As teachers, we are often asked to implement change in our classrooms, whether it be teaching toward a new set of standards, incorporating an effective strategy for instruction, or reorganizing our curriculum more profoundly (such as project-based learning or online instruction). Sometimes the impetus for making this change comes from a self-selected professional development seminar, other times it comes from the government, our school district, or our principal. Whether we want to implement these changes or not, we often get back to our classrooms and question how to make this implementation happen: How do I fit this into my curriculum? How do I find time to learn the strategy I’m being asked to implement? How do I make it my own? And finally, how do I fix the problems I encounter?
This is where we hope our ideas can help. We have faced many of these struggles and have had some success implementing effective instruction in our classrooms. We would like to share ideas (and invite others to share their ideas) to help teachers be more effective at work. We believe effectiveness leads to happiness, and happy, effective, teachers often lead to happy, effective students. In addition, successful teachers are able to implement change in their classrooms, whether that change comes from professional development, government mandates, or from our own reflections on our practice.
On this site you will find posts about specific strategies and how we have implemented them, as well as ideas for being more effective and productive at school. We believe that if you manage your work well, you are more likely to have the time and energy to implement change in your classroom. The strategies we write about will often be ones you have heard or read about elsewhere, but we want to share how we handled the struggle of implementation and making the strategy work with everything else we do at school. Since our areas of expertise are secondary History, AVID, English, and working with English Learners, some of our posts will be specific to those areas. However, we hope that most of our posts will be useful to any teacher. You may also find posts about general productivity and other issues specific to teachers.
Enjoy, and let us know what you think!