Blog

Valued Characteristics

Two years ago, I wrote the following reflection as a way to share with my preservice teachers, a method for inviting students to focus on characteristics/dispositions that we value as teachers—one of which is certainly motivation! If we do this survey on the first day of class, we begin to build relationships while we also…
Read more

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

As a teacher, I bet you didn’t know you were in the CIA: Curriculum is the content, the goals and achievement expectations that will build mental muscle for learners. Instruction is the technique and form, the strategy, and the hands-on learning experiences designed to help the learner meet the goals and expectations. Assessment is the…
Read more

Strategies for Increasing Confidence and Reducing Anxiety on Test Days

Sprinkle the desks with shamrock confetti and call them good luck charms. Sprinkle the desks with glitter and call it magic fairy dust. Give every student a lemon drop and/or simmer lemon oil in a potpourri pot (lemon essential oil promotes focus and clarity). Spritz everyone with lemon scented spray (Lemon balm is an herbal…
Read more

Factors That Affect Behavior and Motivation

Although the quality of teacher-student relationships is one of the most influential factors affecting students’ emotional well-being, motivation, and achievement in school, relationship-building alone is not enough.  A multitude of factors affect behavior and motivation. I define motivation as the force that initiates and guides individuals to reach for and then to persevere in achieving…
Read more