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99 Essential Blog Posts for the First-Year Teacher

Whether you are just finishing up your education degree or are already firmly entrenched in your first year of teaching, you will find these blog posts a helpful part of surviving your first year in the classroom. Most of these posts are written by teachers themselves, including those with degrees in special education, and touch on just about every topic you can imagine, including working with students, improving your teaching skills, resources to use in the classroom, going green in school, education reform, and the future of education. Take advantage of this wealth of information to guide you through not only the first year of teaching, but many more years to come.

Posts about Working with Students

From choosing your battles in the classroom to assigning the right kind of homework, these posts offer tons of tips for working with students.

  1. 52 Teachers, 52 Lessons: Week 14. Picking your battles in the classroom can be an important part of ensuring you’re a successful teacher.
  2. The Library of Congress Pushes Primary Sources. Learn about this initiative at the Library of Congress that helps teachers support primary sources for students.
  3. How Much is a Field Trip Worth?. Learn about the value of taking students out of the classroom for learning opportunities.
  4. When Parents do the Homework. The best way to get a student to do their own homework is by giving appropriate assignments.
  5. What do General Education Teachers Need To Know about Special Education. Even if you aren’t a special ed teacher, there is plenty you should know about special ed students.
  6. How DO We Learn Math?. Explore the ways in which students learn math and how to incorporate these styles into your teaching.
  7. Tutoring is like a GPS. See what this post says about how teachers and tutors can work best to help students truly learn.
  8. Knowledge is the Key. Explore the connection between knowledge and learning with this post.
  9. Ways of the Teacher-Feminist: Text, schema, and stereotypes, oh my!. Teaching diversity in the classroom is the focus of this post.
  10. Home Ec Returns. Find out what this blogger believes is important about teaching practical skills to high school students.

Posts on Teaching

Many of these posts are specifically for new teachers and offer great advice and suggestions.

  1. On being a passionate beginner. Welcoming failure and the newness of situations will help you become a strong teacher.
  2. Are you trained or educated?. Consider whether you are trained or educated as a teacher when you read this post.
  3. What Makes a Good Teacher. Learn about six important elements of effective teachers.
  4. 5 Altruistic Values of Teaching. These five values hit on the reason many educators choose to teach.
  5. Top 5 Character Traits of Great Teachers. See the results from a reader survey that includes several traits of great teachers.
  6. Training. This post looks at how teachers-in-training and the students they will be teaching are educated differently.
  7. Short Story: On Mercy Killing in the First Grade (or, how I stopped worrying and learned to appreciate punch lines). This educator shares an important life lesson from the first grade.
  8. Do Leaders Wear Jeans? Does What You Wear Show Who You Are?. Learn how you can fit in to your new school through fashion.
  9. Reminders to teachers: Don’t get sick. Get suggestions for what to do when you need a substitute in your classroom.

Classroom Management

Find out what these teachers do to promote effective classroom management.

  1. My classroom management plan on Scribd. Take a look at this elementary teacher’s suggestions for classroom management.
  2. Catch them Doing the Right Thing. Learn why positive reinforcement works well for encouraging both learning and better classroom behavior.
  3. Do It Now or Else. Learn why spending extra time with students who have behavior problems can be necessary.
  4. Where Does Hard Work Come From?. Mr. McGuire asks his readers about student motivation in this post.
  5. Losing It (In the Classroom). There will be times when you will get angry in class. This post discusses managing that anger.
  6. Que? – A Funny Experience I Had as a First-Year. Feel better about your first year of teaching when you read this teacher’s account.
  7. America’s Next Top Student. Hear what this teacher has to say about appropriate dress for students.
  8. A Time for Timeout?. If you are teaching younger students, learn about effective use of time-outs.
  9. Self Esteem: Part 1. This post proposes that relying on teachers to raise self-esteem through feel-good tactics is not effective.

Using Technology in the Classroom

The education world is beginning to understand the importance of using technology in schools. Read these posts to see what works and how to incorporate technology in your lessons. Teachers who are passionate about these topics may wish to consider an online masters in education technology.

  1. Managing Comments and Posts On Student Blogs Using Google Reader. Learn an easy way to keep up with student posts with Google Reader.
  2. Taking It Global with TIGed. Learn how to use this program to connect students with others globally.
  3. Using Wikis in Science Classes. Learn how you can use wikis in your classroom, whether it is a science class or not.
  4. Chatting Up Internet Safety. This teacher shares how she taught a 7th grade class about Internet safety and technology.
  5. Keeping students cybersafe!. Get the benefits of blogging while keeping students safe with the ideas here.
  6. Responsible blogging. A teacher and his 10th grade students compiled this list of rules for safe blogging.
  7. Reflections on Student Blogging. Find suggestions for blogging with your middle and high school students.
  8. The Future of Education? Video games. (Duh.). Discover an article from The Economist that discusses using video games in education.
  9. Copyright for Educators. This post provides a presentation on copyright issues just for teachers.
  10. Around the World with 80 Schools. Discover an effective way to use Skype in the classroom to connect your students with others around the world.
  11. Re-Visioning the Writing Classroom. Learn how a computer lab can improve writing skills for 5th graders.
  12. Project This! Technology Purchasing Priorities. Learn how to build your technology resources efficiently.
  13. The future of e-learning is social learning. Jane Hart discusses the future of e-learning.
  14. TECH and TE(A)CH. This post discusses how technology has become an important element in education and suggests ways in which it can best be used.
  15. 50 Awesome Semantic Apps for Educators. Take advantage of these apps for use with your students.
  16. Your Digital Dossier. Find out why digital portfolios should matter to you.


These blog posts are chock full of helpful resources you can use in your classroom.

  1. 50 Online Reference Sites for Teachers. Refer to this list for quality online resources.
  2. 122 For You: Cool Cat Teacher’s Favorite Apps, Software, and Sites. This teacher has compiled a list of helpful apps, software, and sites that she has used.
  3. Serial Success: 6 Strategies for School. If you are teaching older students, take a look at these six suggestions for making the most of students’ time in class.
  4. Expressive Social Studies. Get ideas for bringing less than exciting history and social studies lessons to life.
  5. Essential Gardening Books for Kids. Get a list of great gardening books to use in school that includes age level and why the book is recommended.
  6. Teaching Students to Ask the Right Kinds of Questions. Discover how to encourage students to ask well-thought out questions.
  7. Finding Their Voices. This new resource helps teachers promote media-rich learning opportunities in their classrooms.
  8. Student Tools – Let them fly!. This list of web 2.0 tools will come in handy to use with your students.
  9. Podcast for Science Teachers. Science teachers won’t want to miss out on this resource.
  10. Educational Videos. This post introduces the PBS library of American History in Videos and tips for ways to use the videos in class.
  11. 100 Free Online Lectures that Will Make You a Better Teacher. Find 100 online lectures that can inspire you as a beginning teacher.
  12. The Best Places To Find Theatrical Movies On Science, Math, & History. Incorporate movies in your science, math, and history classes with this information.
  13. 100 Tips, Apps, and Resources for Teachers on Twitter. If you plan to use Twitter in your classroom, then check out these resources.
  14. Top 100 Tools for the Twittering Teacher. Here is another awesome resource for using Twitter with your students.
  15. 100+ Open Courseware Resources for Teachers. Use these free classes with your students or to expand your own knowledge.
  16. Friday Five – Finding Ada (Role Models of Women in Tech). Learn about several sites that highlight women as role models in the field of technology.
  17. Get Smart: Receive Daily Learning Inspiration. Get daily updates filled with information about learning resources, books, and more.
  18. Writing Tip #3: Pictures aren’t Just for Babies. This suggestion will help encourage students to write more descriptively.
  19. Teaching Antigone. This teacher shares an effective way to teach Greek drama to high school sophomores.
  20. Digital Image Resources on the Deep Web. Discover tons of links to resources offering quality digital images with the information here.
  21. More Classroom Ideas for Old Fashioned Index Cards. Learn how to use index cards in creative ways with your class.

Going Green in Schools

Find out how others are making efforts to go green at school and see how you can too.

  1. Greening Our Schools – Transformative Education for Sustainability. is changing the approach to teaching sustainability in education.
  2. Why Do We Accept Schools as Prisons?. Learn about the intrinsic relationship between education and nature.
  3. Just published: Good Practices for Education for Sustainable Development. Discover ways your school can support sustainability.
  4. Blueprint for Green Schools. Read this award-winning student essay that provides suggestions for how to incorporate sustainability into an education curriculum.
  5. Is it getting cold in here?. Get an online gaming activity that teaches about climate change here.
  6. Milestones in Sustainability Education – Where Will We Go Next?. This post speculates on how formal sustainability education will shape learning in the future.
  7. Article: Sustainability Challenge for Academic Libraries. Libraries are going green too. Find out what future libraries may be like.
  8. Road Trip! Creativity and Sustainability Part 3. Read about these lessons in sustainability.

Education Reform

Learn about many of the changes others who have come before you are already trying to put in place when it comes to improving the current educational system. Teachers who want to make an impact for the better at their schools may wish to pursue an online masters degree in education leadership.

  1. I’m Thankful …. for the Discord?. Discover why disagreement and discussion are important elements in finding solutions for education reform.
  2. Metaphor Quest. This blogger discusses different approaches to testing students by exploring several metaphors.
  3. Transcript: An Hour With Arne Duncan. Learn what Arne Duncan has to say about the state of education and education reform here.
  4. Leigh McGuigan: Turning Around Low-Performing Schools. Examine ways to turn around low-performing schools to better serve both students and teachers.
  5. School Reform Retreat?. Examine whether or not the Race to the Top initiative is really all that it was meant to be.
  6. Race to the Top and the Status of Education Innovation. Take a look at a report that rates public schools on innovation across several categories.
  7. ISO an article that fills in the bubbles–I mean blanks. Transparency in the current administration’s approach to education policy is what Linda Perlstein seeks.
  8. Thompson: Is Our Education Policy Folks Learning?. This post reflects on the early days of NCLB and compares them to today.
  9. Common Core Standards update. Get an update on the Common Core Standards Initiative and what may be coming for public education.
  10. Social and Economic Goals of Schooling. Consider the goal of education for students by looking beyond simply landing a high-paying job.

The Future of Education

Since you will be among the teachers of the future, find out what some educators speculate about the future of education.

  1. Hope for 21st Century Education. The video in this post provides a strong message on changing the future of education.
  2. Chaos or First Step to Innovation?. Find out how to be open to possibilities in order to promote innovation in education.
  3. How do you respond to someone who holds you back?. Learn about embracing innovation despite opposition you may face.
  4. Future Trends: Education in America. Instructional coaches in the classroom may be a part of the schools of the future.
  5. How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century. Read about a Time article that discusses updating the current educational system.
  6. Building Classrooms without Walls. Find out why you will want a Personal Learning Network with the information here.
  7. 9 Common Principles for 21st Century Schools. This list of ideas detail what can make effective learning environments.
  8. Future Trends that Impact Kids: From Social Networking to Teacher Attrition. Read this post to see what this blogger feels will be impacting students in the future.
  9. Education Needs to Be Turned on Its Head. This post describe how children can be taught successfully without losing their natural curiosity for learning.
  10. Future Of Learning Is Informal And Mobile. Discover how learning is moving toward social and mobile technologies that connect learners in more informal ways.
  11. Does Social Learning have a future?. Neil Lasher tells how he became a believer in the future of social learning.
  12. What is the Future of Teaching?. Learn how teaching may evolve as the future of education trends toward online.

January 12th, 2010 written by Staff Writers

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