Well, it’s been a great year of fun and engaging NJ Teachers’ Lounge blogs.
As Editor, I never cease to be inspired by the heart of our state’s teachers and their impressive dedication amidst the myriad challenges they face.
In celebration of our first full year of publishing, we took some time to reflect on all the great posts that we’ve run from our talented contributors, who run the gamut from veteran teachers, to motivational speakers to education scholars. If you didn’t get a chance to follow along all year, here are some of our favorites. Some will make you laugh. Some will make you cry. Some will make you reflect on the beautiful, arduous, but rewarding life of a NJ teacher.
We at the NJ Teachers’ Lounge salute you, and wish you the very best in the New Year!
Written by a veteran social studies teacher from Howell Township, this blog was our biggest hit of the year. It reads like a guidebook for the spouse of a teacher: an instructions manual, if you will. Here’s what to expect when you get hitched to a teacher. Hint: you’re going to have a lot of kids, but you can let your teacher-spouse raise them. A must read for you and your significant other.
Teachers of New Jersey: A Brick Teachers Faces Adversity With a Little Help From Her Third Grade Class
From our twice monthly “Teachers of NJ” series profiling educators around the state, this is a truly touching story. A breast cancer survivor and second grade teacher tells her story of confronting one of life’s greatest challenges while standing in front of a classroom. As with many profiles in this series, the essential heart of a teacher is on display. Grab a couple of tissues and soak this one in.
This moving portrait traces the career path of a Matawan special needs teacher from growing up with a special needs sibling, to encountering special needs children while on tour as a U.S. Marine in Iraq, to his present role. This teacher is twice a hero.
You might wonder how an introvert would choose a career involving daily public speaking. This story is at once an insightful self-reflection and a practical survival guide from a teacher who has worked to come to terms with his personality. This blog reminds us all that introversion can often be a strength, especially when one embraces what may be a different way of going about one’s work.
Summer break is a great time to take stock of your personal and professional goals, but so is the New Year. Written by motivational speaker and author, Mike Marsteller, this article walks you through some simple and effective exercises for taking personal inventory, and discovering what practices to continue, start, or stop. Grab a few minutes of “me time” this month and make a plan for yourself.
Stress and burnout are a BIG DEAL in the teaching profession, and studies show that student performance can take a real hit when a teacher is stressed out. In this blog, a veteran teacher walks fellow educators through some simple strategies of mindfulness that can help defend against the multiple stressors they are bound to face on a regular basis. Look out wine and chocolate, here comes mindfulness!
One of the things we love to do here at the NJ Teachers’ Lounge is to send a teacher out on assignment to explore potential resources for fellow teachers across the state: PD opportunities, class trips, outreach programs…any kind of learning opportunity. One of our favorite discoveries (made by one of our science teachers) was Duke Farms. She found this special resource to be so packed with value for fellow educators that we had to turn her reflections into two blogs! And if you enjoy her review of Duke Farms, check out her Liberty Science Center review.
What better way to walk in someone else’s shoes than through the magic of storytelling? This insightful blog from the pen of an English teacher brings recent research findings and her own professional observations together in a classroom prescription for developing empathy. And if empathy is a theme you are looking to explore further, check out this other little gem on helping teens to develop the skill: “How to Help Teens Develop Empathy.”
I hope that you enjoy these blogs, and I invite you to connect with us on a regular basis by subscribing to our twice monthly newsletter.
Happy New Year!
Chris West, Editor-in-Chief