My Top 6 Favorite Websites for Teachers

Everyday Teacher Style Top 5 Favorite Websites for Teachers

Over break I had some time to catch up on professional reading. Now that school’s on again, though, I’m back to having zero time for that. One way I stay current on educational issues, trends, and new techniques is following my favorite educational websites on social media. I love being fed their latest news and articles, which I can usually digest in just a few minutes a day. There are tons of great websites out there, but I find myself returning over and over to a these 6 in particular

1. WeAreTeachers

WeAreTeachers is my favorite place to go for a quick dose of ideas and inspiration. Oh yeah, and some pretty sweet giveaways. It’s a little more lighthearted and uplifting than most (I love when they share inspirational quotes and teacher humor), but also mixes in some deep thoughts and academic info. I’m an ELA teacher, so I also like their WeAreTeachersReading Facebook page.

2. MindShift

Mindshift features interesting articles on how all aspects of learning are changing and evolving. They “…examine how learning is being impacted by technology, discoveries about how the brain works, poverty and inequities, social and emotional practices, assessments, digital games, design thinking and music, among many other topics” (MindShift | KQEd).

3. Cult of Pedagogy

Cult of Pedagogy is a “community of people obsessed with education” that focuses on learning strategies and techniques. You’ll find lots of tips and tools you can use in your classroom TODAY. The information tends to be exactly what you’re probably wrestling with and pondering at any given time, so it’s always incredibly relevant to your teaching. Jennifer Gonzalez, the editor in chief, writes with a very relatable, fun voice and the content is spot-on.

4. Education Week

Education Week is my source for up-to-the-minute education news. They feature good information on issues and trends in education, as well as classroom-friendly takeaways. There is such a wide variety of information here, from happenings in schools and educational policy across the country to quick takeaways and techniques you can use in your classroom.

5. Edutopia

Edutopia is another great website for learning about new teaching strategies and tools. There are great lesson ideas, articles, and videos on a wide variety of topics like school leadership, social and emotional learning, project-based learning, game-based learning, information for new teachers, and school climate.

6. Common Sense Education

Common Sense Media’s Education site is where I learn about the newest learning tech and tools. I love their lists of “top picks” and reviews of technology, apps, and tools. They’re very helpful when I want a quick overview of new potential tools to use. I know some consider Common Sense Media a little controversial (they sometimes come up in censorship debates) so they are not the only source I use for reviews. However, I do appreciate the information when I’m making decisions about what to use in my classroom.

That’s my list of favorite “teacher” websites. Teachers are so incredibly busy that it really helps to have a few places they can count on to help keep them current and in-the-know.

What are some of your favorite teacher websites?

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Stitch Fix #49 Review – New Year, New Ideas

Stitch Fix Review Unboxing

Style Up in 2019!

Want to change up your look or just inject a little more style into your life this year? Along with Instagram and Pinterest, Stitch Fix has a huge influence on what I wear. Every single time I see that box on my front porch, I know I’m going to get some new ideas and try some pieces I probably wouldn’t have considered on my own. Did you know you can request specific items in your Fix?   If you see something you like in this Stitch Fix review, be sure to leave a note letting your SF Stylist know so you can try it, too. As you’ll see, this month’s Fix was just as fun and stylish as always.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission or referral fee at no cost to you if you click through the links to shop. As always, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own and I only share brands and products that I love and think you will, too.

1. Lemon Tart ‘Sabina’ Faux Fur Jacket ($98)

For me, this jacket kind of kicked off a bit of style inspiration. I had never thought of trying a faux fur jacket before this, but I love that this one was subtle and not over-the-top like some of the longer (shaggy) fur ones I’ve seen lately. It’s not leopard and it’s not bright pink, and I kind of like that about it. I also love the snaps and short stand up collar. I could see wearing it with distressed jeans or over a simple dress for New Year’s Eve or any other special occasion in fall, winter, or even early spring. The price was a little steep for me right now (this being the post-Christmas wallet/gut check), though, so I searched for a similar style and found one on eBay (read about it here).

Verdict: Sent it back

2. Pistola ‘Drea’ Distressed Scissor Cut Hem Slim Straight Leg Jean ($88)

These jeans are so flattering! I love the light distressing and raw hem details. The material is stretchy, but not overly tight and they had a nice highish mid-rise that didn’t gap in the back. If I didn’t already have a similar pair of jeans, I would’ve snapped these up. They looked great with the jacket, sweater, and coat from this Fix.

Verdict: Sent them back

3. Emory Park ‘Amelia’ Cropped Pullover ($38)

I was hesitant to try a cropped sweater…after all, I wouldn’t be able to wear it to school, would I? I’ll admit to wearing cropped tops when I was in high school back in the late 1980s (yeah, I’m that old), but a couple of years have passed since then, so I really wasn’t sure about this whole situation. Once I put the sweater on, though, all was good. It was cropped, but hit right about where the tops of midrise jeans hit, so nothing was on display. I tried it on with my favorite pair of Madewell high rise jeans and it was absolutely adorable and 100% appropriate for school or church or anyplace else I might wear it. I am still wishing I had kept this, but you know, Christmas spending occurred recently. 

4. Marc New York ‘Lizette’ Wool Blend Coat ($158)

This coat was really cute and was absolutely “my” style. It had a casual, cool vibe that wasn’t TOO cool if you know what I mean. It had 2 buttons and I’d say it was medium weight: enough for a 20-40 degree weather if you’re not going to be outside too long, but not enough for below 20, windchills, or major time outside. In other words, it would be great for walking to and from the car to go to school/work, or in and out of stores, etc. Basically most of the outdoor walking I do in winter. My current winter coat is an 8-year-old Michael Kors long puffer coat, and if I didn’t still get compliments on it and feel toasty warm during winter, I might have gotten this coat. Another negative for me is that it is dry clean only and my good ‘ole puffer can go in the washing machine. It did look really cute with the jeans and sweater, though.

Verdict: Sent it back

5. SPANX ‘Jalila’ Moto Detail Legging ($110)

SPANX are magical. If you’ve tried them before, you know what I’m talking about. These were super cool with the moto detailing, and they fit like a glove, somehow sucking stuff in and making everything sleek. The price tag is hefty, but they are a workhorse piece and you can wear them with just about anything. The only thing I didn’t like about these is that they were a little too long for me (I think they do come in petite and that’s what I would need), and the areas behind the knees squeezed a little and created an unflattering crease. Most people probably wouldn’t have this problem, but I have large, bulgy knees (sigh) even though the rest of me is in relatively good shape. I can see myself wearing them with a graphic tee, blazer, and sneakers for a casual cool-girl look, but realistically, I don’t think I’d wear leather-look moto leggings to school, and I don’t go out at night enough to warrant buying these.

Verdict: Sent them back

What I Kept

So as you can see I didn’t keep any actual items from this Fix; however, I do feel like I gained some new ideas about things I’d like to try in the upcoming year using pieces I already have or that I might look for elsewhere. For example, I have some Athleta All Over Gleam Tights that are a bit more casual, sporty (and less expensive) version of Spanx that I will try styling with my casual faux fur jacket. I also will be more open-minded about cropped tops, especially now that I have seen how cute they look with high waisted jeans. Finally, I also know that once my good ‘ole MK puffer coat finally wears out, I want to get a long, boxy wool-type button coat like this one — if I can find one that could go in the washing machine. Inspiration, my friends, and ideas are what I kept from this month’s Stitch Fix. Can’t wait to see what I get next month!

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Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Teachers

Top 5 New Year's Resolutions for Teachers

“CHEERS to a New Year…

…and another chance for us to get it right” (Oprah Winfrey).

Oprah’s got it right, but I’ve always believed you don’t have to wait for a new year to make needed changes. That said, there’s no better time than the New Year holiday to reflect on those aspects of teacher-life that sometimes get put on the back burner when you’re up to your neck in grading, planning, meetings, evaluations, and the gazillion other things teachers have slamming them every minute of the day. Keep these 5 teacher resolutions in mind to help refocus, shift priorities to what matters most, and stay sane for the second half of the school year.

1. Focus on the positive.

Whether it’s student skills and behaviors, resources (or a lack thereof), administrative support (again, or a lack thereof), think about what you DO have and build on that. Optimism is a choice: it’s not always easy, but it always makes things go better if you focus on the bright side.

2. Get schooled.

One of the best ways to stay positive is to keep learning. Read a few books on new teaching strategies. Attend a conference or workshop to get new ideas and network with other educators looking to initiate positive changes in their teaching. Take graduate courses to move yourself up the pay scale (an investment that pays you back every year afterward).

3. Set boundaries.

Bring more balance to your work-life “balance.” Eat better, exercise more, and rest more. Sometimes the only way to do this is to say NO to requests for your time and energy more often. Meal prep and check your calendar on weekends so you know what’s coming. Be present where you are at the time: both your family and your students deserve this.

4. Change things up.

Try some new activities in your classes. Rearrange your classroom (students LOVE getting to help with this). Eat lunch with teachers in the building you don’t see that often.

5. Get up, dress up, and show up smiling.

Set your alarm a little earlier so you’re not as rushed getting to school in the morning. Wear something that makes you feel confident and put together (pick up a few new accessories or shop your closet for pieces you haven’t worn in a while). Smile when you hit the building: science has shown that the simple act of smiling makes you, and those around you, feel better (even when you didn’t feel like smiling in the first place).

my new year's resolution is simply to remember to write the new year

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Want to know a secret that can help you accomplish all 5 of those resolutions?

Fake it ’til you make it.

For real. The more you fake attention, balance, a positive attitude, innovation, creativity, friendliness, patience, and confidence, the more it becomes a habit. Have a wonderful 2019, friends!

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