The Educator's Playbook

It’s the question math teachers know will come up at some point, “when am I going to use this in real life?” The best answer: “how about right now?” Standards reforms and curriculum trends emphasizing critical thinking skills are trying to help students engage in mathematics relevant to real life.


One in four American adults — and one in five children — experiences mental health problems. Black Americans are diagnosed at lower levels, but research suggests the numbers don’t tell the full story. Black families are more likely to have issues accessing care, or finding the type of mental healthcare that meets their needs.


In 2017, digital literacy is literacy. Eleni Miltsakaki offers ideas for how educators can make this crucial life skill a part of their students' everyday habits.

Throughout the year, Thomas tweets recommended books via the Twitter account @healingfictions. Here are her 2016 favorites that deal with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class in ways that are real and empathetic.


There has been a spike in racial and ethnic intimidation and harassment since the presidential election. Many of these incidents are happening at K-12 schools. Penn GSE's Howard Stevenson offers advice for how educators can protect their students and care for themselves.

For children to thrive as learners, they need to feel all aspects of their identity are welcomed in a school. Kate Kinney Grossman shares these ideas for building an “identity safe” school and classroom.


Penn GSE professors Sigal Ben-Porath and Rand Quinn offer practical ideas for teachers of any subject who are hoping to introduce their students to civic engagement in the classroom.


Elizabeth Mackenzie offers tips on how educators can improve their students' academic performance, as well as physical and mental health, by integrating contemplative practices into the classroom.

History class should not simply be a space where students learn through rote memorization. Abby Reisman offers tips on how educators should frame class sessions to develop students' critical thinking skills instead.