Professional Tools for Proactive Teachers

Teaching is never an easy profession. But right now is a particularly difficult time to be a teacher. With battles over the budget, increasing class sizes, questions about Common Core State Standards—even the most confident teacher can use a little encouragement. Well here’s a shot in the arm: Notes on Teaching, by Shellee Hendricks and Russell Reich. This little book includes nuggets of wisdom to help you get yourself ready for the year ahead or to fortify yourself if you’re in the midst of it already.


What’s your biggest challenge this school year? Which of the tools below can help? Submit a comment to our blog by midnight on Friday, August 26, 2011. One lucky teacher will win my copy of Notes on Teaching. Submit your comment right now! Then read on to find a collection of resources that will help you find knowledge, encouragement, and a little extra help in the school year ahead. (Update: congratulations to Sara, who was our winner!)


One way to add more tools to your professional tool kit is to head back to school yourself. Argosy University offers degree programs that are designed to help you with the challenges you face now and in the future. Learn about master’s programs with concentrations in reading, special education, and ELL/ESL, and EdD programs with concentrations in RtI, instructional assessment, and professional development. Click here!


Nothing is more invigorating than a classroom that looks fun and creative. Add a little zip to your classroom displays and to your students’ projects with the new Project Popperz accessories from Elmer’s. Visit for free project ideas, money-saving offers, lesson plans, how-to videos, and more. Plus, enter to win a set of Project Popperz accessories and other classroom tools at Click here!


Do you dream of a smooth-running classroom? Mentoring Minds has new tools to help. Find resources to help with student issues of all types, from bullying to ADD/ADHD. The materials are presented in easy-to-use formats, from flip chart guides to decision-making wheels. Learn more!


This year, find a new way to partner with parents: Home Team Advantage kits from ETA/Cuisenaire. These kits include easy-to-do activities for positive at-home learning experiences. Click here to learn more!


Enhance your career online with University of Phoenix Continuing Teacher Education Courses. Ready to get started? Apply before September 1, 2011, and pay no application fee. To take advantage of this great offer, complete a quick entry form to share why you’re ready to pursue continuing teacher education. Click here!

Submit your comment to our blog for a chance to win!


PS: Here’s another way to achieve your goals this year: check out the new classroom achievement award available from Special Olympics! This $500 award for teachers in general education classrooms can be used in any way to help your students succeed. Apply now—click here!

8 thoughts on “Professional Tools for Proactive Teachers

  1. So much is a challenge today in teaching. But wiht all the challenges I am still doing what I want to do help kids succeed.

    I think right now its hard to keep a positive attitude about all the changes. SO I for one am perking up my classroom decor.

    The project popperz would be a great product and being from Elmers is always a plus to help.

  2. A big challenge for me this year (every year, for that matter) is communicating with parents and keeping them involved is what’s going on in the classroom. I love the idea of the Home Team Advantage kits from ETA/Cuisenaire. What a great connecting tool!

  3. My greatest challenge this year will be to meet the needs of 62 learners. My school added 10 teachers this year. I am a Kindergarten teacher who has had my own room for the past seven years. From now on I will be sharing the room with a partner teacher. We have three minutes between my class ending and the next one starting. I think the Mentoring Minds would be wonderful to help us be on the same page with classroom management.

  4. My biggest challenge is two-fold, of course, as teaching is an art and a science. I teach academically gifted second graders. They learn new information easily, however at their age they do not have much exposure to thinking and learning at a level beyond knowledge attainment. So here is my challenge: these kids already know or quickly learn the facts required by our state standards. Therefore I must design learning opportunities that enhance their learning beyond the standards. I must push them to make big connections, apply knowledge and synthesize information. The challenge is doing this in a traditional classroom setting that includes boundaries like static schedules. Secondarily I must convince their parents, who think gifted learners must do lots of work (aka worksheets or writing essays) to learn, that learning also requires time for things like hands on explorations and long-term resarch. Lastly, these students vary in terms of areas of strength and interest. How do I develop, manage, and adequately assess authentic learning opportunities for 21 individuals?

  5. It is my desire to make learning cross over from my intervention class to their home environment where reinforcement can occur and back up what has taken place in the day at school. Too many times classroom activities do not reinforce where the student is at that particular point in time and they are just pushed along with the crowd and they tend to get further and further behind in reading. Until they get reinforcement on their level they will never receive practice on the intervention that they are receiving at at time therefore not gaining knowledge over a period of time that will stay with them. This is what causes children to get further and further behind through the years and alot of times they will drop out of school. It could be stopped if only there was reinforcement.

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