- Academic Integrity
- All Learners
- Artificial intelligence
- Classroom Management
- Curriculum & Instruction
- Faith Formation
- Faith Integration
- Focus on prayer
- High School
- Holidays & Church Calendar
- Instructional practice
- Prayer and School Culture
- Problem solving
- Reading & Literature
- Roots of our Faith
- School Culture
- School Policies
- Social Emotional Health
- Spiritual connection
- spiritual growth
- Student-centered classrooms
- Student-centered programs
- Teacher self-care
- Theological Concepts
What if students had five minutes to talk about the test between handing it out and starting to answer questions? How do we help students reduce tension and settle their thoughts so they can regulate themselves before sharing what they know?
Public prayer can be intimidating for some teachers — especially when doing so one on one with parents instead of leading children in memorized prayers — but mandated faith behavior comes across as forced. How to work through fears to encourage and support fellow teachers to do hard things.
E-Sports is gaining traction from college down to grade school. Strategy, teamwork, and communication can boost camaraderie and life experience for students, but it also increases screen time and encourages potentially addictive games. How to unpack a challenging opportunity that brings both benefits and threats.
When we open our minds and hearts, there is much to learn from the students we serve. We believe in their growth and can be pleasantly surprised by their amazing examples of grace, wisdom, forgiveness, and faith. There is much to be thankful for when engaging with young people.
Prayer can be a unifying experience for teachers and staff when facilitated in a personal and flexible fashion because teachers have challenges too. Prayer can help bridge gaps and provide support for those in need when they need it.
Over communication is critical, but maintaining a sense of privacy for the child is important as well. When it comes to juggling mental health challenges, what does success look like and does student health or achieving learning standards become most important priority?
Exploring the reach of parents as primary educator of the child when parents excuse their kids from school for vacation. Whose responsibility is it to keep the students up to speed while they are gone?
Artificial Intelligence can create classroom havoc or magic solutions. On the positive side, it can feed the planning process with ideas and suggestions. But as with any new technology, it requires conversation and discernment for teachers and students.
What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say about patriotism? How can we best honor veterans in our Catholic schools? This episode honors the stance of the Church on duty to country as well as prayer ideas for those who serve.
Fundraising is a necessity for Catholic high schools, but the duties of fundraising can be shared among staff and students. In this episode, Jill shares a recent fundraising victory when she challenged the students to take charge and raised the bar on expectations.
Applying for colleges today is so different than when we went to college! This episode shares insights from a college counselor on the current reality of applying for colleges as a high school senior.
Everything you learned about teaching, you learned in Kindergarten. Explicit instructions, patience, manners and more. Channel your inner Kindergartner and bring your teaching to the next level.
Arriving early, leaving late — what is your preparation routine to make the most of classroom instructional time while maintaining a reasonable personal balance of work and home life?
From handshakes to interview questions and communications skills to leadership opportunities, there are many ways to prepare students for the real world, no matter the grade level. How to connect the classroom to the world.
It’s easy to blame the pandemic for every current classroom challenge, but the reality is most of these challenges have been present for a long time. Becoming more deliberate in helping students improve their working memory with consistency, multi-sensory cues, and other techniques can go a long way to...
As the adult in the room and subject matter experts, it’s easy to make teaching all about the teacher, but students surprise us every day with their insights, gifts and talents. Finding ways to connect with every student — even the tough ones — can open the door to...
Every teacher has a unique, go-to lesson or activity to capture the imagination of their students and many times it can involve animals or insects. Tapping into God’s creations can be a powerful lesson about life, death and the environment we all need to share, but it can also...
Assigning group work can be a recipe for disaster no matter the age of the kids. However, disciplined assignment of roles and responsibilities can successfully help students navigate this critical, real world skill set.
In a world dominated by social media and electronic communication, facilitating classroom discussion that includes peer to peer eye contact, active listening, and mutual respect can be a significant challenge as you bridge the socratic method of yesteryear with the digital habits of today.
Electives and specials can be few and far between for some Catholic schools, but there is a concerted effort to make specials a bigger priority to help elevate kids in new ways by doing new things outside traditional academics.
This eternal question can be equally frustrating for teachers, students and parents alike as everyone has an opinion and perspective. Practice and repetition can certainly be helpful, but if you don’t know how to do it, you don’t know how to do it. Bring purpose and planning to your...
Reinforcing positive behavior is an exercise in creativity across ages and stages in every school. How to balance the standbys of food or prize rewards against the higher potential of motivating through recognition or extra freedoms.
Fear of the unknown can be a helpful mechanism to proceed with caution in some areas. It can also hold us back from future discovery. But the reality is we can’t go back to the pre-AI world and everything will look different because of it. Include the students in...
AI is not going away. In fact, it can be an extremely helpful tool for students, teachers and administrators when used the right way. How can it be helpful in some situations and avoided in other situations as we help students maintain their voice and appreciate who they have...
Defining the scope of procedures and policies surrounding the use of AI in a school setting can not only be overwhelming, but impossible due to the constantly changing reality. Instead, focus on how to connect universal themes of integrity and ethics to student and teacher decision making as it...
Navigating normal anxiety and feelings of imposter syndrome are hard enough without teachers also bearing the brunt of society’s blame game when it comes to what students learn (or not) in the classroom. It’s time to reject the lie that I am not enough. Shout out for doing the...
Celebrating the evolution of the anxiety inducing physical education classes of yesteryear to the life skills that can be learned learned through exercise science. PE teachers can also lead the way with creative solutions around accommodations and inclusion efforts for all students.
Learning can come to life in a memorable way when you transition outside the classroom. Laugh and learn with memories and suggestions surrounding class field trips for all ages.
Engagement ramps up when students can work through learning lessons in front of the class, but challenges abound making room for all kids at the board at the same time, let alone easing student stage fright. Explore ideas and options for 360-degree teaching!
Collective teacher efficacy is the technical term for how to get farther, faster by working together, supporting each other, and believing in common outcomes. The strength of the teaching team through shared experience, communication and trust makes all the difference.
Teaching is isolating by design, but research shows one of the strongest indicators of effective learning is a teacher’s self-confidence. This expands exponentially when a teaching staff collectively believes they are doing it well. Lean in and grow together!
When was the last time you asked others for advice when facing a tough challenge? It’s hard enough to admit you have a problem and even harder to seek advice, but have you considered what happens when you get vulnerable and gather input?
Whether teaching religion or navigating a dinner table discussion, engaging kids to share their thoughts and feelings is a challenge for everyone. The universal game of Roses and Thorns is uniquely suited to open minds and hearts and give all teacher insights and ideas on who needs extra love...
Making personal connections with students is a natural and powerful aspect of Catholic education. Hear more about how one teacher made a spiritual connection as well by matching specific saints to each individual student based on their unique gifts and personality, along with a commitment to pray for them...
Classroom size can wreak havoc on classroom design — not to mention how to incorporate individual learning vs. lectures vs. small groups and everything in between. But structure and creativity can make all the difference as students know what they are doing, when they are doing it and what...
The 8th grade class in a school from Dallas, Texas took their reigns of their destiny by self-identifying what they think an ideal 8th grade student should look like and how they should behave. This student led, backward design moment was made possible by an evironment of trust and...
Teachers already know the benefits of data and measurements, but empowering students of all ages on the benefits of executive functions is a lifelong skill. Hear what a principal did with a custom made daily planner to help students track sleep, mood, stress, water consumption, movement and much more...
Building on outcomes and evidence of learning, now you can start mapping out instruction time and lesson plans. Like little clocks, kids love patterns of consistent and predictable learning systems.
Measuring outcomes in the classroom is certainly no game, but just like the Rubik’s Cube, classroom rubrics demand creativity. Setting clear rubrics healps you and the students as it reduces anxiety and confusion around what’s expected.
Curriculum Mapping embraces the concept of backward design as you set your teaching strategy around the outcomes you want to achieve by the end of the school year.
Sharing authority and responsibility with students can be scary, but the right level of accessibility and ownership can exponentially change the tone of classroom behavior at all ages.
Going beyond the norm for anxiety challenged students to ease the transition to a new year. How to remove the barriers with storytelling, one on one support, and extra tours and introductions to ensure every student is ready to learn.
As you prep for the start of school, explore the intersection of classroom set-up and lesson planning. What comes first? How can one serve the other? What resources are available to maximize the space and opportunities for engagement?
Parent-teacher communication is more important than ever, but one-way digital communication like newsletters to parents can be way too easy to ignore or miss. How to create a more consistent and effective two way communication method that is relevant and effective.
As seen in the classic movie, bonding and personal growth will happen no matter the extent of challenges and chaos experienced during class trips. Whether it is a nature trip, a pilgrimage, a service trip or even a weekend adventure, there is a real benefit for young people when...
Running into students and school families while out and about during summer activities can be a surprise for all involved. Bringing a dose of humility and humanity can open everyone’s eyes to life on the other side of the teacher’s desk!
As our adrenaline subsides with the end of the school year, embrace the exhaustion as a sign of satisfaction and completion of a job well done. Now we can start the personal renewal process with rest and reflection.
Graduation is in the air and there is no better time to embrace the results of our hard work than to help the graduating class celebrate their accomplishment and leap into the next stage of their life.
The annual ritual of what to purge and what to keep as you wrap up for the summer doesn’t have to be driven by your personality. There are many great ways to share, remember and archive all the hard work compiled over the school year.
Seventeen minutes is the average amount of time where most students can stay focused. How does your instruction reflect this reality with something interactive or engaging along the way no matter the age?
Student communication and behavior has changed so much a new term has evolved. How are we adapting as we continuously model and teach effective communication skills across grade levels and topics?
Pre-school teachers bring a special creativity that every grade level can learn from in regard to engaging classrooms with multi-sensory approaches. Give yourself permission to be playful!
Year 1 is memorable for all sorts of reasons for new teachers. Parent engagement, lesson plans, classroom management, and everything in between creates both good and bad memories for the ages!
Many teachers are intuitive by nature, but sometimes our greatest skill can be our biggest blindspot. Leaning into data can be the perfect compliment to help our students excel.
Teachers don’t get days off, but emergencies still happen and it pays to be prepared with timeless tools and exercises. Specific to Language Arts class, hear more about writing prompts, journaling and fun, Mad Lib type grammar exercises.
Teachers don’t get days off, but emergencies still happen and it pays to be prepared with timeless tools and exercises. Specific to math class, hear more about fun thinking plans surrounding daily life with fresh tools like www.whenmathhappens.com.
Teachers don’t get days off, but emergencies still happen and it pays to be prepared with timeless tools and exercises. Specific to science class, hear more about easy conversation starters surrounding Catholic social teaching and pre-selected science articles or storybooks.
The magic sauce of any school culture is based on connections with parents. Hear ideas for making schools a place of comfort and support for parents as well as a great new idea for honoring moms on Mother’s Day.
Character development is a priority for every school at every grade. Hear a creative, expandable solution for focusing it through a Catholic lens so it has a lifelong, faith-filled impact: Saints in the Making!
Shifting from education to application to keep students engaged between spring break and the end of the school year. Make learning about the student while helping them find God everywhere and in everything.
High energy, “teacher on the street” conversations with engaging practitioners on the exhibit floor of NCEA 2023. Hear from a principal about school culture and one teacher’s creative teaching techniques around film and literature.
Space matters when it comes to learning. It can be fun to create the ultimate Pinterest worthy classroom, but magic happens when the environment is perfectly suited to the topic you are teaching.
The pressures of school sports can be legendary, especially with the rise in club sports and specialization, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Building community while maintaining reasonable priorities can be the new normal.
Conversation and participation can be a challenge for any classroom, but Ashley Schoeller uses the concept of a fishbowl to create robust, yet controlled interaction and engagement.
Catholic Teachers’ Lounge hosts Jill Annable and Colleen McCoy-Cejka welcome curriculum expert and Mr. Roger’s protégé, Joellyn Cicciarelli, to the lounge for a special deep dive discussion. Mixed with personal stories, practical examples and plenty of empathy for teachers navigating current challenges, the three experts provide creative solutions for...
Catholic schools uniquely provide opportunities for public engagement, whether it is participation at Mass, presentations in class, or even activities in front of the whole school for various functions.
Testing for student progress can take many forms, but a great tool for assessing skill development over the course of the year is portfolio assessments. Learn how to make the transition.
Rocket science development is driven by failure — but our culture says perfection is a must. Science teacher Isaac Forquor exemplifies training students on the benefits of effort over perfection.
What is the academic impact of students’ choices and behavior? Is the class grade measuring knowledge or the students’ ability to follow directions, or both? If not in the grade, how do we measure behavior?
Books and movies change lives by introducing new ideas, expanding knowledge, and creating empathy for others. Hear more about how one teacher creates a fun book tasting event for her students.
Controversy and conversation revolves around the topic of teaching students cursive. Join the discussion as we explore the positives and negatives and what’s unique about Catholic school’s approach.
Ash Wednesday can be an overwhelming day for kids as well as adults when considering the full scope and meaning. Help ease students of all ages and backgrounds into the day by using social stories to set expectations and open their minds for real understanding and transformation.
Any change of season brings an opportunity for learning and growth and the beginning of Lent is no exception. Fat Tuesday can be a great day for celebration and preparation leveraging traditions from all backgrounds.
Danielle Iannelli brings out the funk and fun of grammar with an annual Adjective Fashion Show starring her 4th graders who create their own vivid description of their fashionista creations. Grammar doesn’t have to be dry and boring and language, activities and creative writing brings it to life.
Navigating best practices for helping kids concentrate in the classroom is a tough assignment. The development of new fidget tools often blur the lines of what is a toy and what is a tool. Hear more about the fidget rules that can guide the way.
Go beyond classroom learning with connections across generations as noted by principal Adrianne Van Norman and her Grandbuddy Pen pals for grades 4-6. This concept can extend from Kindergarten through high school as both students and grandparents enjoy the sharing of wisdom, time and experience.
Leaning on multiple intelligence research, Karl Sieglaff creates lesson plans to engage his students using visual, tactile, naturalist, interpersonal, and intrapersonal tactics — breaking the model of teaching to our own learning styles or teaching as we were taught.
Where does the love of reading come from and how is it impacted by technology and the lack of physical books in schools and classrooms? When reading to learn, how to balance simple Google searches with in-depth primary sources?
Exploring brain research in the area of consuming and retaining content digitally vs. in print. What is the best way to engage and connect with content while still embracing the reality and convenience of technology? The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
The lounge is ground zero of school culture. We discussed keeping the lounge a place of culture in accord with Catholic virtue and acknowledged the times we’ve experience the lounge to be a negative space in the school. We encouraged all to “be the light” in the teachers’ lounge...
Prayerful discernment is at the core of any vocation assessment process — religious or otherwise — as we embrace the fact each of us is uniquely unrepeatable in the eyes of God.
What happens in a classroom doesn’t have to stay in the classroom. Local, state and national funding, policy making, and research depends on awareness of teacher, student and classroom activity. Invite your representatives for a visit and conversation.
Classroom management tips are as much about maximizing learning time as it is about controlling behaviors, and purposeful call back techniques can reinforce your underlying goals.
Whether it’s Catholic Schools week or not, extend the reach of students and school with creative community service projects and the natural conversation connections that come with them.
It’s empowering to know when classroom experiences get replicated at home, especially when related to faith. Classroom prayer tables are a great example of an idea that finds its way to students’ homes — in bedrooms, living rooms or any special place for kids and parents to grow in...
While the benefits of learning through rotating stations in the classroom can be exponential, getting the students to perfectly implement the necessary coreographed movements can be a signifcant challenge. Learn from the experts on managing transitions with clues and cues. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit...
Catholic worship can come in many shapes and sizes — especially across age groups of school kids. Teacher Michelle Hurley worked with her pastor to creatively approach adoration with her littles by fusing praise and worship music with the Real Presence. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press....
School routines can support student development across grade levels when the right data is available and schedule blocks align. Notre Dame academy in Park Hills, KY created a universal remediation schedule for all students to improve their math skills. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us...
Catholic schools are unique in their ability to build common connections through faith. Traditions and prayer experiences allow students (and teachers!) to share in vulnerability, hope and values, bringing everyone together in our faith routines. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Teachers spend all day every day mentoring and supporting students, but what about your needs? Whether or not a formal mentoring process exists at your school, there are many ways to find — and be — people of influence. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us...
Innovative electives, such as gardening class, bring a skillset to students through curriculum they wouldn’t otherwise experience. Shout out to school leaders who let teachers take on these creative ideas. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Especially in rural areas, everyone wins with collaboration and conversations across the community and other schools to celebrate everything from the holidays to service to inclusion. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Creating an environment where learning across topics and skill levels happens best is like leading an exercise class. Denisse McKinley masterfully manipulates location, focus and engagement in a way that facilitates whole class instruction. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Mark Ninmer shares the growing interest in his 8th grade class’ popular YouTube saint competion using the bracket format of March Madness. It brings fun and creativity to a new level. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
As Catholic schools celebrate the inclusion of more non-Catholics, are we focused on teaching our reality or learning more of theirs? Jennifer Ferrand finds value in everyone learning about each other. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Teachers aren’t the only ones who need dedicated time to refuel and engage our imagination. Ashley Ezell reminds us that students of all ages can benefit from brain bins and dream labs to explore new possibilities. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Surviving the last week before Christmas break while making plans for rest, relaxation and rehab during the much-appreciated time away. Merry Christmas!! The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Principal Camile DeLano uses the Jesse tree to engage her students in a personal connection to our faith history and tradition. Our Catholic lineage reminds us that we all come from somewhere and we are all going somewhere. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Understanding the stories of our faith community is a key aspect of connection and inclusion. Saints can be the catalyst for a new and deeper awareness and amazement. Hear how Joe Marble brings Our Lady of Guadalupe to life on her feast day. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by...
Initiate a fun and faithful journey to Christmas using Mary and Joseph as the creative centerpiece that your students won’t soon forget! The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Customize your classroom environment with deliberate learning structures that keep kids moving and thinking like a well trained orchestra — thanks to Rachel Gavin’s experience. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Speaking up for one’s needs is a critical lifeskill. Explore ways to help our most vulnerable students turn their challenges into strengths with examples from Jennifer Kohl. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Catholic Teachers Lounge ideas are making their way into new classrooms as concepts are shared and multiplied. Check out some of the fun success stories from early sharing. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Leveraging the concepts of Universal Design in test design, homework assignments and general classroom communication. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Advent is the perfect season to wax nostalgia in the classroom while embracing the simple, guiding themes of new life and family love. What are you favorite books and memories? The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Teaching is rewarding, but comes with plenty of frustrations. Embracing the every day little things can bring much needed bursts of joy and gratitude. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Collaboration and cooperation is key to success in every school environment. Who deserves a special thank you in this season of gratitude? The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Faith development is never a linear experience. Art, Spanish and religion teacher Kim Paton prompted creative and innovative thoughts with her unique art challenge to students: What if the Holy Spirit was a fruit farmer? The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Everyone’s past feeds their present and Karen Poulos leveraged her previous experiences as a personal trainer to inspire new ideas as a middle school religion teacher. How does your past inform your present? The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Nothing is more stressful than the potential wildcard moments of parent/ teacher conferences. But led by advice from principal Jim White, Jill and Colleen explore ways to build new bridges with parents. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Don Zengel challenges his confirmation class around these concepts with a simple, but universal teaching methodology that inspires conversation, introspection and deep thought. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
What is the magic mix of baring your soul to be relatable for your students and keeping a distance as you maintain classroom control? Are you a free range teacher or a master of control? The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Everyone has a memory of a favorite teacher who made it fun to learn — Thanks to the suggestion of Andrea Bergener, we can all be that teacher with the aid of creative manipulatives across any age or subject. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us...
The creativity and fun of theme days doesn’t have to end with annual Catholic Schools week or hiomecoming. Mary Peach uses a daily theme to keep her classroom motivated and engaged as she kicks off each day of the week. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit...
We’ve all experienced failures in life but how do we empower our students to embrace the normalcy of life’s emotional roller coaster — especially our littles? Take a lesson from Tricia’s Richardson’s kindergarten class and apply it all the way through college visits. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by...
A deeper dive into the power of vulnerability and personal failure stories to bridge faith connections. Hear from Nicole Rewerts from Mobile, AL. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
Explore a wide range of tips and tricks for classroom specific or school wide acknowledgment of Halloween and/or All Souls Day — all with a sense of purpose that matches the culture of your environment. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.
God grants every person a unique set of gifts and talents. How do we create space in our curriculum for all of those gifts to bloom fully? Hear more from the experience of CEO turned teacher, Jake Luhn, as Jill and Colleen break down training and teaching options. The Catholic...
Break up routines and expectations with small group instruction and team building exercises across interests and grades. Teacher Elaine Wagner instigates many new and different learning outcomes with a unique approach to teams. The Catholic Teachers’ Lounge podcast is sponsored by Loyola Press. Visit us at www.loyolapress.com.