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As some of you know, I use my first two weeks of classes to schedule face-to-face meetings with individual students in my classes so that I can get to know them better. This is one of my top strategies for increasing participation in class, and it really works. But this week I had a first time thing happen–I was the one who with tears in my eyes as I talked with a student. I have a student who I’ll call Jonathan who has a stuttering disability that makes it hard for him to speak–especially now, through a mask. In spite of this, he contributes to class discussion without fear or anxiety, and he has incredibly insightful things to say, to boot. In our meeting I was thanking him for participating, because I imagine it would be easier for him to stay quiet. So I had tears in my eyes as I told him how he will never know how encouraging this will be to other students. If he can speak up, why can’t they? Jonathan has so much emotional and spiritual maturity, and he is simply a delightful human being. I told him that I have a son on the autism spectrum, and that he could not possibly know how much he made my week just from participating in class. I’m sharing this story because this is why we do this called teaching. Not just for them, but for us. And we get to stand by and watch people overcome obstacles to be the best version of themselves that they can be. What is better than that????

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Educators take your mark…get set…

…and go? But wait, I’m not ready! I didn’t get even a little bit of what I wanted to get done over the summer, and I’m supposed to be getting reading for fall classes? What!!??!! Is this where you are right now? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Teaching is very, very difficult, and the upcoming month

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April is the cruelest month…

At least for educators it is. Why? It’s because spring break wasn’t nearly long enough, and the finish line is still so far away. So what can we do to get that last burst of energy needed to get to the end? Here’s my primary suggestion: double down on getting enough rest for yourself. I

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Pandemic fatigue making you long for an early retirement?

You are not alone. After a year of pandemic pedagogy, I find myself longing even more than usual for a small hut in Ireland with no students, no internet, and plenty of books. This article in Forbes indicates that many educators find themselves on the edge of (or fully in) burnout. This is no surprise

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