By Amanda Schaffer on November 19th, 2015
While we should make sure to thank our military families each and every day, setting aside some time to truly reflect on their service and to honor them for their sacrifice is also super important.
My family, and especially my dad, has always made it a point to thank our men and women in service who give so much to protect our freedom. Before enjoying our meals, each and every night before bed, and every holiday as we gathered as a family, we would thank the military.
Thank them for giving us the gift of togetherness and safety. Thank them for standing guard in a million different ways to ensure we get to live the greatest life imaginable. Continue reading
By Amanda Schaffer on November 3rd, 2015
In his critically acclaimed book, “The Global Achievement Gap,” author Tony Wagner explores what he considers to be “Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship.”
After spending time with the most successful executives and professional people in the world, Wagner came to the conclusion that there is a gap between what our students need to be successful when they enter the real world and what we are teaching them in the classroom.
As a result, he created a list of essential 21st Century skills that all people need in order to be successful in college, in their career, and for their overall citizenship. Continue reading
By Amanda Schaffer on October 17th, 2015
This is one of several posts celebrating Connected Educator Month during the month of October. October 20th is National Day on Writing and we are joining The National Council of Teachers of English to celebrate how writing helps us connect. Join the #WhyIWrite and #CE15 discussions on Twitter to share your thoughts!
As far back as I can remember, I have loved the English language. Having the opportunity to teach my passion was truly such a gift. Part of teaching English was teaching writing. And that by far was one of my greatest joys. Passing on a passion for writing to my students has always been an important goal for me. So dedicating an entire day to the celebration that is writing, well, that’s pretty special to me. This year we will celebrate “National Day on Writing,” on October 20th. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Why I Write.”
I write for so many reasons. I write to tether intangible emotions to something as concrete as words. I write to inspire, to grow, to change. I believe that language is a powerful tool and shaping it into phrases to share my story makes a difference. Continue reading
By Amanda Schaffer on September 28th, 2015
No one likes the feeling of failure, that lead rock deep inside your gut weighing you down. And for a long time, I was afraid of failure. This was because I didn’t understand what successful people know.
What successful people know is that failure doesn’t have to be the worst thing. It doesn’t have to ruin us or break us. In fact, the incredibly beautiful fact about failure is that it is as much a part of success as hard work, as talent, as passion, and drive. Failure is actually a huge piece of the success puzzle. It’s just that most people never recognize it. The sooner we realize that failure is just one part of the road to success, the sooner we can learn from our failures, get back on track, and grow. This is what it means to have a Growth Mindset. Continue reading
By Amanda Schaffer on August 26th, 2015
August 26th is “Women’s Equality Day,” so what better time than today to reflect back on the women who have made a difference in this world.
For me, a very special woman comes to mind. She was a teacher from Texas who changed so many lives and affected so many other teachers and students. Her name was Rita Pierson. And though I never met her, listening to her talk about teaching and learning provided me with the foundation I try to base my work on every day.
Mrs. Pierson gave a Ted Talk back in May 2013 that now has almost 5 million views. In her talk she shared some of the best advice I’ve ever heard about teaching. Here are just some of the beautiful words Rita shared with us and just a few reasons why she is a woman I admire greatly.
By Amanda Schaffer on August 12th, 2015
For a few weeks now, Target and Walmart have had their back-to-school aisles fully stocked with shiny new markers, notebooks, and binders.
All the tools to help students transition back to school without a hitch are on sale – and tax-free through August 16th! Walking down these aisles reminds me of the back-to-school traditions I used to have with my parents and sisters growing up.
My mom always took us shopping for our back-to-school clothes and of course filled our brand new backpacks with all the supplies and pens and paper they could hold. My dad would take us to school on the first day, but not before having an early morning breakfast at IHOP for some delicious back-to-school pancakes. Continue reading