Sunday, November 12, 2017

How Choosing One Thing on Which to Focus, Makes the Rest Fall into Place

by Susan Hitt

As educators, we are often our harshest critics. We hold ourselves up to the "Pinterest-teacher" standard where classrooms are perfectly decorated and there is never an item askew. But we all know learning is messy. Teaching is messy. From uncapped highlighters rolling around to a whiteboard covered in 30 different handwritings, we know evidence of learning is not "picture perfect." But that's okay. In fact, that's what we as educators embrace. We have to learn to pick and choose where we want our focus to lay, and I, for one, long ago gave up on the idea of perfection. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pineapple Tidbits: A little of this and a little of that for the classroom teacher!

-by Susan Hitt

Welcome to another installation of Pineapple Tidbits. If you're wondering about the quirky name of this series, check out the initial post which explains it in detail.

Let's dive into this week's tastiness from the web:

Monday, October 30, 2017

Building Teacher Advocates: An ECET2NC Reflection

-by Kylee Maarschalk, New Hanover HS

Ad·vo·cate noun 1. a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy
Teacher advocates are few and far between in today’s culture.  When the opportunity to tell someone my pride of working in education arises, I happily take it on without question; however, the responses that teachers receive from the public as we share our joy in the profession is one of “Oh, wow! How do you do that?!” or my favorite southern expression, “Bless your heart!” which the last time I checked, meant I was a little more than left of center on the crazy scale. All too often, the teaching profession is viewed as glorified babysitting, regardless of grade level taught.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Remember Your Why: A Dyslexic Teacher's Journey from a Student to a Teacher

Note: I spent an amazing weekend at the Elevating and Celebrating Teachers and Teaching conference in Charlotte, NC last weekend (ECET2NC). I was asked to give a Cultivating a Calling Speech, which I decided to also publish here (with a few edits) as this week’s blog post. -Susan Hitt

Let me begin introducing myself. I was a high school English teacher for 10 years and I am currently the Lead High School English Language Arts teacher in my school district. I am passionate about education. I am an avid reader & tweeter. I am a planner. And I am Dyslexic.

When I was first approached to give a Cultivating a Calling speech, my immediate reaction was while I was honored to be asked, I couldn't help but wonder what in the world I could share with a room full of educators. Plus, if I’m being honest, I was very intimidated by the idea of speaking in front of such a large group. But never one to shy away from a challenge, I accepted the challenge.

Let’s talk about that for a minute. Challenges. My life has been one challenge, after another. I think it’s important to recognize that everyone faces challenges. Some of the challenges we might be going through are easily seen by others, but other challenges may be deeply personal and hidden within.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blended Learning: The Station Rotation Model

This post originally appeared on Aligned on September 6, 2017, by Susan Hitt.

Differentiation. It’s a commonly used term within education, but just because it’s a common term does not mean it’s easy to accomplish. Differentiation means altering instruction to meet the variety of needs students bring to the table during a class period. As teachers, we know we need to meet the needs of each of our students; however, when working with a classroom of 25 or more students, this is often a daunting task for even the most seasoned of educators.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pineapple Tidbits: Episode 1: a little of this and a little of that

-by Susan Hitt

One of the reasons I started this blog was to foster collaboration among fellow teachers by providing them a platform to share their successes in the classroom. Another reason I wanted to start this blog is that there is So.Much.Good.Stuff out there in the land of the Internet! Every time I check Twitter or my email I'm inundated by the latest and greatest TedTalks, YouTube videos, educational newsletters & blog posts all filled with tips and tricks for the classroom.

Don't get me wrong, having so much information at my fingertips is amazing. I remember those old card catalog days, laboriously sifting through hundreds of cards with tiny print which then sent me on a scavenger hunt around the library. Thankfully, now, with just a few keystrokes and a wifi connection, I can access with ease whatever topic for which I'm currently seeking more information. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Power of Paideia Part II: Paideia in Practice

-by Alex Schaivone, New Hanover High School

Catch up with Part I of Alex's blog post here: (The Power of Paideia Part I: I'm a Believer)

After a month of anxiously waiting to dive into my first Paideia seminar, I struggled to find a text that would do the process justice while also appealing to my students. I perused the Paideia Institute’s website (which is a fabulous resource if you’re just starting Paideia seminars for the first time), scouring the lesson plan archives for just the right seminar for my students. As a teacher of seniors, I knew that this lesson had to be good. It was the beginning of their last year of high school and I was determined to start the year off on the right foot.