Valuing Critical Thinking in Teachers: Advocating for Educator Voice and Choice

One of modern education’s top goals has been to imbue our students with critical thinking skills. We do not want to be merely educating sheep. Yet heaven forbid teachers themselves think critically about the curriculum and pedagogies that are foisted upon them! According to Ruenzel (2014) writing in Education Week, “…too much of the discussion … Continue reading Valuing Critical Thinking in Teachers: Advocating for Educator Voice and Choice

Educator Autonomy: Honoring Teacher Input Leads to Investment and Innovation

It's a shame whenever an educator—especially one who has just learned an exciting, effective teaching technique they know their students will love and benefit from—suddenly pauses and thinks: But I won’t be able to actually use that great strategy in my classroom because… I’m not supposed to deviate from the textbook or mandated curriculum, it … Continue reading Educator Autonomy: Honoring Teacher Input Leads to Investment and Innovation

Teaching Whole-Class Novels: New Book Available Now

There’s room and reason to teach whole-class novels, right along with honoring student independent reading choice. ELA expert Robert Ward explains how to do both, as he shares three decades of success expanding the literacy skills of students at every level of proficiency. But learning the nuts and bolts of reading and writing doesn’t mean … Continue reading Teaching Whole-Class Novels: New Book Available Now

Practicing Presence and Daily Mindfulness for Teachers

Use these eight words when practicing mindfulness in the classroom and remembering the importance of presence for teachers: Patience Relaxation Empathy Serenity Engagement Non-judgment Centeredness Even temperament Patience In order to be truly present, we can learn to not rush the moment or seek to hurry to the next event. Choosing patience allows us to … Continue reading Practicing Presence and Daily Mindfulness for Teachers

10 Ways to Avoid Benefit Mindset Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue can occur when our expressions of empathy and our acts of altruism begin to have a negative effect on our lives. A crucial component of living the benefit mindset is that in order to support the wellbeing of others, we must be sure to attend to our own health and happiness as well. This … Continue reading 10 Ways to Avoid Benefit Mindset Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

A Benefit Mindset Helps Students Overcome Trauma (Education Week featured article)

Every student benefits from curriculum and assignments that take them outside of themselves and their own personal (and perhaps painful) worlds. How can anyone say they’re only interested in a narrow range of subjects or activities if they haven’t been consistently exposed to people, places, topics, and situations that may be initially foreign, yet on … Continue reading A Benefit Mindset Helps Students Overcome Trauma (Education Week featured article)

Why Teachers Should Think Twice Before Blaming Parents (EdWeek featured article)

With so much talk today about the importance of mindsets in education, one of the best ways to prepare for a successful parent/teacher conference is for the teacher to enter into those meetings with a positive attitude about how much responsibility each parent bears for the actions and accomplishments of their child. Through decades of … Continue reading Why Teachers Should Think Twice Before Blaming Parents (EdWeek featured article)

Taking a Stand: Engaging Students through Controversy

Push your students’ buttons from time to time! Provoke them and rile them up! But do so within a set of established procedures so students can air their thoughtful, informed opinions in a civil and intelligent manner. Honoring your students’ ideas and insights is a great way to get them “into” a new lesson or … Continue reading Taking a Stand: Engaging Students through Controversy

Inspiring Teachers Show Interview: Teaching the Benefit Mindset

I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Tavis Beem and Danny Hauger for their excellent show, Inspiring Teachers. The subject was my latest book, Teaching the Benefit Mindset: Moving Empathy, Inclusion, and Altruism to the Forefront of Education. "Robert Ward is an ELA pro with blogging and growth to the ceiling of the … Continue reading Inspiring Teachers Show Interview: Teaching the Benefit Mindset

Predictions: Activating Curiosity and Honoring Student Input

Predicting is a wonderful engagement tool because it encourages your students to be wonder-filled! The act of predicting places students in the driver’s seat of learning as they plot out the most probable destinations of where your curriculum and their learning will take them. As I write in my book Reaching the Whole Child by Teaching … Continue reading Predictions: Activating Curiosity and Honoring Student Input