5 instructional practices that drive student engagement

Student engagement has long been an indicator of growth and progress, and in the wake of the pandemic, it will prove essential for academic and social-emotional recovery.

Recent insights pulled from a survey of more than 2,000 identifies instructional practices that enable student engagement, no matter the learning environment.

Using qualitative and quantitative survey data, the following five instructional practices were ranked highest for driving engagement.…Read More

3 tips for maximizing the impact of professional learning

It’s one thing to attend a professional learning or instructional coaching session—but taking what you’ve learned and putting it into action is another. Most often, it’s the experiences built upon collaboration, reflection, and active change that make the biggest difference.

My time as a classroom educator helped me realize a passion for helping fellow teachers learn and grow. It inspired a mission to transform professional learning into something that’s focused on teacher collaboration, learning and follow-through.

With this in mind, I compiled the following tips for getting the most out of professional learning and coaching sessions.…Read More

Wayfair Professional Celebrates Local Teacher in Third Annual Dream Classroom Giveaway

BOSTON, Massachusetts – December 14, 2021 Wayfair (NYSE:W), one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home, announced today the winner of the third annual Dream Classroom Giveaway, a contest awarding one U.S. teacher with a full classroom makeover. Conducted by the Education division of Wayfair Professional, Wayfair’s business-to-business program, nominations from the public were accepted through a contest website earlier this year. A winner is selected based on their significant impact on their students and community with an engaging and creative approach to teaching.

“Wayfair Professional is excited to announce this year’s Dream Classroom Giveaway winner, Ms. Julia Negele, a kindergarten and first grade teacher in the Boston Public School system,” said Margaret Lawrence, vice president of Wayfair Professional. “We’re proud to recognize an outstanding local teacher for the first time in the contest’s history and provide Ms. Negele with all the furniture and decor she needs to make her classroom work harder for her and her students.”

Since its 2019 launch, Wayfair Professional’s Dream Classroom Giveaway has received thousands of nominations from the public, and nine winners have been awarded brand-new classrooms. A panel of Wayfair Professional Education Specialists carefully selects each winner and works with them to redesign their classroom, including teacher and student desks and chairs, soft seating, rugs, bookcases, whiteboards and easels, a variety of storage, and other educational furniture and decor. …Read More


Jacksonville, FL — TeacherMade, the online platform for making interactive digital learning activities, has released a software update that allows Teachers to share account access with other Teachers, paraprofessionals, substitutes, administrators, IEP/504 teams, or any other stakeholder. The new Co-Teacher shared access allows Teachers and staff to collaborate on lesson authoring, grading, assigning, and sharing. A video explaining how to use this powerful new feature is available at https://youtu.be/NUKUqm9si5s.

TeacherMade was created during the Covid-19 pandemic to meet the urgent needs of Teachers and students thrust into remote learning. Now TeacherMade is growing into a complete online learning platform that supports every stakeholder. The new Co-Teacher update makes TeacherMade a more complete solution for schools. 

TeacherMade has a library of original, pre-built, engaging online learning experiences for students. But most schools build their own private-use libraries from the PDFs their Teachers already use. TeacherMade’s one-of-a-kind PDF editor is the fastest way to digitally enhance an existing paper lesson. Digitally enhanced activities are part of a resilient curriculum that can adapt to in-person, remote, and asynchronous environments.…Read More

Do your teachers know what good teaching looks like?

Pick any high-priority instructional initiative in your district. Can you think of at least one teacher who is excelling in that priority area?

Maybe it’s an early-elementary teacher facilitating small group math learning. Or, maybe it’s a high-school science teacher appropriately deploying sheltered-instruction techniques into a lesson rich with academic language.

Now ask yourself… how can every other teacher get a chance to see that teacher’s classroom?…Read More

6 ways to keep students engaged in any type of classroom

Whether your students take the bus to school or run downstairs to the computer room, keeping them engaged in their classwork throughout the day is the best way for them to master content and progress to the next level of their education.

But not all students do this, or at least, do it well. So how can teachers and principals up their game to keep students engaged and make sure each child stays focused and ready to learn?

As teacher for more than 20 years, I have 6 tips to help keep students engaged throughout the day, whether they are in a traditional or a virtual classroom.  …Read More

Oklahoma Christian University and BloomBoard Announce New Partnership to Support Teacher Development and Salary Advancement with Micro-credentials

EDMOND, Okla. (September 30, 2021)- Today, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) and BloomBoard announced a partnership to help Oklahoma schools and districts with COVID recovery by supporting teachers with micro-credential-based graduate courses. This news comes after a recent report shed light on the Sooner State’s struggles with retaining teachers. Through this partnership, Oklahoma teachers will earn graduate credit from the university and build immediate teaching skills necessary to address pandemic-related setbacks to learning. Officials, including Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters, are striving to fast-track career development in the teaching profession and solve talent pipeline needs through this program.

“Studies show that the number one factor of student success in the school setting is the quality of the teacher,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Education, Ryan Walters, “Oklahoma needs professional development now to allow us to be better teachers tomorrow. Micro-credentials provide teachers a career ladder for advancement while allowing them to stay in the classroom where they can change students’ lives.”

This partnership allows teachers to develop skills through a learning-by-doing process that is directly relevant to their classroom practice. Micro-credential-based programs are a flexible alternative to earning traditional graduate course credit towards a master’s degree. They provide an on-the-job approach to professional learning while promoting educators’ career and compensation advancement. …Read More

How to overcome trauma through kindness

Mrs. Reavis was more than just my 5th-grade teacher. She was a lifeline. I always knew her persevering belief in me made a difference in my life, but I never understood the science behind her impact until recently.

Growing up, my life was filled with trauma. Abuse was, unfortunately, not a rare experience in my household. From an early age, I was subjected to things no child—or person for that matter—should ever encounter. Research shows this kind of trauma, also known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have a lifelong impact. However, we now know positive childhood experiences (PCEs) can lower the impact of those negative effects by building resilience.

Long-term effects of trauma in childhood…Read More

From Katrina to COVID: Kids heal in communities

Some moments in life are unforgettable. For me, the experience of evacuating from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina with my two young children and pup is one of those moments. Katrina became a marker in the life of our family. We used to talk about the timeline of our experiences in terms of “before Katrina” or “after Katrina.” While our home only sustained significant wind damage but no flooding, we witnessed firsthand the considerable tragedy across the city.

My husband is a Coast Guard pilot and was part of the rescue efforts immediately after the storm. As a young mother and teacher, I was focused on setting up a temporary home in San Antonio, TX. I had very little information on how long we would be living in Texas, whether my house was destroyed, what would happen to my teaching job and salary, and how long I would be apart from my husband. The uncertainty combined with the sudden nature of the disaster was, at times, almost too much to bear. I spent hours watching the news showing pictures of people on roofs trying to survive the flooding and the helicopters bravely swarming the airspace to save as many people as possible.

After two months, in October, we were able to return to the city once electricity was restored to our area on the west side of the river. Imagine a home in the deep heat of a New Orleans summer, closed, with no electricity or air conditioning. Imagine a refrigerator and freezer in that house with food left behind. Imagine thousands of those! Imagine wind and water damage and destroyed backyards, sheds, patios, and plants. We returned to that scene, and we were by far one of the lucky ones! We focused on cleaning out our home for several weeks, installing a blue FEMA tarp over a damaged roof, burning the left-behind branches and fallen trees in our yard, and attempting to find food and water. We were grateful for organizations that sent volunteers to cook, assisted with cutting down trees, and did various other tasks.…Read More