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Top 10 items every teacher should have

These are items that I got along just fine without, but then once I had them, I wondered how I ever managed. Plus, it has made my life of teaching more fun and enjoyable! 

#1: A nice bag to carry your work in. We all take work home and for some reason, when you are carrying it home in some old ugly bag or a repurposed grocery bag, it feels… sad. I think that when you like the bag you are carrying your work home in, you are more likely to feel ok about the work inside of it. There are some really cool bags out there. Here are a few I like: messenger bags, tote bags and computer bags. I particularly like this store on Etsy. She does personalized orders (combining any fabrics she has and monograms as well!). Here is the bag I ordered from her:


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6 tips for a successful back to school night. www.theardentteacher.com
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6 Tips for a Successful Back to School Night

I don’t know about you, but I could not wait to get back to work. I missed my classroom. I missed my coworkers. I missed being around my students. Most importantly, I missed teaching in general. To me, nothing signifies the start of a new school year like back to school night. The teachers are bright-eyed and excited for the upcoming year, the parents are excited to gain a little of their freedom back, your classroom still looks shiny and organized—it’s great! Although this can be the perfect time to get to know your new group of parents and to show them who you are and what to expect, it can also be a little nerve-wracking. Below are the ways in which I like to prepare myself and my classroom for back to school night and calm those pesky nerves.

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End of Summer-- New School Year!
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Saying Goodbye to your Summer and Gearing up for the New Year! 

Well, it’s officially August… we all know what that means– summer is now coming to an end and it’s time to start gearing up for a new school year. Teachers handle this in many ways, some go with the classic: denial. They completely put out of their mind that they have to go back to work and then lo and behold– it’s night before school starts and they panic! Some teachers begin to over schedule their remaining time with all of things they were wanting to do over the summer: beach trip, brunch, shopping, movies, dinners out, weekend get-a-way… you name it! Others, accept that it’s happening and begin to transition, slowly, to their school year schedule and life style. My approach is kind of a blend of scheduling fun things and acceptance. Hopefully the tips below help make your transition easier!

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A great idea for keeping kids from walking out of your classroom with your pencils! Photo Credit: The Ardent Teacher
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Stop Taking my Pencils!

I don’t know about you, but no matter what I have tried in the past, my pencils always seem to disappear! I have a special holder on my desk for ‘student pencils.’ I have previously asked them to leave a shoe in exchange for a pencil. I thought that if my students would hobble around my classroom with only one shoe, they would surely remember to give me my pencil back. But, sure enough, my pencils would slowly disappear! So, I recently came up with a new idea for keeping my pencils from getting “kidnapped” (napped by kids) and thought I would share it with you!

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Great suggestions on how to get involved in your school community!
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Getting Involved in Your School Community

Sometimes when you are spending 12-14 hours a day in your classroom, the last thing you want to do is volunteer for something else that will keep you at school more. However, I honestly believe that the more you get involved in your school community, the more you will enjoy being there. I mean, hey, if you are going to spend every waking hour at work, you might as well include some extras that you will have fun doing (that is, besides grading papers…). Here are some ways that I get involved in my school community:

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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60576371@N04/
rchris7702
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Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes

Mistakes are a very, very important part of the learning process. However, I notice more and more that my students are afraid to make any kind of mistake. It appears to me that they are fearful of looking foolish in front of their peers (and even me, if we are working one-on-one). We know that teenagers can be extremely self conscious and do not want to ‘lose face’ in front of others. However, I find it valuable to teach them that there is no shame in being wrong or in making errors. In fact, I try to instill in them that these ‘faults’ are valuable and should be celebrated in the classroom.Inline image 1

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Helpful tips on how to survive a conference. 
www.theardentteacher.com

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mauritsonline/
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How to Survive a Conference

I just recently got back from a conference. I love going to conferences. I mean, I REALLY love going to them. I think most teachers have a strong affinity for learning. After all, we have chosen to stay in school for the rest of our lives! I love learning. I love sitting in classrooms, I love listening to other people who are considered experts in their field, I love hearing new ideas that inspire me and make me want to try new things! If you have not been to an educational conference (or any conference for that matter), I would highly suggest it. That being said, it can be a bit overwhelming. So, here are some friendly tips on properly preparing for attending a conference.

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