30 Day Blogging Challenge — Day 13

Tech tools are generally classified in one of two ways. On one hand you’ve got the fun, flashy, and interesting tools with a narrow scope. This tools provide great learning experiences for a lesson or a unit, but don’t have a lot of staying power. On the other hand you’ve got the real game changers. These are the tools that push you along the path towards your long term goals. They change the way your classroom operates and they enhance student learning throughout the entire school year. Their impact is almost beyond measure.

30 Day Blogging Challenge — Day 12

I’ve thought a lot recently about my teaching. Not only about what it will look like in five years, but what it looks like through different lenses, and how it applies to life outside of the classroom. Some day soon I’d like to be a school administrator. Some day later I’d like to be a school principal. So how does what I teach now, and the way that I teach, apply to those goals?

Yesterday I was part of a conversation between some teachers and an administrator who has been a valuable mentor…

Life just got too crazy for a while there. Work, school, kids. I probably could’ve stayed on the horse if I could use Medium from a mobile device, and that should have pushed me away from the platform, but I just can’t do it. I love the simplicity, the other quality content, and the ease of use. I would still love mobile posting. Anyways ….

My favorite part of the school day has got to be from 7:45am to 8:45am. That includes the moment the kids walk in the door, our morning basegroup, and the first hour of the day…

Lists, lists, and more lists

5 random facts about myself

  1. I was born on the 4th of July
  2. I play hockey
  3. I love soccer
  4. I love podcasts
  5. Taco bell is my guilty please

4 things from my bucket list

  1. Travel to South America
  2. Travel to Asia
  3. Move to a new state
  4. Take a long road trip via bike

3 things I hope for this year

  1. A healthy baby
  2. Amazing genius hour projects
  3. A New York Rangers Stanley Cup

2 things that have made me laugh or cry as an educator

  1. Many students
  2. All the crazy things that middle school kids do

1 thing i wish more people knew about me

  1. Nothing that I can think of, I’m a pretty open book.

Write about one of your biggest accomplishments in your teaching that no one knows about (or may not care).

My biggest accomplishment that nobody knows about has to be returning to teaching after a year off. I broke into the teaching profession at a time when districts in Wisconsin were struggling with budget cuts, resulting in layoffs. As a member of the biggest district in the state, I was subject to layoffs after my first year and my second year of teaching due to my lack of seniority. …

What’s in your desk drawer, and what can you infer from those contents?

In trying to keep this blog post pointed in one main direction, I refined my search to only the front drawer of my desk. Inside this drawer I have most of the normal supplies you would expect from a professional’s desk. There are pens, markers, post its, scissors, note cards, paper clips, magnets, staples, etc. You get the idea. The one unique item ….. a vial full of brine shrimp eggs.

The more I think about this, the better this scenario becomes. With the exception of one…

Who was or is your most inspirational colleague and why?

My most inspirational colleague was and continues to be the person who took on this blogging challenge with me. Her willingness to take on this challenge alongside me is a microcosm of what makes her awesome and a phenomenal person to be around. She is always interested in trying new things and finding solutions to the challenges that stand in the way of student learning and professional growth. …

What does a good mentor do?

First and foremost a good mentor is a good listener. They work on figuring out what their mentee needs and what they’ve already done to try and solve the problem. They also consider what their mentee wants and what they are asking for. They use that information to provide feedback and advice that is well received because it targets their mentee’s need and is presented in the way that their mentee wanted.

A good mentor makes people feel welcome and finds a way to recognize success. They understand the important systems that need to…

Post a picture of your classroom, and describe what you see—and what you don’t see that you’d like to.

We were really excited this year to see that our new classrooms have giant whiteboards on two of their four walls. I’ve always tried to turn whiteboards into a collaborative tool but for some reason they’ve never taken off. In this picture you can see how we’ve structured the room to have collaborative table jutting up to the whiteboards, providing an opportunity for kids to work in a way that invites others to watch, comment, and encourage. In addition to the…

What do you love the most about teaching?

I’ve thought a lot about this question recently as we start this new school year. There are a number of cycles I’ve gone through where I thought I loved some part of teaching, only to have those parts overtaken by other things. Recently I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the “long game” of teaching. Thinking that the things I do have an impact now, but if I make different choices, I can have an impact next year, the year after that, and many years down the line. It’s changed the…

Chris Miller

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store