CTQ Collaboratory

Education Week Teacher partners with the Center for Teaching Quality to publish a regular column by teachers who are part of the CTQ Collaboratory. The Collaboratory is a virtual community where educators can connect, learn, and innovate with colleagues to transform teaching. Past articles in this series appear on the Teacher Leaders Network index page.

Teacher Karla Duff had never really thought about being away from her classroom for an extended period of time. Then came cancer, and a reckoning. January 26, 2016 – Teacher

Teacher Annette Christiansen offers some tips to help students develop as effective writers in the classroom, including emphasis on a variety of writing experiences. January 19, 2016 – Teacher

Learning logs are a way to help demonstrate concrete evidence of learning, but some models need modernization, teacher Bill Tolley writes. January 13, 2016 – Teacher

Students are going to doodle. So teacher Deidra Gammill offers some suggestions and tips for integrating visual notetaking into classroom instruction. January 6, 2016 – Teacher

Teacher Amanda Koonlaba offers a lesson plan for showing how art and math can work together, giving students a chance to create something while learning. December 23, 2015 – Teacher

When teachers use their knowledge of this unique age to structure their classroom routines, middle school can be years that truly matter for children, writes Cossondra George. December 15, 2015 – Teacher

Computer science is often misunderstood, says teacher Neil Plotnick, but by approaching it as a tool that is vital in many disciplines, both students and teachers can better appreciate its value. December 7, 2015 – Teacher

Teachers can play a big role in helping families of diverse languages and cultures feel welcome and comfortable in schools, writes Anabel Gonzalez. December 1, 2015 – Teacher

Gifted children have a host of complicated issues that need special attention and care from educators, says Anthony Colucci. November 23, 2015 – Teacher

Sending kids out of class or out of school doesn’t set them up to be successful when they return and knocks them further down the ladder they are trying to climb, high school teacher Joanna Schimizzi says, offering a different approach. November 18, 2015 – Teacher

Teacher Linda Yaron shares what elements she incorporates into her curriculum to help strengthen student opportunities for success. November 10, 2015 – Teacher

Teacher William J. Tolley says that education-innovation advocates need to disrupt schools' definitions of success if they are to achieve Sir Ken Robinson's vision for creativity in learning. November 3, 2015 – Teacher

Teacher Wendi Pillars offers methods to improve co-teaching relationships, which she says create new understandings and develop more effective practices. October 26, 2015 – Teacher

Universal Design for Learning is the perfect go-to teaching tool to guide instructional decisions, Elizabeth Stein says. October 19, 2015 – Teacher

The continuous emphasis on test preparation instead of a focus on the development of lifelong readers has diminished emphasis on students’ recreational reading habits, says high school English teacher Nancy Barile. October 14, 2015 – Teacher

When teacher Jennifer Henderson heard about a school censoring a student for discussing being gay, she turned it into a learning opportunity for her own students. October 7, 2015 – Teacher

Could schools benefit from extreme makeovers in facilities, mindsets, or content emphases? Marcia Powell makes the case for doing so, with students, parents, and teachers taking the lead. September 29, 2015 – Teacher

Kim McCready, an instructional coach in English, says that her school has sought to better prepare students for their postsecondary lives by re-focusing on textual complexity and whole-class literary works. September 23, 2015 – Teacher

English teacher Cheryl A. Redfield says it is critical for teachers to challenge the human tendency to overgeneralize about students from groups or backgrounds different from their own. September 16, 2015 – Teacher

One year after implementing social media as a central classroom component, teacher Brianna Crowley and her students reflect on how to improve their efforts. September 9, 2015 – Teacher

Relying on tired beliefs about teaching doesn't help the profession, Sandy Merz writes. He offers suggestions for retooling such clichés. September 1, 2015 – Teacher

Teachers need not be intimidated by administrators when working on collaboration for the future, says teacher mentor Precious Crabtree. August 25, 2015 – Teacher

In adapting to a school that is collaboratively run by teachers, Kathleen Melville says that she had to "unlearn" many of her past assumptions about teaching and learning. August 18, 2015 – Teacher

"Preparing kids to work together successfully in teams plays a critical role in today's STEM classes," says middle school teacher Anne Jolly. August 11, 2015 – Teacher

New teachers face many obstacles during their first year on the job. Middle school teacher Cristie Watson draws attention to some major errors to avoid. August 4, 2015 – Teacher

English teacher Brianna Crowley offers tips on adding visual appeal and avoiding soul-killing PowerPoint conventions in your presentations. July 29, 2015 – Teacher

The most compelling presenters use effective teaching practices to engage their audience, says teacher Brianna Crowley. July 21, 2015 – Teacher

Teacher Anthony Colucci says that, in order for their voices to be heard, teacher leaders need to make their stories interesting and be confident in their skills. July 14, 2015 – Teacher

Middle school teacher Karla Duff says a teacher's foray into social media is like a road trip: Filled with roadblocks and learning experiences. July 7, 2015 – Teacher

Former Florida Teacher of the Year Megan Allen shares a few lessons to help teacher leaders feel better prepared for public presentations. July 1, 2015 – Teacher

From her point of view, English language arts teacher Annette Christiansen tells principals what they can do in order to improve next year's learning environment. June 24, 2015 – Teacher

English/language arts teacher Nancy Barile offers 10 pieces of advice on how to relax this summer. June 16, 2015 – Teacher (Web)

The journey of becoming a better version of your teacher self is all about finding balance, joy, and opportunities to learn and collaborate, says special education teacher Elizabeth Stein. June 10, 2015 – Teacher (Web)

Second-grade teacher Jessica Rosenthal says that, before teaching lessons and expecting a lot from students, educators need to instruct students in concentrating. June 3, 2015 – Teacher

Jessica Keigan offers advice on joining the world of online writing and expanding your influence as an educator. May 26, 2015 – Teacher

Filling the last month of class can be tricky, but history teacher Brison Harvey has found a way to keep students engaged right through the end of the year: Let students create their own projects. May 19, 2015 – Teacher

Testing can be an incredibly useful tool, says teacher Wendi Pillars. She shares three ways teachers and students can embrace testing to improve learning. May 12, 2015 – Teacher

For teachers who want to lead their students, their colleagues, and their profession, the Stone Soup folk tale provides an excellent example of effective and collaborative leadership, writes Deidra Gammill. May 5, 2015 – Teacher

Spring cleaning isn't just for the classroom, writes Sandy Merz. He says spring is a great time to get everything organized, from your shelves and files to your thoughts and feelings. April 28, 2015 – Teacher

Schools that are led by teachers can be a great option for teachers and students alike, writes Lori Nazareno. Having helped launch one, she shares her advice for teachers who are interested in making their own schools more teacher-powered. April 22, 2015 – Teacher

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the time crunch as a school year winds down, writes Stephanie Pinkin, but there are still ways to put reading back at the center of your classroom. April 14, 2015 – Teacher

Project-based learning doesn't have to stay in the classroom, says middle school teacher Karla Duff, detailing how her students students created a clean-water initiative in their community. April 8, 2015 – Teacher

As English teacher Linda Yaron prepares to redo her classroom, she recognizes that technology is helpful, but it's more important to pay attention to how the entire space supports learning. April 1, 2015 – Teacher

Handle frustrations and challenges by approaching classroom management as a mystery—complicated and constantly changing—rather than as a straightforward puzzle, advises teacher Larry Ferlazzo. March 24, 2015 – Teacher

For Women's History Month, librarian Chiquita Toure argues that it's time to stop just studying what women have done and start teaching girls about what they can do. March 18, 2015 – Teacher

With Digital Learning Day fast approaching, Marcia Powell outlines a simple way for students to work with tech tools and take a closer look at their own digital habits. March 10, 2015 – Teacher

Testing can make a teacher's already-tough job even more stressful. Lori Branham and Julie Hiltz have some tips for holding it together when testing season comes around. March 3, 2015 – Teacher

Art doesn't have to be limited to art class—teacher Amanda Koonlaba has three artists whose work can be integrated into other subjects, plus the best ways to get started. February 24, 2015 – Teacher

Teachers trying to attract students to extracurricular activities need to think beyond the morning announcements and pizza parties, writes Kimberly Long. February 18, 2015 – Teacher

The best teachers are those who earn the trust of their students. Rosalie Arndt takes a look at three different teaching personalities and how teachers can transform themselves into "The Real Deal." February 10, 2015 – Teacher

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