All Posts By

Melissa Nikohl

  • Books to Encourage a Positive School Culture

    A school’s culture can make or break a school. If you’re looking for books to help you change the culture of your campus or if you’re looking for books to keep the positive momentum going, I have some great recommendations for you! #schoolculture #positiveschoolculture

    A school’s culture can make or break a school. If you’re looking for books to help you change the culture of your campus or if you’re looking for books to keep the positive momentum going, I have some great recommendations for you! #schoolculture #positiveschoolculture

    A school’s culture can make or break a school. If you’re looking for books to help you change the culture of your campus or if you’re looking for books to keep the positive momentum going, I have some great recommendations for you!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission.

    The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy By Jon Gordon

    I bought this book as a gift for someone who was a leader. After they told me how good it was, I read it myself, and I loved it! The Energy Bus is a great starting point if you’re looking to make an overhaul of the culture in your school. 

    Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life By Ron Clark

    You know the importance of having a positive culture on your campus, but what do you do when everyone isn’t on board? This book labels different members of your team (and they’re pretty accurate) and how to help get them on your bus. Clark also gives excellent tips on how to reward those who are already keeping your bus moving. And yes, the author is The Ron Clark of Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta

    Move Your Bus was our campus’s book study book for the 2018-2019 school year.

    Time for Change: 4 Essential Skills for Transformational School and District Leaders By Anthony Muhammad & Luis F. Cruz

    Are you a leader on your campus? The answer is yes! Anyone has the power to be a leader. You don’t need an official title to lead.

    Time for Change shows you how to make changes on your campus and gives specific tips on how to make sure everyone is implementing those changes.

    If you’re looking to start something new at your campus and you know there will be naysayers, you need this book to help move your school forward.

    The Power of a Positive Team By Jon Gordon

    This book is all about how a positive team is necessary for a great team. A positive team addresses issues and works together to solve problems. 

    Each chapter explains how a team can commit to working together to achieve a common goal. The Power of a Positive Team can be applied to groups outside of education, so it’s an excellent book for any leader.

    The Power of a Positive Team was our campus’s book study book for the 2019-2020 school year.  

    Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap: Liberating Mindset to Effect Change by Anthony Muhammad

    I know you’re wondering, how did a book about students make this list? Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap is about how schools can change their culture so that all students can achieve. 

    Some districts, schools, principals, and teachers have gotten used to the achievement gap. Educators who accept students’ lack of growth as normal create environments where the expectations and the quality of teaching are low.

    Overcoming the Achievement Gap shows educators how they can change their mindset so they can change the culture of their school so that all students learn.

    These books are game-changers if you’re looking for ways to implement change or a way to encourage a positive school culture on your campus. Have you read any of these books? Are there any you recommend? 

    Related Posts

    4 BOOKS TO HELP TEACHERS CREATE CULTURALLY RELEVANT CLASSROOMS

    HOW TEACHERS CAN CHECK THE CULTURE OF A SCHOOL BEFORE APPLYING

     
  • 8 Tools That All Teacher Bloggers Need

    Are you a new teacher blogger? Do you want to start a Teacher YouTube Channel? Do you want to become a Teacher Influencer on Instagram? If you're an educator wanting to share your thoughts and expertise about teaching online, you need these tools. These tools will help you stand out in the teacher blogger/vlogger world! Find out what tools you need to make your content reach a larger audience! #teacherblog #teacherblogger #teachervlog #teachervlog

     

    Hey teacher friends! This blog post is all about the tools and resources you need to help you create content your audience wants! 

    Before we get started, I want you to know that this post contains affiliate links! Using them throws a little change in my pocket, at no cost to you! What you choose to do is your business (in my Tabitha Brown voice).

    Let’s dive right in!

     

    An Email List

    If your main way to communicate with your audience is on social media, you need an email list. Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc., are all rented spaces. You don’t own your follower list. If your account gets hacked or if a platform goes down, you won’t have access to your audience. The audience you spent years building.

    This is why you need an email list; it’s yours! Nobody can take it from you. Even if you decide to change email providers, you can take your list with you. 

    I recently switched to ConvertKit, and I love it. It’s a user-friendly platform that makes sending out emails simple. Any email service provider will do, but Convert Kit is the provider I’m loving right now!

     

    Extra Lighting

    Not everyone has access to natural lighting in their home. If you work on videos after work, the time you have left to film with natural light is limited. Eventually, you’ll need lighting.

    If you want something small for an occasional video or if you’re looking for portable lighting, grab this 8″ Selfie Ring Light. It comes with a remote, that comes in handy when there’s no one around to take your pics!

    If you’re making videos regularly, you need the Neewer Ring Light. It’s priced cheaper than the name brand version, but it gives off enough light to help you make quality videos and take amazing pictures. I took the picture below with an iPhone 7 and the Neewer Ring Light!

     

    A Microphone

    If you are making videos(and you absolutely should be), you need a microphone. A mic automatically levels up your video! I use Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone.

    It comes with a withshield, which is great to help block out noises coming from your ceiling fan and air conditioner. Just listen to the difference.

     

    Canva

    Wherever you are posting content, you need quality images. Canva is the best graphic design platform for those who are not experts in the design world. The free version will make your work look amazing, but the paid version takes it to another level. If you can’t afford another subscription right now, put it on your list for the future. 

     

    A Pinterest Business Account

    All content creators need a Pinterest Business Account. If you don’t switch your personal account to business, you can’t see how well your content is doing. 

    As educators, we are the queens and kings of data, Pinterest will give you data on all your pins, showing you which pins your audience loves. If your audience is sharing a pin like crazy, that’s a sign to make more content on that topic!

    Bonus tip: Make sure you get their emails, they drop a lot of helpful tips to keep your account growing

     

    Tailwind

    The key to success on Pinterest is to share your content consistently. The problem is, nobody, especially teachers, has time to pin on Pinterest daily. 

    Tailwind pins your content automatically! 

    If you want to maximize your use of Pinterest, using Tailwind is a must. 

     

    Grammarly

    I use Grammarly for my Instagram captions, blog post, and YouTube descriptions. Basically, for everything. 

    I’m a decent writer, but I still make plenty of mistakes. Grammarly helps me clean up my writing and makes it almost perfect. 

     

    A Planner

    Lastly, you need a planner to schedule all your fabulous posts. These blank planners by JSTORY are affordable and easy to use. I love that they don’t have months or dates so that you can buy them at any time of the year. 

    I use all of these tools and it has made my experience as a teacher blogger more efficient. Follow me on Instagram and YouTube to see more of my content! 

    Join my email list too!

    Join the email list to get more tips and tools for your classroom.

  • How Teachers Can Check the Culture of a School Before Applying

    How Teachers Can Check the Culture of a School Before Applying (1)

    Are you a teacher thinking of applying to a new school? Before for you apply, there are things you can do to check the school's culture. Find out how you can get an idea of a school's culture before you fill out an application. #schoolculture

    I don’t know about you, but a school’s culture is everything to me! ⁣It influences your happiness and your students’ success.

    ⁣If your searching for a new campus, listen to how you can get a feel of a school’s culture before you apply.⁣

    For more tips and tools to help you find your dream job, grab The How To Land Your Dream Teaching Job Workbook.  

  • Picture Books About Food From Around the World

    PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD Food is a great way to learn about a country’s culture. These picture books are a great way to learn about the traditions of different countries. Check out these diverse picture books and add them to your classroom library. #diversepicturebooks #diverseclassroomlibrary

    PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD Food is a great way to learn about a country’s culture. These picture books are a great way to learn about the traditions of different countries. Check out these diverse picture books and add them to your classroom library. #diversepicturebooks #diverseclassroomlibrary

    This is one of my favorite book lists so far! I love trying new foods from around the world, especially when I travel! 

    These books take us to Syria, Mexico, Haiti, China, and more!

    These picture books are a great way to learn about the traditions of different countries.

    I will update this list as I find more books! Follow me on Instagram to get updates and ideas for other picture books! If there’s a book you think I should add, comment below!

    If you’re looking for more diverse picture books, check out this list! There are over 250 amazing books to add to your classroom or home library! The Ultimate List of Diverse Picture Books is the perfect list for you!

    Just a friendly reminder, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you decided to use the links below to purchase the books, I do get a commission.

     

    Octopus Stew By Eric Velasquez

    Who wants Octopus Stew?⁣

    Ramsey finds out his grandma is making octopus stew, pulpo guisado for dinner!⁣

    After buying the best octopus from the market they can find, they learn that it is NOT your ordinary octopus. ⁣

    Grandma and Ramsey begin hearing strange noises from the kitchen and that’s when things get real crazy. ⁣

    I couldn’t keep my students quiet while I was reading, which means they loved it!

    Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang

    Everyone in Amy’s family can make the perfect bao. Everyone except Amy.

    Amy is determined to perfect her skills and of course, she finds a way!

    Salma the Syrian Chef by Danny Ramadan

    I love this book! Salma and her mother have recently moved to Canada after living at a refugee camp in Syria.

    Salma’s mother is especially sad that her father isn’t with them just yet. Salma hates seeing her mother so sad and wants to do something to make her happy again.

    So, Salma decides to cook the Syrian dish that will remind them of home. 

    Magic Ramen by Andrea Wang

    In Magic Ramen, we find out how Momofuku Ando invented instant ramen noodles!⁣ ⁣⁣

    After World War II, you could find people waiting in long lines for overpriced ramen. People who didn’t have money for ramen ate bark and grass. The scarcity of food in Japan did not sit well with Momofuku. ⁣ ⁣⁣

    He refused to rest until he came up with a solution.⁣ ⁣

    ⁣⁣It took Momofuku a year to come up with the perfect recipe that would be ready in minutes!⁣ ⁣⁣

    Freedom Soup by Tami Charles

    It is a Haitian tradition to eat Freedom Soup for New Year’s to celebrate Haiti’s independence from France.⁣

    This New Year, Ti Gran teaches Belle how to make Freedom Soup.⁣While cooking together, Ti Gran explains the history behind the soup.⁣

    It’s a great story embedded with facts.⁣

    There’s also a recipe for Freedom Soup in the back of the book!⁣

    The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine

    The Zhang family finds themselves in possession of a rusty old wok that turns out to be magical! They went from not having much to having so much they want to share everything with their community.

    The traditional cast iron wok was invented during the Han Dynasty. The wok symbolizes sharing since it can cook food for multiple families. Today, it is still the most used cooking utensil in China.

    Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia

    Aneel learns that when his grandfather was a child in India, he had the strength of a tiger. Aneel wants to see if his grandfather, Dada-ji still has the power. 

    The only way to find out is to whip up some roti. Since everyone in Aneel’s house is too busy to cook roti for him, Aneel decides to do it himself.

    Bee-bim Bop! By Linda Sue Park

    Have you ever had Bee-bim bop? It is a popular dish from Korea! 

    In this book, Bee-bim Bop, a little girl is excited to help her family make dinner!

    This book starts at the grocery store and ends with the family enjoying their meal. 

    Like many other books on this list, there’s a recipe in the back of the book!

    Holy Mole: A Folktale From Mexico by Caroline McAlister

    This folktale explains how the traditional Mexican sauce molé was created!⁣

    The Viceroy of Spain is coming to the colony to send back a report to the king of Spain. ⁣

    While visiting, he stops at the monastery for a meal and unexpectedly eats the most delicious meal. 

    Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard

    Fry bread is a bread made by many Native Americans. It is not a traditional dish, but you can find that many Native Americans make it frequently.

    Fry Bread is a cute story about a Native American family, but I think the best parts of the book is in the Author’s Note.

    The Story of  Chopsticks by Ying Chang Compestine

    The Story of Chopsticks is a Chinese Folktale about the creation of chopsticks of course!⁣

    The Story of Noodles by Ying Chang Compestine

    I am a fan of the Yang Brothers. In this book, we learn how the boys created noodles!

    This is a living list! Please save this post, share it, and come back for updates!

    Are you looking for a way to organize your interactive read alouds? If you're having trouble planning read alouds or asking the right questions, then you need this freebie. Grab your free Interactive Read Aloud Guide now.!

     

     

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  • Do You Boo! Why I’m Keeping it Simple in My Digital Classroom

    This blog post is about how I feel about my digital classroom. If you're assigning hours of work, buying digital lessons, spending hours creating digital lessons, that's your business, and do you boo. I'm doing what is best for my students and me. Check out why simplicity is the route for me. #remotelearning #remoteteaching

    This blog post is about how I feel about my digital classroom. If you're assigning hours of work, buying digital lessons, spending hours creating digital lessons, that's your business, and do you boo. I'm doing what is best for my students and me. Check out why simplicity is the route for me. #remotelearning #remoteteaching

    I’m a creative teacher. I’m always trying to figure out how to make my class more engaging. Lately, with everything going on, I still have that creativity flowing through me, but I’m choosing not to put it into my digital classroom. To give you some background about me, I’m a fifth-grade reading, language arts, and social studies teacher. My students are pretty independent but are struggling in our new setting. 

    Here’s an example of my weekly schedule. The read aloud is for reading, the BrainPOP video is for social studies, and the writing prompt is for language arts. Raz-Kids and IXL are optional assignments.

    I’m giving my students a total of 45 minutes of work each day. I’m keeping it pretty simple in my digital classroom for several reasons, mainly because our students didn’t sign up for online learning. We are going through a pandemic, and we all have been thrown into an unexpected, chaotic mess. I’m learning; it is entirely irrational to finish this school year with the same expectations as if we were still in a physical classroom.

    I also didn’t sign up to be a digital teacher. Of course, I’m giving my 100%. I’m a tech-savvy teacher, but I realized this is not how I want to implement those skills, especially when it isn’t equitable for my students. 

    This blog post is about how I feel about my digital classroom. If you’re assigning hours of work, buying digital lessons, spending hours creating digital lessons, that’s your business, and do you boo. I’m doing what is best for my students and me. Here’s why simplicity is the route for me.

    Students Should Be Able To Complete Assignments Independently

    Before the schools closed, my students were on different levels, and of course, that hasn’t changed. Some students have parents or older siblings that can help them at home. Some of my students are new to the United States, and their entire family is learning English. I have parents who are working from home and parents that are essential workers. Long story short, I don’t want to assign complicated lessons that aren’t accessible to all of my students.  

    I’m pretty active on Pinterest, and there are tons of digital activities popping up everywhere, I haven’t seen a single one that is advertised as differentiated. So this means, if I were to buy those products, I’d still need to differentiate them somehow. 

    In my mind, it makes more sense for me to create things that I know all of my students can do. For example, I know all of my students can listen to me read a book. I know that students can respond to a creative writing prompt (even my ELL can write a sentence or two). I know they can all watch a BrainPOP video. 

    Parents are doing the best that they can; some are overwhelmed and stressed. I want to make my lessons simple enough so that the kids are still learning, but students can do them independently.

    Unplanned Online Learning is Inequitable 

    Last week students at my school had the opportunity to get devices, and some were lucky enough to get a hotspot. I’ve used a hotspot before, and sometimes they can be flaky. They’re a temporary fix for when you don’t have internet access. So, that means websites may load quickly one day and slowly the next. 

    Think about if there are multiple kids at home using one hotspot. While I would love to take advantage of all of these free websites that are available right now, I don’t think it would be a good idea for my students who don’t have consistent internet access. There are some great websites available for free right now (and I LOVE that companies have stepped up to help), but I don’t think it would be fair for my students who are already struggling to get online, even if it is just one.

    My school also made sure that families who requested devices received at least one, so not every child in a family got their own. In some households, multiple students are using one device. I can only imagine trying to manage who and when each child gets to use the device. Creating a technology schedule can be a complicated task for me, but imagine trying to plan it out when each child has hours of work to complete.

    I Want to Make Sure I’m Not Overworking

    I don’t know about any of you, but I feel like I’m working harder at home than I was in my classroom. I’ve had to find some boundaries. Just because I’m working from home, doesn’t mean I want to work a bunch of extra hours that I wouldn’t typically work.

    My district made a schedule that clearly says we get a break and planning time, but I spend most of my day interacting with students or parents. I barely have time to create my simple lessons for the week. I don’t have time to do more. Sure, I could create bomb interactive lessons that look amazing, but I don’t want to work off the clock to get it done. 

    I Know My Students

    I’m going to say this as nicely as possible. I have THE most unmotivated students I’ve EVER HAD this school year. You know you shouldn’t listen to what the previous teachers say about students, right? Everyone deserves a fresh start, but y’all they weren’t lying or exaggerating! It’s been a challenging school year. As a whole, it has been a struggle consistently getting quality work from them. Moving from a physical classroom to a digital classroom hasn’t changed them. They are still the unmotivated crew lol. 

    I’ve created fun and engaging activities all school year that have left me frustrated when only my usual few get it done. Lack of technology has made digital learning difficult for some, but many of my students are the same unmotivated children I looked at with frustration daily lol!

    I will not frustrate myself by creating the elaborate plans, and only a sprinkle of my students get it done. I’m just being 100% real. 

    I Was About to Do The Most, But Then…

    Before I realized I needed to chill out, I had big plans in my head. Remember, I’m tech-savvy. But, I had a few situations that made me realize, now is not the time to flex those skills.

    I was planning on doing weekly Zoom meetings with my students until I found out it caused a lot of confusion and frustration with the parents. I have 48 students, and only 9 attended my first Zoom. When the meeting was over, my inbox was full of parent emails saying that they were having issues logging on to the platform. Some parents contacted our parent liaison because they were worried that their child missed the meeting. My students were blowing me up on Google Classroom. Our Zoom meeting did not turn out as I had hoped.

    Some other things I didn’t realize until I logged on to Zoom was that parents had to stop what they were doing to help students log in. If parents are working from home, my Zoom meeting was taking away from their work. I didn’t think about that at all. My students with parents that couldn’t step away from their work to get their child set up on Zoom missed out, which is unfair. I wasn’t making this experience as fun as I thought I was. 

    I was also giving out awards (by email) for students who were getting all their work done. I created a really cute certificate, email template for parents, and I planned on making weekly video announcements.

    Then I got a DM from an Instagram friend; she was upset that her son’s kindergartner teacher was publicly shouting out kids who did all of their work, which included the optional assignments. She was upset because she was doing the best she could while working from home. They were completing the mandatory work, but she didn’t have time to complete the extra assignments.

    I was doing the same thing as her child’s teacher. I thought it was an excellent way to motivate my students. I had no idea how it would make parents feel. Yes, I have older students, and they should be able to get their work done independently, but I realized now is not the time to have competitions when everyone’s home life is different. So, I stopped. The last thing I want to do is make parents feel like they aren’t doing a good job. I need them right now.

    It has taken me a few weeks to understand what is going on. I decided last week to let go of everything I can’t control. Nobody is ending the school year how they expected, so I decided to let it all go.

    I love going all out in my classroom, but I realized that right now isn’t the time. I’m honestly just thankful that I’m still able to read to my students daily. My book hoarding finally paid off. To see my basic lesson plans, check me out on Instagram. If you’re going all out in your digital classroom, do your thang boo, it’s just not for me.

     

     

     

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    HOW ELEMENTARY TEACHERS CAN REMOTELY DIFFERENTIATE READING USING RAZ-KIDS

    WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ALL STUDENTS

    HOW TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ALL STUDENTS

  • How Elementary teachers can remotely differentiate Reading Using Raz-Kids

    HOW ELEMENTARY TEACHERS CAN REMOTELY DIFFERENTIATE READING USING RAZ-KIDS #remotelearning #elementaryremoteteaching

    HOW ELEMENTARY TEACHERS CAN REMOTELY DIFFERENTIATE READING USING RAZ-KIDS #remotelearning #elementaryremoteteaching

    Are you looking for a way to differentiate your reading class remotely? It is possible with Learning A-Z’s Raz-Kids.

    If your school does not have a subscription, that’s okay! The Learning A-Z family is offering free subscriptions for the rest of the school year. Raz-Kids is an excellent way to differentiate reading in your digital classroom! Keep reading to find out why.

    You Can Assign Leveled Books

    I’m sure you know all about Learning A-Z’s printable books. But, you can assign those same books digitally. I like to assign books below, on, and above students’ reading levels. By assigning multiple levels, you give students more opportunities to practice, which results in student growth.

    You Can Assign Audiobooks

    Raz-Kids gives you an option that allows the program to read books to students. I love using this feature because, when I assign books that are above their reading level, it will enable the students to hear and see all the words first. As the computer reads the book, each word is highlighted so the students can easily follow along.

    You Can Assign Running Records

    If you want to check your students’ progress, then you can assign running records. Once you assign the running record, it goes straight to the student. When the student gets the assessment, they will record themselves reading the book or passage, and then it gets sent back to you! I have a YouTube Tutorial if you want to check it out!

    You Can Assign Sight Word Testing

    Have you’ve been working on sight words this year? Well, you can still have students practice their words. Give them the words you want them to practice and then assign them a High-Frequency Word Assessment to track students’ progress.

    You Can Address Foundational Skills

    If this unexpected break in school interrupted your phonic lessons, use Raz to keep going. There are books for decoding, letter recognition, and other phonic skills.

    You Can Assign Fluency Practice

    What elementary teacher isn’t looking for fluency practice? If you’re looking for an opportunity to have students to practice fluency, you can assign poems, songs, and rhyming books.

    Student growth doesn’t have to stop. Check out my Raz-Kids tutorials to see if it’s the program for you (I already know it is).

     

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  • 5 Virtual Interview Tips for Teachers

    Virtual interviews for teachers may be a new experience for some, but they don’t have to be any more stressful than your typical teacher interview if you’re prepared. Check out the blog post and get your FREE Teacher Interview Cheat Sheet to get everything you need for your big day! #virtualinterview #teachervirtualinterview

    Virtual interviews for teachers may be a new experience for some, but they don’t have to be any more stressful than your typical teacher interview if you’re prepared. Check out the blog post and get your FREE Teacher Interview Cheat Sheet to get everything you need for your big day! #virtualinterview #teachervirtualinterview

    Virtual interviews have become more prevalent in the educational world, especially now. I did my first virtual interview in 2015; I was living in Chicago and was hoping to move back to Dallas. So, I started applying to various schools in the Dallas area, and eventually, I snagged an interview and got the job.

    During my last job search, I did a few virtual interviews for districts as screeners. The screeners were available for administrators throughout the district, and admin would watch to screen who they wanted to meet in-person. I prepared for my official interview and screener interviews in the same way. Use the following tips to ensure your next virtual experience is a success!

    Dress Professionally

    Yes, it’s online, and all the interview panel will be able to see is your top. But, dressing professionally from head to toe helps put you into character. Although it seems like your interview is casual, it’s not. It’s still essential that you look the part. And what happens if you have to stand up?

    Find a Quiet Place

    For me, it’s easy because I’m single with no kids. I only have to mute my television and silence my phone. But most of you have children, pets, or other family members that live with you that would make finding a quiet place much harder. Make your kids go outside, give them a device, or put on their favorite movie. Pets should be out of view, lock the door or give them their favorite treats lol. The adults in your house should be much easier to convince. Should be lol.

    Virtual Interview Checklist & Organizer for Teachers

    Find A Well Lit Area

    The panel needs to be able to see you! Set up where you are facing a window. The back of the computer should face the window. Add more lighting if it’s not a sunny day. If you can’t set up near a window, bring in extra lamps.

    Keep Notes Nearby

    One of the advantages of doing a virtual interview is that you can have notes for your talking points nearby. During interviews, I get so nervous I forget things that I want to share. Don’t write paragraphs, but jot down notes to help you remember your talking points. If you grab the How to Land Your Dream Teaching Job Workbook, you’ll have answers to the frequently asked questions already planned out.

    Take notes

    If this is your first virtual interview, it may make you more nervous than usual. You’ll probably forget important topics you discussed shortly after your meeting. So, during the interview, you’ll want to take notes. Why? Because when you follow up, you’ll want to mention topics that were discussed. For example, if they said they were looking for someone who is a team player and works well with others, then you’ll want to mention that in your follow up letter or email.

    The panel will conduct tons of interviews for positions throughout their campus, your job is to stand out and make them remember you.

    Virtual interviews may be a new experience for some, but they don’t have to be any more stressful than your typical interview if you’re prepared. Get your FREE Virtual Interview Checklist to prepare for your big day!

    Get Interview Ready with the

     

     

     

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  • How Non-Tech Savvy Teachers Can Survive Working Remotely

    COVID-19 has forced teachers to work from home. Teachers are working remotely and some are having a hard time. Not all teachers are good at integrating technology and right now, that is a major problem. Remote learning will be how students and teachers finish the school year. Get tips on how teachers can successfully work from home. #remotelearning #digitallearning #elementaryremotelearning

    COVID-19 has forced teachers to work from home. Teachers are working remotely and some are having a hard time. Not all teachers are good at integrating technology and right now, that is a major problem. Remote learning will be how students and teachers finish the school year. Get tips on how teachers can successfully work from home. #remotelearning #digitallearning #elementaryremotelearning

    I haven’t shared this with you all, but I’m a Google Certified Educator, Level 1. I love to integrate technology into my classroom.

    I once was the Digital Ambassador for my campus. Which meant I was in charge of helping other teachers integrate technology. That position made me see that a lot of teachers struggle with using technology in the classroom, and honestly, it’s not their fault.

    I’ve only worked for one district that offered professional development throughout the year on technology tools and integration. And the classes were optional. Which meant, all the tech nerds (people like me) went to the PD, and those lacking in tech integration never signed up.

    Every educator is not comfortable using technology in their classroom, even the presumed tech-savvy younger teachers. This pandemic has forced teachers who don’t consistently use tech in their classrooms to start without warning. This has to be causing more stress and anxiety for many teachers. 

    Here are a few things non-techie teachers can do to relieve some of the pressure added to this challenging (at least for me) school year. 

    Be honest with parents and your administrators

    Telling parents and administration that you struggle with technology is the first step you should take. Just remember being honest doesn’t give you an excuse not to learn. It just means you’re asking for grace and time to learn.

    Through these conversations, I’m sure you’ll find that you’re not alone. Many parents don’t have a clue about what apps or programs are used in some classrooms. I’m sure them knowing that you’re not a tech guru will provide them with some comfort to see you’re still doing some things the “old” way. 

    Your administrators will appreciate this, too, even though they probably already know that technology isn’t your strong suit.

    Focus on one thing at a time

    Rational parents and administrators aren’t expecting things to be perfect. So, take the time to learn. Pick something to focus on each week and learn how to use it. If your district uses Google products, focus on making assignments on Forms one week and Slides the next. Play around with one program or app until you’re comfortable. You’ll never master or be great at a bunch of different apps if you don’t focus on one or two at time. And guess what, you don’t have to know how to use several apps or programs. One or two is just fine.

    Don’t overwhelm yourself with multiple programs just because your teammate knows how to use them. Like that toddler in the viral video said: “worry about yourself.” That’s the only way you’ll get better. Remember, comparison is the thief of joy. Focus on the best resources that will give you the most bang for your buck and master those first!

    Be willing to make mistakes and welcome support

    Even when you’re a pro at integrating technology, things still don’t always turn out the way you envisioned them. You’re bound to make mistakes, and that’s the only way you’ll learn. I’m not a perfectionist, so this is the best part. Once I make a mistake, I know how to make it better next time. 

    Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your more experienced teammates and instructional coaches. Don’t expect them to do it for you, but ask them how you can make something you’re already doing run smoother. Ask them what features in the program they love to use. Let them give you ideas on how to make whatever technology you prefer to use your own.

    We have found ourselves in a stressful situation, and we don’t know how long it will last. If you’re uncomfortable with this drastic change, be honest, start small, and give yourself grace. Right now, remote learning is a new challenge for all K-12 educators. Take your time and do what you can.

     

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