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15 Inspiring Quotes to Finish the School Year Strong

15 Inspiring Quotes to Finish the School Year Strong

“Mom, they’re driving me crazy! They used to be so much better behaved. WHY did I go into teaching? Ugh.” I was complaining to my mother about my students. You know, as one does.   “Well, I can tell it’s May,” she replied. “You always complain […]

9 Thrifty (But Awesome) Teacher Appreciation Gifts

9 Thrifty (But Awesome) Teacher Appreciation Gifts

A friend of mine has SEVEN children. Seven. They range in age from preschool to high school. I started thinking about Teacher Appreciation Week and how darn expensive that could get for her family. Especially, factoring in multiple teachers or coaches at the middle and […]

AP Exam Prep: Make the Most of Your Time

AP Exam Prep: Make the Most of Your Time

My AP US History teacher was perhaps . . . not the best person to prepare us for the exam. I knew there was a problem when 1st quarter ended and we were STILL in the colonial period. I lived in Virginia, but come on! […]

RAFTing Through Social Studies

RAFTing Through Social Studies

I had assigned a writing project to my US History students; when they were turned in I had 1 extra. That’s right. One extra. In addition to his graded assignment, a student actually created a SECOND project and turned it in. For funsies. That’s when […]

How to Work Successfully with a Tutor

How to Work Successfully with a Tutor

The first time I walked into a student’s house to work with him felt weird. First, I was only working with one kid, not thirty. In fact, I would eventually know him better than any student I had ever taught. And it was all so […]

Why Teens Need Waaaay More Sleep (And how to get it!)

Why Teens Need Waaaay More Sleep (And how to get it!)

I first realized something was wrong with teen sleep while student teaching. I taught 2nd-semester seniors (whoever scheduled that clearly hated me!) School started at 7:20 and I watched my students walk in with coffee, caffeinated sodas, and candy bars to wake themselves up. While […]

How to Help Your Teen Pick Next Year’s Classes

How to Help Your Teen Pick Next Year’s Classes

“So, I’m going to take 7 IB classes next year, Ms. P”. Josh was a junior, getting ready to apply to competitive schools the next fall. There was NO need to take all IB classes, but he insisted. I’d taught Josh when he was a […]

How to Create an Effective Study Group

How to Create an Effective Study Group

Did you ever watch the show Community? It’s about a group of lovably weird community college students who join a study group that changes their lives. That’s right – they create the group to study for Spanish class, but end up staying together, becoming the […]

What People Get Wrong About Studying: 5 Myths Busted!

What People Get Wrong About Studying: 5 Myths Busted!

According to Hollywood, you need the following to study: Big books, and lots of them A notebook, in which you take feverish notes and every once in a while rip out pages, ball them up, and throw them on the floor Highlighters, for feverish highlighting […]

3 Reasons Why Your Teen Doesn’t Know How to Study

3 Reasons Why Your Teen Doesn’t Know How to Study

“Um, Ms. Porzel, why haven’t we ever learned how to do this before?” my student asked while we were setting up their planners for the semester. I was teaching a small studies skills class to 9th graders. The course was focused on organization, study strategies, […]