Teacher Tools: Online Survival Kit

Whether virtual for a time or traditionally teaching, a variety of technology platforms must be integrated into our curricula. This is, after all, 2020—a wild ride of a year, but also one pushing us to be more innovative. As I always tell my students: we must try and, if we make mistakes or fail, we learn and we grow. Without taking chances, we stagnate, something against which we caution our own students…and there is enough hypocrisy in our world already. Thus begins my sporadic series on tools I find essentially useful to our classrooms, now and going forward. Here is the miracle of Padlet, explained more in depth, with the World Language teacher especially in mind!


It is past time for an end to systemic racism in America. We cannot remain silent. “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” –MLK

Quarantined Brilliance: Ideas for the online world language classroom.

This is 2020–we have the tools and technology to still educate our students in an engaging manner, even if our souls hurt from lack of human interaction. Here are some, if I may say so myself, fantastic tips and tools not only for language instructors, but all teachers, to sweep away brain cobwebs and ignite engagement in our students’ minds!

The Substitute Teacher

This isn’t one of those I wander in and know immediately I’m going to change some dust bunny-sized portion of the world for the better days. It’s not even one of those yell a little to assert dominance, read the instructions to the class, and then kick back to read the online paper while filling out pointless job applications and hollering every 11 minutes and 32 second to get off that YouTube and do your work days. This is a hold your head above the water and pray no kid under your jurisdiction starts swinging at another for calling his mama a homo sort of days.

Beyond the Lousy Paycheck: 10 Reasons Teachers Are Dashing in Droves

Education is our future; I and millions of other teachers are shaping that future. We make hundreds of split-second decisions every hour, from answering content-related questions to comforting a sobbing student to giving life advice. Teaching is a mental whirlwind, and an occupation laden with immense, overlooked responsibility. Perhaps more and more of the public is behind us, but we keep electing politicians who are not.