5 Tips For Setting Boundaries This School Year

By Elena Spathis
@ElenaSpathis

After one of the most unpredictable, tumultuous years of teaching in the books, the time has come to rethink, revamp, and reprioritize. We teachers often put so much pressure on ourselves to do more. Likewise, on top of managing our families and personal lives, we are frequently given extra duties and responsibilities at school outside of teaching. At times, it seems impossible to juggle it all. Moreover, at various points throughout the school year, we feel jaded, overextended, and exhausted – mentally and physically. 

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The Battle Over Cameras During Distance Learning

By Alexis Buschert
@SrtaBuschert

My large public-school district outside of Portland, Oregon started the school year with 100% comprehensive distance learning, and for now it will continue through at least February. From the beginning, I knew there would be a constant battle with students about using their cameras, so I decided I would not require them during class. I was aware, though, that many teachers would disagree with me. Indeed, there are many teachers who voice concerns over the absence of student faces on their screens, and I understand why teachers feel this way. But the battle over cameras is not worth fighting.

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7 Ways to Find Support in Online Teacher Communities

By Alma Rivera

@proferiveraac 

Now that we’ve had about a month of this new school year, how do you feel? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? Challenged? Perhaps even discouraged? You have heard it already: This is a totally different school year. What do we do when these feelings grab at us?

One answer is to find support in online teacher communities. We need to lean on each other more than ever before. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few websites that have helped me get through the rough times:

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4 ideas for Back to School Night-pandemic style

By Elena Spathis

@elenaspathis

It has been such a whirlwind of a year, especially as educators; we have been forced to revamp and rethink our methods in this unprecedented time. After scrambling to teach virtually last spring, many of us returned to our classrooms in a hybrid format this fall, while others are still teaching completely online. Our profession as we know it changed in what seemed like the span of a single day.

We are all familiar with back-to-school nights at the start of the year. Typically, they are opportunities to share basic information about our classes and meet our students’ families. This year, just like everything else, it’s going to look a bit different. Here are four ideas to help make your virtual event as engaging as possible.

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Supporting your colleagues, supporting yourself

By Elena Spathis
@ElenaSpathis

In what seemed like a span of a few hours, teachers needed to frantically shift to virtual instruction. All schoolwide events and extracurricular activities were suddenly cancelled. Feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and disappointment slowly settled in and took charge.

Like many other professionals, teachers’ roles changed overnight. Rather than being on stage all day in their classrooms, teachers would now be delivering instruction through their computer screens.

I immediately felt a pang of worry as I started to create online activities for my new virtual Spanish classes: Would my students truly learn this way? Would I be able to maintain a sense of community with them? What would my assessments look like?

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How fewer, intentional goals will make you a happier, better language teacher

By Meredith White
@PRHSpanish

On social media #goals is usually shorthand for: “Wow, I’d really like to do that, too.” As teachers, we are used to setting goals: I want my students to be able to ___ by ___; by December I need to have ___; this year I’m really going to ____; the list goes on. But, what if our goal was, shockingly… to have fewer goals?

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5 tips for making the most of online learning communities

By Ashley Uyaguari
@profeashley

During my first year teaching, I remember feeling very alone. My department wasn’t supportive, I didn’t have a mentor, I didn’t have anyone to inspire me. It was exhausting pulling everything out from myself to do my best every day. Alone. That cup empties quickly.

How many of you have felt like an island as you did your planning, grading, and relationship building with your students?

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