Winter Break: Thinking Back…Looking Ahead

Winter break affords time for reading by the literal or metaphorical fire and reflecting on the teaching life. Should you find yourself with your feet propped up, we’ve put together a mix of blog posts and guest articles on what can make teaching a joy, how to ignite your 2017 classroom, and where to find some really deep laughs.


Teaching By Doing Something Meaningful

Mary Tarashuk sometimes is so involved in deadlines and paperwork that she barely has time to reconnect with the reasons she loves teaching. But last November she found a way to recapture the classroom magic and “Do Something Meaningful” with her fourth graders.

Crazy Love: 6 Reasons Why I Teach in the Middle

In her valentine “to those volatile adolescents and the educators who cherish them,” veteran middle level teacher Beth Morrow highlights six good reasons to spend your days with “the wonderfully rough and resilient gems that are middle school students.”

The Power of Gratitude to Improve Co-teaching

Elizabeth Stein is giving thanks for research she’s discovered showing the power of gratitude. No surprise, she has ideas about using the research to strengthen co-teaching. Further, she invites readers to join her in being thankful for IDEA on its 40th Anniversary.

winter-beige-house-290My Nephew Wants to Be an English Teacher

When Mary Tarashuk’s college-age nephew tells her he wants to become an English teacher, she smiles a welcome because she can see the “essential fire” in his eyes. He will, she writes, face innumerable challenges, “but also innumerable moments of sheer joy.”

How to Become an Inspirational Teacher

In The Inspirational Teacher, 2nd Edition Gary McGuey and Lonnie Moore augment their concisely presented steps to becoming an inspirational teacher with reflection prompts, questionnaires, and vignettes. Somewhat to her surprise, veteran educator Nancy Chodoroff found herself nodding in agreement throughout the book.

4 Fun Virtual Field Trips to Try This Winter

No funding for field trips? Concerns about travel safety? Consider taking your students on a virtual adventure instead. Teacher-authors Billy Krakower, Jerry Blumengarten, and Paula Naugle share four of their favorites and offer plenty of other ideas!

winter-new-yr-village-300Resolved: Amp Up the New Year!

An NCTE workshop convinced Cheryl Mizerny that if she’s going to expect her students to set challenging goals, reflect, and try again, then she needs to practice what she preaches. Her resulting resolutions may ring true for many middle grades teachers.

Make a Fresh Start after Winter Break

The first days back after the holidays are a perfect time to strengthen behavior and culture in active classrooms. Libby Woodfin shares text and video tips that teachers can use to make the transition smooth and set the tone for the rest of the school year.

For Fun!

Daily Comic Strip Chronicles the Teaching Life

Florida teacher David Finkle chronicles middle school life in a daily comic strip for the Daytona Beach News. Here he shares the 15-year story of “Mr. Fitz,” including four sample strips guaranteed to draw chuckles and knowing nods from teachers everywhere.

Enjoy MiddleWeb’s
2015 winter celebration of teachers here.

Susan Curtis

Susan Curtis is co-editor of In a long career, she has taught middle grades students, worked in human services, edited a variety of publications and wrangled the reference desk in libraries.

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