Great Academic Teaching and Learning

Great academic teaching isn’t a gift or a natural born talent. It is a skill set–one that all teachers can build and refine. The following topics are ones that might serve as a good starting place for a customized plan:


kids reading
Challenge through Choice

Based on my newest book, Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn, this work can help teachers use choice in everyday teaching and learning to boost intrinsic motivation, help students self-differentiate their work, and find more positive energy and joy in daily schoolwork. Some specific topics might include:

  • Creating good choices, and helping students learn to choose well
  • Teaching metacognition, boosting student ownership, and creating positive learning environments
  • Differentiating learning (and teaching self-differentiation!)
  • Using choice in literacy, math, science, and any other content areaContact Mike
  • Using a step-by-step process for implementing choice well


kids researching
Social and Emotional Learning for Academic Success

Have you ever looked at your district/state standards through the lens of social and emotional learning (SEL)? Many academic standards, including Common Core State Standards, have SEL skills embedded throughout. Students must persevere to solve math problems, take others’ perspectives and accept guidance from others as writers, and engage in collaborative conversations in all content areas. Additionally, in order to be successful with just about any academic pursuit, students need an environment that is safe and supportive, and one that will help them develop a growth mindset. Some specific topics might include:

  • What is social and emotional learning?
  • Identifying SEL skills in academic standards
  • Developmentally appropriate practice
  • Specific strategies to teach SEL skills (modeling, role play, activities, etc.)
  • Personalized learning
  • School climate and culture
  • Respectful disciplineContact Mike
  • Teacher language that leads to a growth mindset


research with teacher 6th grade, cropped
Personalized Learning through Independent Research

When students have the chance to explore a topic about which they have a keen interest, amazing learning can happen. Based on my first book, The Research-Ready Classroom, this work will help teachers craft independent research projects that will help personalize student learning. Though these kinds of projects can be incredibly flexible and open-ended (such as power-of-one projects), they can also fit beautifully within your school’s science and social studies curricula. Some specific topics might include:

  • Creating a classroom where students can function independently
  • Connecting content standards within thematic studies
  • Differentiation (and self-differentiation!)
  • Assessment (and student self-assessment!)
  • Effective classroom managementContact Mike
  • Social and emotional learning
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Mike was really engaging to listen to. He used his own strategies to navigate through his talk. It is nice to go to a workshop that gives actual strategies and isn't just a lecture about ideas!

Shawna Paraprofessional, Conval District, NH August 11, 2016

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I have been in a few of Mike's workshops, and I learn something new each time that are easy to implement in everyday life.

Amy St. Ours Paraeducator, Nashua, NH August 11, 2016

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Within three full days of work with Mike, my staff was energized and excited to incorporate choice into their classrooms.

Jeanine Heil Principal, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016

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Challenge through choice was an excellent experience! I gleaned many bits of wisdom to put to use in my classroom intentionally! The conversations about teacher language and praise were incredibly thought-provoking, not only within my classroom, but also with my personal children!

Dayna Bloomer 7th Grade English Teacher, Carroll County Middle School, Hillsville, VA March 16, 2016

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You are incredibly calm and engaging! Humor adds so much to your talks. You should consider a TED Talk!

Danielle Lutenegger 5th Grade Teacher, Deerfield Elementary, Deerfield, MA March 16, 2016

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Mike Anderson
Leading Great Learning
Durham, NH
Phone: +1 413.658.7907

Leading Great Learning

Mike Anderson is an energetic, experienced, and highly sought-after educational consultant who helps facilitate great learning in schools all over the United States and beyond. He has over twenty years of experience as a teacher, consultant, presenter, and developer and has authored many books and articles about great teaching and learning.