The Good Old Days

Topics for this week include student apathy, classical education, and "Cicada-Geddon."

The Good Old Days
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Happy Friday!

I just got home from a long day. Conference days are exhausting, and relaxing when they're over feels great. They went well, and the soup buffet they put out for teachers was amazing.

This week's newsletter contains some great articles and resources. I am fascinated by the upcoming Cicada event. How can you not be interested in something named "Cicada-Geddon?"

Have a great weekend!

The News

Here are some articles and resources that grabbed my attention.

  • Student Apathy - A recent national survey reveals an alarming level of student apathy and cellphone distraction in U.S. classrooms, with teachers struggling to engage their learners. The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that nearly half of all teachers reported their students showing little to no interest in learning. A significant number cited cellphone distraction as a major issue. “8 in 10 teachers said there’s not enough time in the day to get all their work done—mostly because they simply have too much work to do, respondents said, but also because they have other responsibilities, like hallway or lunch duty, that cut into their core work.
  • The Good Old Days - Classics became classics for a reason. Classical learning, a crucial part of Western society, was not reserved for the elite but was widespread across all social classes. Works from the Greeks and Romans, maintained over centuries by Christian monks, Muslim scholars, and even laborer clubs, offered cultural waypoints and sparked critical thinking. The loss of classical education is troubling as it is the foundation of our legal, political, and scientific systems.
  • Case for Comments - Have you ever wondered how grades and comments affect a student's motivation and achievement? New research reveals that grades can boost achievement but may also negatively affect motivation. Interestingly, students who received comments rather than grades showed better achievement and higher motivation levels. This suggests a need for a balanced feedback approach, combining grades and constructive comments.
  • Resource - Prepare for “Cicada-Geddon.”
  • Social - As students spend more time in school, they should develop more independence.
STRONG Teacher Toolkit
Here are some of my favorite resources, ideas, tools, services, and miscellaneous gadgets and goodies that keep me STRONG in both my personal and professional life.

Ideas, resources, tools, and free downloads to make your teaching life easier and more enjoyable.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Lost - Do you feel directionless? These four steps can help you find your path: identify life domains to focus on, pinpoint specific values within each domain, turn these values into actionable steps, and implement these steps into daily life. Taking time to align actions with personal values will help decrease distress and increase overall well-being.
  • Be Productive - Do you struggle to stay focused during your workday? Do you often finish your day feeling unsatisfied, as if you could've achieved more? This doesn't have to be your reality. You can end your workday feeling accomplished and content with your achievements. Discover the top 30 productivity hacks for 2024 that can transform your work efficiency and personal satisfaction. These tips range from planning your day, utilizing productivity techniques, and taking regular breaks to understand the 'why' behind your job, all geared towards maximizing your output and success.
  • Rituals - Are you satisfied with your daily routines? According to Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton's book “The Ritual Effect,” small daily rituals can be transformative. Norton's research reveals how even the most mundane habits can become deeply meaningful and emotionally resonant when repeated over time.


“A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else.” - Darren Hardy - “The Compound Effect”*

Teacher Commuter Playlist - Kacey Musgraves - Rainbow

Favorite Things

  • Connections - If you are a fan of connections, try creating your own version.
  • Good News - A former teacher reunited with students decades after inviting them to watch the 2024 solar eclipse together.
  • Shower Thought - You don’t realize how little you actually know about someone until you have to buy them a birthday present. [source]
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