T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter | Falling Grades, Civil Discourse, and Whiteboards

T.G.I.F. Teacher is a weekly newsletter featuring educational news, and teaching, personal development, and professional learning resources.

T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter | Falling Grades, Civil Discourse, and Whiteboards
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Happy Friday!

This is the 42nd T.G.I.F. Newsletter. This newsletter will always be free. Your support helps with site costs and provides some much-appreciated motivation 🙏.

Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.

I wasn't sure earlier in the week, but I think I can safely say that I survived Halloween on a Monday. The week kicked off with energy and a sugar rush, followed by classes filled with yawns and heavy eyelids.

Congratulations, you made it too! Does anyone need a nap?

Happy Friday - Have a great weekend!

Here are some things I thought were worth sharing this week.

The News

Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.

  • Falling Grades - There has been a buzz in the news about The Nation’s Report Card. I understand that as a country we want to score well, but due to the pandemic and political pressures, we really shouldn’t be surprised that our report card shows falling grades. It’s important to analyze the data, but I’m most interested in how our government and community systems respond. It might also be time to institute a Social and Emotional report card for our nation’s students. That might be an even better place to start.
  • Oh, Boy - American boys are falling further behind in school. Are schools set up in such a way to help males be successful? Some people suggest that boys should start school one year later than girls since male brains develop later than female brains. It’s also quite possible that having more male teachers could be part of the solution. Males also represent only 40% of college students.
  • Citizenship - The midterm elections are upon us. To say the political climate is charged would be an understatement. It’s a good time to promote civil discourse and help students learn how to be engaged citizens.
  • Rewind - For those of you that have taught for a while, would you go back and do it again knowing what you know now? Here’s why four Colorado teachers decided to start. Thank goodness. We all know that qualified new teachers are hard to come by.
  • Resource - Harness the Power of Whiteboards in the Classroom - Teacher Tips and Resources - Using whiteboards can increase student engagement, they're versatile and provide a unique way for students to collaborate.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Primal Scream - Maybe it’s time for a good scream. There are benefits in letting it loose every once in a while.
  • Break the Chain - Perfectionism is unattainable and procrastination gets you nowhere. It can be easy to be stuck in the loop between these two extremes. The Perfection-Procrastination loop can be broken. Here’s how.
  • Focus - Digital distractions have a sneaky way of sucking the “real” fun out of life. You know, like the face-to-face kind of fun. Explore these 9 tips for banishing digital distractions.
  • Motivation - This speech by Steve Jobs has been viewed over 23 million times on YouTube. It’s worth 10 minutes of your time.


Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:

“Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!'” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” ―📘 Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs

Favorite Things

  • 📅 This Day In History - On November 6th, 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States. He only received 40 percent of the popular vote. It’s a good time to revisit his advice, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.” [source]
  • 🎹 Music - Relive your college days by streaming campus radio stations.
  • 📊 Data - Learn how different generations spend their money. Gen Zers spent the least amount on entertainment while housing costs are the biggest expense across all generations.
  • 🔧 Gadget - Take a break from computer screens. Whiteboards* are great fun and students like working with them.


We've all been there. [source]
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