Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘high school’

Energizing for the Long Haul

By Molly Leahy

            “We’re closed” I announced in rapid-fire snow chain speak. My student teacher’s disbelief and disappointment rang clearly over the phone. “Again? Ok,” she sighed, reminding me of someone I used to be.

            I felt like saying, “Oh you have a lot to learn about snow days.” After teaching for twenty years, I love a good snow day to catch up on bills, sleep, and some cross-country skiing.  There are closets to clean, tax papers to organize, and books to read. Sometimes a snowcation energizes me by restoring work-life balance. Other times, the snow day provides additional hours to respond to students’ writing. This feeling of accomplishment or just balance allows us to return to our very demanding profession with renewed vigor.

            But what happens when snow days pile up, blocking the flow and rhythm of teacher and student energy alike? Read more

Making it Manageable: Feedback at Every Step

by Tricia Ebarvia

      Conferring with students can be exhausting.  Sometimes a single conference can take 10-15 minutes, and if you have 100+ students, conferring is also incredibly time consuming. Time spent conferring with students is time away from whole class instruction, curricular planning, and much-needed grading. But feedback from conferring is invaluable.  When I was in the Writing Institute two years ago, I emailed Penny Kittle for some advice.  I was struggling with how to fit all the elements of the workshop model outlined in her book Write Beside Them.  When I mentioned reducing time for conferring, her response was unequivocal.  “Conferring is our most powerful teaching time,” she responded. “Everyone learns best in the context of their own writing piece, so we have to work it into practice.”

Still, time is always the issue.  Read more