Sep 2

6 Techniques to Help Students Present With Confidence

September 2nd, 2018 by Austin Butler

The phrase actions speak louder than words can be applied to multiple contexts. Usually, we use this phrase when talking about human behavior, but it’s oddly applicable in another realm as well: public speaking. What on earth do actions have to do with public speaking? A lot more than you might think! A speaker’s posture and gestures can communicate volumes...

Aug 20

Which is More Effective – Positive or Negative Feedback?

August 20th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Imagine a time where your received glowing feedback from a co-worker or supervisor. Whether written or verbal, public or private, positive feedback feels good to receive, doesn’t it? Now, imagine a time where you received harsh constructive criticism. While it likely didn’t feel as good to receive, constructive criticism is often more useful. It helps us identify weaknesses and learn...

May 3

Helping Unruly Kids By Making Them Feel Safe in the Classroom

May 3rd, 2018 by Austin Butler

In a perfect world, every student would have two loving parents, a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood, and all their basic needs met. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. While we may not like to think about it, many of our students encounter trauma of some sort. Trauma may stem from poverty, violence, neglect, loss, or an...

Apr 24

Boston Schools Experiment with Play

April 24th, 2018 by Austin Butler

There’s a saying that has spread through the education sector in the past several years that “kindergarten is the new first grade”. With the adoption of more rigorous standards and the increasing emphasis on standardized tests, schools are eager to get students reading and writing from the first day they walk in the door. There’s one school district, though, that’s...

Apr 3

4 Steps to Your Dream Self-Running Classroom

April 3rd, 2018 by Austin Butler

Envision your perfect classroom filled with students. What would it look like as students learned new material? What would it sound like as they developed new skills? While obviously, the answers to these questions will vary from teacher to teacher and subject to subject, there are often commonalities that most teachers can agree on. We want students to be genuinely...

Mar 27

How to Get Students to Put Effort in to Their Own Learning

March 27th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Imagine trying to build muscles by going to the gym every day. But instead of lifting weights, you merely watch your personal trainer lift. Needless to say, this wouldn’t get you very far in your quest for strength. We often equate the brain to other muscles in our bodies in that the more use it gets, the stronger it will...

Mar 14

This Young Entrepreneur is Revolutionizing Mental Health Education in the US

March 14th, 2018 by Austin Butler

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a very impressive entrepreneur who has created an educational character that is now being viewed across the nation on Florida PBS and the Children’s Television Network which is the in-house station at children’s hospitals. The most amazing part is that the creator of this project is only 13 years old! Adam initially created...

Mar 13

What to do When a Student Gets an Answer Wrong

March 13th, 2018 by Austin Butler

How many decisions do you think you make every day while teaching? While researchers have found a range of answers to this question, many agree that teachers make around 1,500 educational decisions during an average school day. Assuming about 6 hours of instructional time, that averages out to 4 decisions per minute! While some of these decisions can be planned,...