Episode 041: Teacher Mindset & Happiness with Angela Watson

Creative teachers are not immune to the time struggles that all teachers face. When you want to engage students at the highest levels, there are a lot of extra items to fit into your day. Writing a quick lesson plan, a basic project handout, or a slapdash series of bellringers is not going to cut it for you.

No, I know you are the kind of teacher who orders expensive books by innovators like Kelly Gallagher and John Spencer with your own money and then reads them in your free time. The kind who finds time to listen to teacher podcasts and share ideas in teacher Facebook groups. The kind who wakes up in the night wondering how to reach that one class that just isn't getting it.

Well, my friend, I am excited to share today's podcast with you. I believe it is possible to adjust your mindset and find happiness in the teaching profession despite the incredible time pressures that sometimes seem unsolvable. And I believe Angela Watson, today's guest, can help. She devotes her days to helping teachers find a path that truly works for them, and she has so much insight on this subject. I found myself constantly nodding along and frantically jotting notes as we spoke, because not only does she understand the pressures teacher face, but she has simple, doable solutions that you can try out right away.

I love that about her.


Teacherpreneurship 101: The Big Picture Beginner's Guide

Summer at last. Aaaah. No doubt you are redesigning some units, meeting up with teacher friends at a conference or a coffee shop to share ideas, and reading a new novel or two for your choice reading library. But hopefully you are also getting some time to recharge your batteries.

Still, for some, all the free time leaves an itch for new challenges. Is this the summer Teachers Pay Teachers is calling your name? If so, read on. If not, may I recommend you head over to one of my favorite posts, "The Best Youtube Channels for English Teachers," and read that instead?

You can TRANSFORM your ELA Classroom

If you are just setting up a classroom for the first time, or you are looking for some new elements to add to yours, here are some of my FAVORITE options from my own classrooms and those I've had the pleasure to see!

Flexible Seating

Flexible seating is "so hot right now," (Zoolander? Anyone?). But it's a trend I can really get behind. Setting up a few fun spots in your classroom where students can retreat to read, meet with a small group, or talk to you one-on-one is just a great idea. Google does it. Enough said. Is there a place you could put a couple of stools? A sunny corner ripe for bean bag chairs? A wall where you could push a couch and a poof? Go for it!


Engage your Summer School Students (ELA Edition)

So you're teaching a summer course. Ideally, you'd like it to be engaging. Memorable. Creative. Superfantasticaliciousexpialadocious. But of course there's the issue of you're tired. And so are the students. And maybe they're not that excited to be there.

There are two different types of summer English programs. In one, students are opting in to take additional English courses because they love English (or their parents do) and they want to get ahead and appear even more impressive to future colleges. In another, students are taking a class to help them make up work, catch up with their grade level, or repeat a term that they failed. 

Get ready for a shocker, because I'm going to argue that the same strategies can be used with both classes. 
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