Categories: Distance Learning, New Teachers

Top 10 Amazing Teacher Hacks For Teaching Virtually in 2021

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” -Alexander Graham Bell

It’s the new year of 2021 and many schools are still Hybrid or Distance Learning. 

While many teachers enjoyed their Winter Break, many of us created New Year Resolutions for the upcoming year.

One of the top Resolutions for 2021 is to be prepared for Distance or Virtual Learning. 

While we do not have a certainty of what the future may look like, we can be as prepared for the future as we can.

As someone who has been Teaching Virtually since March 2020, I am eager to share some teacher hacks that I have learned.

So if you are someone who is just now teaching virtually, or you want some new hacks and resources to “up your game,” here are the top Teacher Hacks you need for Virtual Teaching in 2021.

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Categories: New Teachers, Teacher Self-Care

How to Set Boundaries as a Teacher in a Virtual Classroom

“Setting Boundaries as a teacher does not make you selfish. It gives you the balance to be the best teacher you can be.” -The Present Teacher

It wasn’t that long ago when I struggled with this. When I first became a teacher, I was so worried about putting myself first. The idea seemed selfish.

Instead, I would try to help as many people as I could. And when that wasn’t enough I would try harder. I would get frustrated at myself for feeling burnt out because I expected more from myself. 

But what I didn’t realize was that I was trying to fill cups when mine was empty. Instead of refilling my cup so I could help more people, I would try to help others when I had no more water (or help) to give.

That’s when I decided to go to counseling. Yep, I said it. I’m not terrified of the “stigma” around mental health anymore. 

And after I went and worked on myself for a couple of months I realized that because I was trying to help from an empty cup, I was being a ‘bad’ helper.

You see, instead of helping and showing up for my students as I should have, I was tired of helping others and I wasn’t being very Present. 

When you help others with an empty cup, you’re not helping at all. You may have the best intentions, but how can you help others when you have nothing else to give?

Through this process, I learned to Set Boundaries. I realized just how important Boundaries truly are. And the more I worked on it, the more water I had in my cup to give and serve others.

Especially during Distance Learning and teaching virtually. I feel like teachers are expected to give more now than ever. That’s why Boundaries are so important.

So in this post, I want to break the Stigma around Teacher Mental Health and talk about the hard questions. Today we are going to cover:

  • What are Boundaries?
  • Why are Boundaries Important for Teachers? (Especially for Distance Learning)
  • Good Examples of Boundaries For Teachers (Especially in a Virtual Classroom)
  • And How to Set Boundaries in a Respectful Way WITHOUT Being Selfish.

I am super excited, so let’s go ahead and get started!

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Categories: Distance Learning, New Teachers

Distance Learning As A New Teacher

Distance Learning can be hard, especially as a New Teacher. I still remember the day I found out we were going to start the year Distance Learning: 

I was scared.

Back then, I was scared that I was going to fail. That my students would learn nothing. Or that I would not be enough. I feared Failure. Eventually, I realized something that made me change my mind. And it gave me the drive to do better.

We are all scared.

I started to think of the Veteran teachers who had been teaching for years. And how they were now terrified because they didn’t know about Google Drive. 

I also thought about those New Teachers who came into this year with high hopes of their first year. Only to find out that what they had learned in College would not apply this year.

So I prepared.

I stayed up late and made as many resources as I could that would help other teachers. And I researched ClassDojo and came up with ways to use it for Distance Learning. After that, I set up a training for my school to better prepare them for the months to come.

That was 4 weeks ago. 

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Categories: New Teachers, Sight Words

6 Mistakes I Made Teaching Sight Words

Are you teaching Sight Words this year and have NO idea how to start? Sight words can be scary, especially as a new teacher. You may not have a curriculum, activities, worksheets, a plan to what order or how you will teach them.

That was me the last couple years. I still remember when my District handed me 120 words (Yes, 120!) to teach to my Kindergarten Class. Naturally, I assumed that when I got my curriculum it would tell me EXACTLY how to teach them.

To my dismay, no such luck! I began to panic because I realized I had no idea how to teach my students their sight words. No clue on what order to teach the words in or how many to teach at one time. I also had no idea how often we should practice them or where to find worksheets or activities that would be fun or engaging.

It took me YEARS of experimenting and researching to finally perfect the way I teach sight words. And A LOT of mistakes! When I started teaching Sight Words there were not a lot of resources out there on how to teach them. I felt like it was such a “taboo” topic that almost every teacher knew how to teach them but me!

But after talking to some fellow Primary Teachers, I realized that I wasn’t alone! That’s why I created this blog to share with you 6 mistakes I made while teaching sight words. That way you don’t have to learn the hard way.

But first, let’s talk about ‘What are Sight Words?’

[social_warfare ]
It can be hard teaching Sight Words. Especially as a new teacher. Here are 6 mistakes I made teaching Sight Words as a new teacher. @thepresentteacher
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Categories: New Teachers, Sight Words

5 Amazing Ways to Transform How You Teach Sight Words

Are you teaching Sight Words this year and not sure where to start? Teaching Sight Words can be tough! Especially without a curriculum or supporting resources. Trying to figure out the right order to teach the sight words in, which activities to use, how often to teach them are just some of the many things Teachers have to do.

My first year of teaching was just that! I didn’t have the resources to teach my students Sight Words. My students really struggled and so did I. It wasn’t until I was in my 2nd year of teaching Kindergarten that I finally figured out the system that works best for me.

I made A LOT of mistakes my first year teaching Sight Words (you can read more about what mistakes I made at “6 Mistakes I Made Teaching Sight Words”). But that’s okay! Mistakes are a part of the learning process! The point is that we learn from our mistakes. And share with others so they can learn too!

And that is why my goal is to give you 5 Tips that you will need to teach Sight Words this year successfully. 

That way you don’t have to make a bunch of mistakes. Like I did.

So let’s get started!

[social_warfare ]
Teaching Sight Words this upcoming year and need some ideas?  I am giving 5 tips on what teachers need in order to teach sight words effectively and a lot of other free resources. @thepresentteacher
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