outstanding member of the community, and we wanted you to have a chance to know more about Joy, her work, her worries, and her passion.

Here’s a look at an interview we did with Joy – and a question we have for you all to jump in on:


Continue reading Spotlight Teacher: Joy Kirr

New Year, New … Approach to Teaching?

Self-Reflection in the New Year

By Kristen Fraine

With the New Year just starting there’s plenty of chatter amongst friends, family, and colleagues about everyone’s goals for their own personal “New Year, New You” ambitions.  As a teacher, I find myself doing this sort of self-reflection and goal setting both at the start of the school year and the start of the calendar year. It’s a sort of mental reset that’s nice to have twice a year, but can be difficult because self-reflection isn’t always easy. I always find these conversations an awkward combination of exciting, stressful and invigorating.

So I started to think about it like a lesson plan – how would I ask my students to reflect and set goals? Can I scaffold this life-lesson for myself? Continue reading New Year, New … Approach to Teaching?

teacher voices

Listen to Teacher Voices

What’s on the mind of a teacher on the first day of school?

Most of us remember what it felt like to be a student on the first day of a new school year. The excitement of seeing friends, the uncertainty of finding the right classroom, and the distress over the first homework assignment.

But what about the adult at the front of the classroom?

Continue reading Listen to Teacher Voices

What are teachers reading this fall?


It’s important to always find some “me-time” even during the always-on-the-go school year.  Whether that time for you means diving into what interests you or it means broadening your knowledge by reading relevant educational articles, blogs, and texts, it can be difficult to know what you want to focus on during those ever-elusive little moments you sneak into your schedule.  We decided to reach out to real teachers to hear what has been on their “me-time” reading lists – asking for anything and everything – and this is what they had to say…

Continue reading What are teachers reading this fall?

8 Text-Dependent Reading Prompts to Get Your Students to “Own” the Text

Start assigning them tomorrow.

As a teacher, curriculum developer, and parent, I’m constantly seeking ways to allow young people to “take ownership” over a piece of text and build strong reading “muscles” along the way. Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite text-dependent prompts (most of which were crafted with former colleagues at The Writers’ Express and Amplify—strong shout out to them).

Continue reading 8 Text-Dependent Reading Prompts to Get Your Students to “Own” the Text