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Discomfort Leads to Growth

Does this guy look comfortable to you? Does it look like he’s having a relaxing day and enjoying life? Of course not. It looks like he’s working out. Working out is a naturally uncomfortable process. Exercise comes with a built-in expectation that...

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Using Google Forms for Class Surveys

  One reason I LOVE using Google Forms is to conduct quick, timely class surveys. At certain points during the semester I like to know what students think about various aspects of class. Sometimes I want to know how well they feel like they understand the...

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Why Connected Educators Are Prepared for Change

I’ve been on Twitter and other forms of social media for several years now. There are many advantages to being connected with teachers around the world, and one particular advantage I’ve noticed lately is that connected educators are better prepared for...

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What People Are Actually Afraid Of

When we encounter a conflict with someone, it easily takes a negative turn when we put up our shields and immediately respond with defensiveness. We disagree about an issue, and when this tension rises to the surface we spring into action and let the adrenaline run...

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Planting Seeds

Among the analogies for understanding teaching, one of my favorites is that of the seed planter.  Often, the process of learning is slow, hidden, and mysterious. Learning can happen in spurts, but more likely it takes place over a longer period of time. This can be...

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Interview Yourself

I value self-reflection, and sometimes I find it useful to reflect by interviewing myself.  Not that I’m dying to relive an intimidating and uncomfortable experience, but there are some benefits when we interview ourselves that make the exercise worth it. A...

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Improve Peer Reviews With This One Simple Change

Have you ever been frustrated with the peer review process? Have you ever felt like students fail to offer their classmates thoughtful, legitimate feedback on their work? I have. For years I faithfully facilitated student peer reviews, knowing that somehow, someway,...

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Getting Ready for the New Year

“What are the essential qualities a teacher should have?” I was privileged to sit among a group of distinguished colleagues recently and discuss this question. We came up with a list of 26 various characteristics, and we could easily have added more. As...

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The Importance of Revisions and Redos

In my classroom we have a saying: “Mistakes are okay. Giving up isn’t.” There are two very distinct types of failures that can happen. The first is the “I tried and it didn’t go very well” sort of failure. The second is the “I...

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