Tada! It’s time to review the most popular posts of 2017!
Here at Suburban Snow White things went swimmingly, despite the disturbing political climate we had here in the United States. Yours truly was one of 22 scholarship winners in Marie Forleo’s prestigious B-School. Man, was that a thrill. It’s no hyperbole to say the B-School course was life-changing, and I continue to grow as a teacher entrepreneur thanks to Marie and her team. A HUGE shout out to those lovely people. They are some amazing human beans. 🙂
I’ve got lots of fun plans for the year ahead, including a challenging and intriguing TBR (“to be read”) list, full of some wonderful classics.
Yet it’s also a kick to look back and take stock of the year. Today we’ll look at the SSW 5 most popular posts of 2017, beginning with the fifth favorite.
#5 Most Popular Post ~ Learn the States and Capitals with a Grin!
Learning those states and capitals ain’t what it used to be when we were kiddos! There are tons of great freebies out there to make mastering the material downright fun. When the kids are in the midst of it, it actually feels a bit like cheating because they’re having such a blast. Do yourself a huge favor and check out these resources. In this post, I share one resource I bought that made an instant difference in my kids’ fact retention. It involves a chef and a dog that throws up. (See? Aren’t you curious now?)
#4 Most Popular Post ~ Incredible Apps for Teachers
There are solid can’t-live-without-’em apps out there and there are some that, well, we can live without. There is so much for us teachers to muddle through! The best apps — the ones we search for – enhance our teaching and engage our kids. This is a list of some of my favorites. By far, though, the second app I mention in this post is the one that I use the most in class. I always expect the kids to tire of it, but they don’t. Maybe it’s magic?
#3 Most Popular Post ~ 7 Classroom Management Strategies for an Organized Classroom
I am not a naturally organized person. Never have been. But I always wanted to be!
For years, I’d seek out those colleagues in my building who seemed to exhale organization. I’d ask for their input on making my room run as smoothly as theirs, and they all kindly showed me how to make both big and small changes in my room setup and work habits. Slowly and with a lot of hard work, I got my classroom to be one that makes many colleagues say, “I wish I were naturally organized like you.” Which makes me laugh, because I have to work so darned hard at it! Nothing natural about it.
While I’m still not where I want to be yet, I’m pretty darned close! In this post, I share the seven best classroom management strategies I learned from others. If I can make my room organized, anybody can do it.
#2 Most Popular Post ~ “Help! I Got My First Teaching Job!”
This was a love-letter to my first-year teacher self. While you’ll find plenty of lists out there with advice for first-year teachers, I never found anything that got into the trenches and gave me the down-and-dirty of exactly what I needed to do. And while I worked by little behind off that first year, I wasted so much time on things that didn’t matter. (And neglected many of the things I should have been working on.) I wished so much that someone had taken me under their wing and told me what was what. So last spring, I created such a list. It’s thorough and helps you sift through all the muck of that first few months with a clear map.
The best part was hearing from first year teachers who were saving time and energy as a result. One of my favorite comments was this:
Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!!! This is amazing! I am a first year teacher and honestly I am so nervous about everything. I am always fearful that I haven’t planned enough or am missing something that I should know or have done already. This list had things that I hadn’t thought of yet! Plus I am meeting with my team teacher soon and your list of suggestions is exactly what I need to ask her!
Isn’t that the sweetest? I love new teachers. You’ll never find anyone more excited and ready to change the world.
The post comes with a free 5-page downloadable checklist. My interns all use this and say it makes all the difference in the world when they get their first job. Please pass the post on to any new educators in your life! They will love you to pieces if you do. 🙂 I wish I could send it back in time to my first-year teacher self. The poor thing was exhausted and could have used a leg-up.
#1 Most Popular Post ~ I wish my teacher knew
This was a super-vulnerable post for me to write. In it, I describe an experiment another teacher began and how it spread like wildfire. When a colleague told me she tried it with her class, I thought, “That’s genius!” I tried it the next day with my class, creating my own “I wish my teacher knew” letter. (It’s included in the post.) It was a warts-and-all confession to my kids about what bothered me at their age and what I’d wished my teachers had known. The kids took it very seriously and reciprocated by baring their souls. It was humbling and eye-opening.
This is something you can do at any time of the year. In fact, consider doing it several times a year. In the post I’ve included free downloads so you can put it to use immediately.
Our kids inhabit complex worlds and we often miss the SOS signals they give us. I highly encourage you to try this in your classroom or with any other important youngsters in your life. You’ll never look at your students the same way again.
Now it’s time to hear from you! Tell us in the comments below — what are your thoughts about 2017? Was it a great year for you or did you tell 2017 not to let the door hit it on the way out? What are you most proud of? What are your plans or resolutions for the new year ahead?
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