Rethinking Praise

One of the most deeply held beliefs of many educators is that we should praise students—a lot. Many of us were taught, early on in our careers, that the more we praise our students, the better they’ll feel, and the better they feel, the harder they’ll work.Read more

What We Say and How We Say It Matter

I'm excited to announce the release of my latest book! We all have the best of intentions when it comes to our students.We want them to have joy and positive energy for learning. We want them to be kind and collaborative and responsible. We want them to haveRead more

Teacher Talk That Improves Student Learning and Behavior: Bam! Radio Interview

Teacher Talk That Improves Student Learning and Behavior: Bam! Radio Interview
I had the honor and pleasure of chatting with ASCD Emerging Leader Rachael George about my newest ASCD Book: What We Say and How We Say It Matter: Teacher Talk That Improves Student Learning and Behavior. The interview was lively and fun--I hope you enjoy it!  Read more

Boost Your Mood Before School Each Day

Boost Your Mood Before School Each Day

This quote is one of my favorites. If you’ve attended a professional development session with me, there’s a good chance I’ve shared this with you at some point. It so clearly articulates the importance of taking good care of ourselves as educators. Teachers’ Moods Impact Students’ Moods

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Reduce Anxiety in the Classroom: Three Strategies to Try

Childhood anxiety is on the rise. According to research cited in a recent Washington Post article, the diagnosis of childhood anxiety in children ages 6-17 has jumped 20% in recent years. The potential causes of anxiety are numerous. A quick scan of some articles (coupled with my

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The World is Changing–So Should School

The World is Changing–So Should School

On August 27, 2018, I had the honor of delivering the opening day keynote address to 2200+ educators in Nashua, NH. The main message is fairly simple. If we want today’s children to be prepared for the new world of work, we need to stop using Industrial

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Five Alternatives to “Good Job!”

Five Alternatives to “Good Job!”

Traditional praise (such as “Good job!” and “I love the way you’re…” can do more harm than good. Read on to find out what to say instead!

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Set Students Up for Success with Choice

Set Students Up for Success with Choice

The way we introduce learning options to students can make or break a choice experience for students. In this blog post, you’ll learn some practical strategies and ideas from Maggie West, a fifth-grade teacher in Conway, Massachusetts. To get the most out of this post, I suggest

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A Few Tips for Teachers Giving Presentations

A Few Tips for Teachers Giving Presentations

It seems to be more and more common for teachers to give presentations to adult audiences. Whether it’s sharing with parents at an open house night, making a persuasive speech at a school board meeting, facilitating part of a faculty meeting, or presenting at a local or

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Without These Three Conditions, Student Choice Probably Won’t Work

Without These Three Conditions, Student Choice Probably Won’t Work

“If I give my students choice, I’m worried they’re going to make bad choices,” I often hear teachers say. “They’re just going to choose the easiest option. Or, they’re going to choose what their friends choose.” There’s no doubt that sometimes students will make poor choices. They

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