Practical Solutions for Classroom Teachers

Problem: Standardized-testing is sucking the life out of teachers and students

1.Engage in positive, professional collaboration with teachers that feel the same way: you will re-energize each other.
2. Join a cohort of teachers in your professional circle, such as National Board Certified Teachers, or the local chapter of your content area organization, like KY Council of Teachers of English (KCTE).
3. Work together to create projects across various grades and classrooms and have students collaborate virtually.
4. Continually read and learn professionally: you will find new ways to reach students
**Subscribe to an educational blog that inspires you, a national news publication, or listen to NPR; you never know what will spark your interest and can be used in the classroom!
**Continue your graduate work in an area of your professional interest
**Attend professional conferences in your region or local area
**Connect to other professionals via social media: you will no longer feel isolated in your private hell (aka your classroom)
**Hop on to a Twitter chat or follow educational professionals to get new ideas and express your thoughts
**Organize conversations online about educational issues

5. Design instructional sequences around student-driven essential questions or research topics that interest and engage them: classroom management issues will decrease as students are more interested in their learning
**Allow students to choose a book to read independently and engage them in daily book talks or relevant activities to formatively assess and allow them to share with others (no matter your content area!)
**Choose timely topics in the news for content while teaching literacy skills
**Use to teach a “wonder of the day” that will peak student interest while connecting across content; you never know what you’ll learn!
**Mentor pre-service teacher or interns: connecting with “new blood” will keep you abreast of changes in the educational world and remind you what it meant to be excited about teaching
**Supervise pre-service teachers for their Methods courses and ask them to assist you with small group work
**Host student teachers
**Mentor first-year teachers in your building

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