Ideas for teachers heading back to school

August 22, 2019
A teacher and a student work on a problem.

Educators, it’s that time. You are either getting to know a new group of students or counting down the days until your school opens. 

Looking for new ideas for your classroom this year? Check out these suggestions from Penn GSE’s Educator’s Playbook

Add local knowledge to math class

Are you looking to make math lessons more relatable? Caroline Brayer Ebby and Janine Remillard have created a guide to help you localize abstract lessons. Because why solve word problems set in Aruba when your students could be solving math problems set in their own community?

Build a foundation on respect

Some transgender students may have used the summer break as a time to transition their gender identity. The start of the school year is the good time to think about how you can respect identity by respecting pronouns in the classroom.

Start better discussions

Every educator knows the sinking feeling of watching a classroom discussion fall flat. Even though they are hard to execute, whole-class discussions are worth it because students can learn powerful norms and skills for collaboration such as listening, adding to others’ contributions, tactfully disagreeing, and taking turns. Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman has some ideas for making your next discussion meaningful.

Stand up to hate

Across our society, hate speech is on the rise. What happens when it shows up in your school? Educators have to be prepared to speak up to protect students, Howard Stevenson says. That takes a plan and practice. Depending on the action, you’ll also want to think about creating a path of growth back into the community for the offending student.

Find happiness

Education can, at times, be grueling work. Burnout is a real risk for teachers and administrators alike. Annie McKee offers a blueprint for finding purpose and meaning at work.

Looking for more practical advice? You can subscribe to the Educator’s Playbook here.

You May Be Interested In

Related Topics