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Delegation Dilemma

Every school is challenged with too much to do and not enough time to do it so delegation and shared knowledge is challenge we all face. We lean in on one person to own a progect, program or process all by themselves — which works great until that person...

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Lights,Camera, Action!

Movie producers know the impact of environment when telling a compelling story, but rarely do we think about the sensory impact of our classroom setting to optimize learning and engagement. Hear more from a creative math and economics teacher.

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New Perspective

The day after the eclipse, take a moment to look at what you do and how you do it with a new set of eyes. It’s easy to stick to your routine with trusted resources, but we can’t afford not to keep trying new things or re-envisioning old things.

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Full Eclipse

Making memories with the unique and historic eclipse before, during or after the 8th with art, science and study projects.

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Lessons in Movement

Bring lessons to life with engaging activities that incorporate movement into learning, understanding and memorization.

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Spring Forward

Managing the post spring break Easter energy level is an annual challenge for teachers as schools head into the end of year homestretch.

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Lenten Humility

Lent is not about being perfect. It’s normal to fall short. This powerful lesson provides an opportunity to learn from shortcomings in all aspects of our life as we adjust on the fly. From humility stems gratitude.

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Accompanying Students

The temptations students face don’t stop after Lent. Recognizing and supporting students in their journey of faith is an opportunity and responsibility for all teachers to make a difference.

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Lenten Lessons for Teachers

Temptation impacts everyone — students and teachers alike. Lent is a wonderful opportunity to reassess and evaluate our own lives, personally and professionally.

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DNA of a Great Day

What is the morning routine that gets you in the right frame of mind every time?

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Math Hacks

Bringing Math to life takes more than numbers — whether you are using shaving cream as a home made white board or tackling word problems using reading techniques.

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Please Redo

When do you stop the teaching train to make sure a student understands a key concept vs. just moving on to the next concept and assume the student will do enough to pass the class? What’s the best technique to ensure the student’s foundation is solid before moving on?

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Memorization Methodology

Teacher Elizabeth D’Aurora asks for feedback on her practice of hearing every 3rd grade student recite memorized prayers — including non-Catholic students. It is a logistical challenge as well as an evangelization opportunity.

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Toys vs. Tools

What is the role and value of tactile learning in the classroom? Whether it is a science experiment or simply practicing handwriting, fine motor skills play a role in brain development. How does that compare to the emphasis on technology in the classroom?

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To Tech or Not to Tech

Technology has always been a double edge sword. Strategically minimizing screen time while maximizing engagement with digital tools is an ongoing conversation and experiment. Join the dialogue!

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Parent Partners

Tough talk on the reality of partnering with parents when it comes to school policies and missing classroom time. Are we empowering bad behavior or we effectively collaborating with families? Who suffers the consequences of parent decisions and whose responsibility is it to solve?

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Outside Connections

Making time for connecting with kids (and their families) outside the classroom at sporting events, school performances and other activities take relationships to a new level as you show interest in the kids representing themselves and their school.

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House Communities

Breaking up grade levels with the creation of house communities for students to grow and connect in new and different ways with other students at different ages and stages. Can be themed by saints or other topics with extra service, competitions, and events.

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Peer Feedback

Peer editing is ripe for difficulty, but one teacher cracked the code of peer feedback with groups of four to effectively navigate the process of constructive criticism, using reading papers and ideas aloud for maximum clarity.

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Teaching Beyond the Text

It’s important for students to see teachers as real people with real talents beyond being subject matter experts. Learn about the possibilities surrounding a Day of Engagement where teachers put away the books and allow students to pick and choose talent demonstrations from teachers and staff.

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Real World Classrooms

Student engagement has to be deeper than simply a desire to please the teacher. When the stakes are higher, we see students perform better and with more effort. Opportunities abound with online publication of writing or art — or even the tried and true science fair with outside judges....

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Action and Expression

In addition to presenting content to students, there are many flexible ways to allow students to present the content back to the teacher. Opening the door to adaptive technology and adaptive measurements can be a game changer for many smart kids who struggle with the typical process.

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Mindset of Universal Design

Universal Design is not a methodology, but instead it is a mindset or awareness. Many teachers are practicing it in some forms. Representation is a great example, as teachers consider how a variety of students will perceive content differently — whether it is the lesson itself, the homework or...

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Engaging Students

Student engagement is the holy grail of every classroom. Historically, differentiation was identified as the path to successfully connecting with every child, but this is not sustainable for even the best teachers. Instead, focusing on elements of universal design for learning can bring great habits and tactics to every...

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Crying Over Homework

“This shouldn’t be so hard.” “This shouldn’t take so long.” But it’s never really about the homework. Stress, feeling tired and overwhelmed, clunky technology or whatever the real reason, calls for special grace for all involved.

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Trials and Tribulations

Engaging kids in mock trials of real issues to explore empathy, understanding and facts is a great way to bring the classroom to life. Hear more about one theology teacher’s mock trial for those responsible for Jesus’ murder.

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Wow Factor

Teaching the youngest of our schools can bring out the best and worst of all of us, but it serves as a microcosm of teaching at any grade. Hear more about the long term impact of a science teacher’s ability to bring out the wow for pre-schoolers. Transformation prior...

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Lenten Anticipation

The Ball of Red String is a delightfully easy read for young kids, but as we enter the Lenten journey, it can lead to many deeper insights and questions for every child and family member. Jill and Colleen follow the string… Find out more about The Ball of Red...

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Geek to Geek

How to share your excitement about a new idea, thought, book or approach without it being dismissed as the “flavor of the week” because everyone is busy and overworked? What role do you play — the idea generator, the wet blanket, the listener or the collaborator?

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Classroom Whodunnit

Jill and Colleen go all in on CSI-like tips and technique thanks to a creative teacher who made her own murder board to break down characters and plot twists in middle school novels.

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Catholic Schools Week with Mary Pat Donoghue

With a heart for teaching, Mary Pat Donoghue has run the gamut of supporting Catholic schools as a teacher, administrator and consultant. Now, she serves as the Executive Director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the USCCB — acting as the bridge between the bishops and the schools.

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Catholic Schools Week with Kevin Baxter

How wonderful that a former middle school teacher is now forming and inspiring future school principals? This is what the Catholic Teachers Lounge is all about with special guest Kevin Baxter, Director of the Remick Leadership Program at University of Notre Dame.

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Catholic Schools Week with Bruce Hermie

School choice is changing the landscape of Catholic school enrollment and who better to talk about the positives and negatives than a former teacher, coach, and principal. Hear more from Bruce Hermie, National Director of School Partnerships for the American Federation for Children.

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Catholic Schools Week with Elizabeth D’Aurora

Every school has a trusted teacher that everyone looks up to no matter what grade they teach. Today’s guest, Elizabeth D’Aurora, a 3rd grade teacher from Parnell Michigan, is one of those teachers for her school as well as listeners of the Catholic Teachers Lounge podcast thanks to her...

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Catholic Schools Week with Dr. Debbie Sullivan

Taking a stroll down memory lane with special guest Dr. Debbie Sullivan from the Greeley Center for Catholic Education at Loyola Chicago to savor all the wonderful traditions of Catholic Schools Week.

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Home Schooling at School

Welcoming home schoolers into a community is what Catholic schools are all about. Students can embrace new friends and teachers can see education and learning methods with a fresh perspective. But sensitivity is also required as the transition can be challenging for both sides.

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Art Coach

Many teachers also coach, but how many coaches also teach? Bringing a coach mentality to the classroom can significantly improve skill development and application across disciplines. It can embrace failure in the learning process as well.

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Exit Question

How do we know students are grasping the lessons of the day — especially if they are working independently or across multiple ages and stages of learning? It is imperative we find the right questions to end a lesson or class that confirms comprehension while also providing helpful feedback...

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Information Overload

We love to do field trips and other immersive teaching opportunities, but when there is so much to see, do and experience, we risk information overload for students with different learning norms. This makes pre and post experiences a critical part of the process so students retain the main...

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Super Substitutes

By its nature, substitute teaching is usually unplanned, but the preparation doesn’t have to be — by the teacher AND school. An annual substitute orientation session for new and old subs can cover the foundational elements of scheduling, philosophy, policies and culture while helping them feel important and part...

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Nurturing Narcisism?

Jennifer Wallace’s new book Never Enough opens our eyes to the pressure on kids and parents to achieve, achieve, achieve and the unintended consequence of teaching our young people that the world revolves around them. As teac hers, how can we help return to balance?

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Finding Time

In our culture of achievement, we are seeing the impact of overscheduling on our students. Is it the responsibility of the teacher to give less (or no) homework or are there bigger issues at play for parents, coaches, and teachers to all work together? What better time than Advent...

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A-Ha Moments

Building on the tension filled dialogue episode, how to recognize a-ha moments of discovery and connection vs. students simply looking to de-rail the conversation? And then how does this impact future behavior and teaching?

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Trust in Tension

Real discussion requires tension and varied perspectives — but it can be stressful and scary to not be able to control the dialogue. How do we trust the process and each other to facilitate this important transfer of knowledge where brains have an opportunity to grow.

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Year in Review

Evaluating and remembering the past can help us improve for the future. It’s also helpful to take time to connect with others and acknowledge gratitude for our time together.

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Christmas Duties

We do our best to stay focused on the real reason for the season, but the reality is teachers are the ones who have to juggle the challenges of excited students, overwhelming schedules, extra events and stressed out parents and families. Special shout out to teachers who make it...

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Songs of Faith

Combining pop culture with our Catholic faith by mixing popular music with prayers or scripture — “Weird Al” Yankovic style! It brings creativity, fun and a deeper understanding or words and language together in a unique and special way.

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Teachers at Conventions

So much happens at a teacher convention! In this episode Colleen shares ideas from teachers at the Indiana Nonpublic Education Association Convention. Teachers talked about their best classroom practices and also enjoyed giveaways from vendors.

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Professional Development Days

Professional learning is an expectation at most schools, but sometimes teachers are required to participate in professional development without any choice in what they are going to learn about. Jill and Colleen reflect on what it feels like on both sides of the table–as the participant in the professional...

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Prayer for People

As Catholics, our rituals are a wonderful way to grow in faith, but unscripted, group prayer can also be an intentional community builder for any classroom as we share concerns, hopes, dreams and understanding. The benefits of class connections are a testament to investing the time in each other.

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Thank you notes to Mary

Another Loyola Press advent lesson is referenced, Advent cards. We encourage students to consider what they say YES to, from a kindergartner thanking Mary for her YES, to high school seniors considering which vocational YES God is asking of them.

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Advent Traditions

Colleen asks what’s happening in schools as we begin Advent. It’s a time of preparation, and the prayer of the moment is that even those are secularly preparing for Christmas are awaiting something even much bigger: the coming of Christ.

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Blessing an Advent Wreath

Consider adding an Advent Wreath to your classroom, beginning the season with an advent wreath blessing. We discuss the Loyola Press lesson on blessing an Advent wreath.

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Test Anxiety

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?

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Leadership Conflict

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.

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ESport Exploration

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.

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Teachers as Students

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.

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Solidarity & Witness

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.

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Chronic Absenteeism

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?

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Vacation vs. vocation

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?

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Teaching with AI

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.

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Veterans Day

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.

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Student-led Fundraising

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.

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College Applications

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.

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Inner Kindergartner

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.

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Maximizing Instruction Time

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?

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Life Skills

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.

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Blame Game

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...

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Student Surprises

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...

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The Classroom of Noah’s Ark

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...

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Talking About Writing

Practice makes perfect, but so does self and peer review. How to effectively use peer to peer reviews of student writing to help everyone improve.

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Group Think

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.

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Eyes vs. Thumbs

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.

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Special Impact

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.

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To Homework or Not To Homework

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...

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Rewards vs. Recognition

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.

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Artificial Intelligence: Fears and Concerns

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...

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Artificial Intelligence: Guiding Principles

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...

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Artificial Intelligence: Integrity and Ethics

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...

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I Am Worthy

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...

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Physical Education 2.0

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.

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Adventure Learning

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.

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Board Shorts

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!

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What Matters is Team

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.

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What Matters is You

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!

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Group Think

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?

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Conversation Starters

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...

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Personalized Prayers

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...

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What does a student desk look like?

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...

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If you can get 8th graders to do it, everyone will do it

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...

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Planning Makes Perfect

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...

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Lessons Learned

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.

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Rubrics Cube

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.

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Moving Forward by Looking Backward

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.

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Participation Points

Whether it’s line leader, lunch monitor, or clean up patrol, delegating student responsibility and involvement drives engagement, leadership skills and community pride.

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Energizing Empowerment

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.

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Open Arms, Open Minds

We trained to meet and greet new students, but how do we lean in to new staff members to help them feel welcome, connected and engaged in the community?

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Going Outside to Grow Inside

Staff retreats can be game changers for motivation and inspiration. Whether on campus or off, finding different environments and natural spaces bring new perspectives.

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The Power of Reading

Books change lives — for our students, parents and ourselves. It helps us see beyond ourselves and our immediate challenges while opening our hearts and minds to new ideas.

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Love and Forgiveness

Kick off the new year with the universal themes of love and forgiveness in mind as exemplified by the devotional, Forgive Everyone Everything.

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Facebook Forum

Jill and Colleen toss a topic out to facebook friends for feedback and insights on the issue of summer reading, summer homework and summer challenges. Join in on the fun on Facebook!

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Individualized Orientation

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.

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Environment and Methodology

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?

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Newsletter Fatigue

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.

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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...

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Summer Homework

Preventing summer learning loss is an annual challenge, made more critical coming off COVID learning loss. What’s doable, helpful, and impactful.

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Teachers are people too

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!

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Transitions are hard

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.

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Remember My Name

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.

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Keep or Toss

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.

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Magnetic Personalities

Great culture is the best recruitment tool for Catholic schools. Share the joy and extend the fun as God prepares the person being called to fill open teacher slots at your school.

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Magic 17

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?

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Managing Blurts

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?

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Pre-school Prognosticators

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!

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1st Year Teachers

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!

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100th Day Celebrations

Embracing the unique and fun aspects of the time tested opportunity to celebrate school year progress!

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Creating a Healthy Data Culture

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.

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Accommodating Positive Behaviors

When done well, sharing tips and hints about students from teacher to teacher as they move from grade to grade can be a game changer for helping students succeed and thrive.

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The Joy of Animals

There is a new openness to animals engaging and expanding the learning experience with their general presence as an interventionist or as an actual part of the lesson.

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Dance the Night Away

80’s, 90’s and now. How relationships and culture changed as seen through school dances and social events.

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Emergency 101: Language Arts Subs

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.

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Emergency 101: Math Subs

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.

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A Day in the Life: Teacher Interviews

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.

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A Day in the Life: Teacher Interviews

The teachers lounge is a place to celebrate each other and build a culture of camaraderie among teacher peers at the school.

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A Day in the Life: Teacher Interviews

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!

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A Day in the Life: Teacher Interviews

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.

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A Day in the Life: Teacher Interviews

Drama, drama, drama. Harnessing and inspiring student energy and passion through theatre and the arts in elementary school.

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A Day in the Life

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.

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Conference Connections

How to make the most of speakers, workshops and conferences. Best strategies for maximizing the learning and camaraderie at teacher gatherings.

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Saving the Environment

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.

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Sage on the Stage

It can be scary to give up control in the classroom, but we also know the ideal teaching methodology is giving students the opportunity to teach themselves and each other.

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Running to Community

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.

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Feeding the Fish

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.

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Voice and Choice

When given the chance, students can thrive when allowed to participate in their learning environment. What if you challenged your class to “Choose a seat where you can learn best today.”

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Describe and Guess

Show and tell takes on a new spin with fellow student trying to guess the special item using their inquiry skills.

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Robust Cross Curricular Learning Techniques

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...

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We are an Easter People

Keeping the focus on Easter Joy during the busy, hectic and anxiety driven whirlwind countdown toward the end of the school year.

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Artistic Expression

Art can transform student understanding and appreciation of not just faith, but a multitude of topics, including science, history and reason.

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Sister Act

Experiences with nuns can run the gamut between eccentric, interesting and demanding, but their dedication and faith is always unmatched. What has been your experience with sisters?

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Passion for Palms

Traditions of the church can bring structure and comfort throughout the year. This is especially true for Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

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Public Displays

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.

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Opposites Attract

By design, it can be helpful to embrace our differences as teammates as well as teachers to play to our strengths across curriculum and grades.

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Reward System

Reinforcing good behavior is the key to child development. Explore the long term impact of currency or other rewards on motivating students.

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Lessons Learned

The pandemic forced us to rethink the process of teaching and we have a great opportunity to continue experimenting with new models. What needs to be hands on and what doesn’t?

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Welcome Wagon

How does your school culture reflect radical welcoming? Do you have an official onboarding plan? Are students and families welcomed naturally by all?

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Portfolio Precision

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.

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Rocket Science

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.

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Fearless Inclusion

Fear of doing it wrong gets in the way of effective inclusion efforts for neurodivergent students. How to embrace the beauty of belonging for all kids.

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Grading Discipline

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?

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Disciplined Discipline

Discipline is a necessary part of every teacher’s classroom experience, but there are ways to ease the process — even when parents and administration need to get involved.

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Schoolhouse Rock

Replicate these memorable Saturday morning teaching tools through song in your classroom. Let it trigger memories, discussion and conversation across a variety of topics and ages.

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Poetry in Motion

Helping learners of all ages remember the key points of content across science, history and theology, can be enhanced with a fun and interesting experiment in poetry.

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Leadership Lookout

Academic leadership comes in many forms and from many different sources. How do the new realities of Catholic education impact the next generation of leadership?

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Ideation Creation

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.

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Failure IS an Option

Ideas flow on helping teachers help their students to hold themselves accountable through empowerment, accompaniment, and the patience to let them learn through their mistakes.

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Cursive as Art or Antiquity?

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.

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Ash Wednesday Social Stories

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.

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Fat Tuesday

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.

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