#005: Teaching in Surprising Ways with VIPKid Teacher Loren Deitrich

teaching Apr 30, 2020
Are you looking for a way to make a little extra income? Maybe you'd like to be home with your own kids but still want to do some teaching. Well, this episode is for you!

Teaching gets harder and more complicated every year, so I'm all about having options as a teacher. And once you become a mom, you're faced with all kinds of new challenges. Will you still teach or will you stay home with your kids for a bit? There can be pressure on every side. Everyone's got an opinion on that!  Whether you want to have more time with your kids or you just need more income but teaching isn't something you want to completely give up, there's a flexible option for you.

My guest today is Loren Deitrich, a VIPKid Teacher. She's here to share her journey on how she successfully went from elementary classroom teacher to SAHM [stay at home mom] and teaching English to kids online.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Our journey as teachers can take some surprising turns and my guest today is no...

Continue Reading...

#004 Your New Normal: Balancing Virtual Teaching, Mom Life and Self-Care

So let’s chat today about your new normal. Balancing virtual teaching, self care and, for some of us, mom life.

As we work from home in these trying times, we have to continue to keep up with our work while still managing our own families and home life while figuring out all of the details of this new way of teaching [and taking care of ourselves]. 

Here's a few tips to help you apply what we know about organization, routines and habits to this new life you're living.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

First off, you need and deserve a break. If you aren't giving yourself a mental and physical break every day and week, you are going to wear yourself out and make yourself sick. And that means… you’ll be unable to help anyone else. I know that's not a newsflash, but it needs to be said. We all need to admit it. Working all the time is not sustainable, and working all the time when you're in a stressful situation, is even worse. I know it can feel like...

Continue Reading...

#003: Time Management for Teachers: How to NOT Work ALL the Time

Imagine having your grading and planning done on a regular basis so that you can leave work at work instead of taking it home.

You know what it's usually like... grading papers at the dinner table, while falling asleep on the sofa, etc. I know not taking work home seems like a pipe dream. Don't worry, I have a plan. Shocking, right?!

Click here to listen to the podcast.

First off, you need and deserve a break. Teachers are some of the hardest working people I know. I'm just gonna put it out there and tell you the truth. If you aren't giving yourself a mental and physical break every day and week, you are wearing yourself out. I know that's not a newsflash, but it needs to be said out loud. We all need to admit it. It's not a sustainable life.

In fact, when we get the mental and physical rest we need daily and weekly, we're more productive, happier and more focused at school and at home. I know taking a break seems counterproductive when you have a lot to get done. But, it's...

Continue Reading...

#002: Simplifying Healthy Meals: Menu Planning for Busy Teachers

Today is all about menu planning for efficiency, saving money and time and for better health. Now let me just set the stage for you for a minute. If you've ever stood in front of an open fridge and wondered what's for dinner [or you're sick to death of sandwiches for lunch] this episode is for you.

You can listen to this episode here.

It doesn't matter what you do for a living, but as teachers, I know we live life at 100mph in the classroom and at the end of the day, we're TIRED! It's hard to come home and have to feed a family or even just yourself. If you have a spouse that does all the cooking... go thank them. Go make them a drink! You are blessed!

For the rest of us, I'm here with Lisa Seigle from A Menu for You. Today, she's going to teach us about menu planning and how it can solve your what she calls your "Dinner Dilemma" so meal times are one less stress in your teacher life. 

Lisa is a wife, a mom and an almost empty nester. She's a home cook who took her love of...

Continue Reading...

#001: How to Deal with Students Who Interrupt

It's LIVE! the Teach Joyfully Podcast is finally up and running. Here's the highlights from the first episode.

This episode is all about classroom management and how to deal with students who interrupt. This is an age old problem. And although we're teaching online and can ignore the problem by muting students' microphones, eventually we'll be back in the classroom and the problem won't have gone away. So, now's the time to prepare.

You can listen to this podcast episode here The highlights are below.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I was working in a small private school, the teacher in this room had asked for my help in managing students who were constantly interrupting - interrupting other students, interrupting during independent work time interrupting the teacher when she was trying to teach in small group time. You get the idea. I'm sure you've been there. So, I came in and observed for a bit as the class went about their normal routines.

Now when I do...

Continue Reading...

Teaching About Appropriate Classroom Behavior with Picture Books

Classroom teachers have battled behavior issues as long as there have been schools. Whether you're like most of us and currently teaching online or preparing for next year in the classroom, teaching students your expectations is important. That doesn't change no matter where you teach.

Do you ever use picture books to help you teach?

I do. All the time! In fact, I don't think I know how to teach many things without picture books. It's just become part of my teaching style. Part of that is because I find lesson more fun and engaging with a picture book and so do students. The other benefit is picture books make learning more memorable. 

Teaching About Classroom Behavior

Teaching about desired classroom behavior is no different than other subjects in this regard. Picture books can play a vital role in helping students both understand and remember all the behaviors that make our classrooms run smoothly. In fact, they help build our classroom community, identity and culture. 

Continue Reading...

FREE Virtual Resources for You and Your Students

As more kitchen tables become classrooms, the need for resources and realistic, educational things to do at home becomes even greater. We can help our students and families supplement and enrich while keeping kids busy after their lessons are done. 


Free online resources for you and your students with [a few] ideas for extending offline. 
Authors, Books, Art, Illustrators + Literacy

Draw LIVE online with Mo Willems daily at 1:00pm EST HERE

- When you're done, extend your drawing with more characters or a setting and write a story to go with your drawing.

Hear Peter Reynolds read aloud LIVE daily at 12:00pm EST on his Facebook page. HERE

- Draw a picture of one character from the story. 

- Hear a story read by a celebrity. Storyline Online  or search for the book you want read aloud on YouTube. It's probably there.

Check out your favorite author's pages online. Here's a few: Dan Gutman   Jan Brett    Dave Pilkey    Rick...

Continue Reading...

3 Simple Ways You Can Increase the Health of Your Classroom

organization Mar 13, 2020

When we think of best practices for having a healthy classroom, you probably think it's just simple common sense. But when we're moving at 100mph every day, we can unknowingly opt for practices that undermine student [and teacher] health. Here's 3 simple, do-able ways you can improve the health of your classroom.

1. [Obviously] Keep the Outside Germs Out

I once did an interesting germ experiment with a 2nd grade class. I prepped sterile petri dishes with plain gelatin, got gloves and a box of q-tips. Students gathered germs from various surfaces in the school using gloved hands with q-tips [playground equipment, door knob and light switches, library, desks, hand rails...]. Groups of students were assigned to various places. Then, they rubbed their q-tips on the gelatin in the petri dishes, put the lid on and labelled them. Once strange things began to grow, [using masks and gloves] we looked at them under microscopes and compared them to pictures of various...

Continue Reading...

16 Simple Ways to Celebrate Read Across America Day

reading teaching Feb 27, 2020
Read Across America is coming! Get ready with these fun bookmarks. 

Making reading fun is worth giving up a little time for. Why? Once students love reading, becoming a lifelong reader becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. On that note...

Here's some fun things you can do for Read Across America Day.
  • Make fun bookmarks. [See video]
  • Read with finger lights.
  • Have a Pajama Party - Wear your pJs and bring a pillow to make reading more relaxing all day.
  • Dress up as your favorite book characters.
  • Choose picture books to read aloud for every subject all day.
  • Have older students choose books that have a character that they are like or would want to be like. Share the book and tell why or write about it.
  • Make green eggs and ham.
  • Have a book tasting in your class.
  • Read with flashlights.
  • Have a Read-a-Thon to raise money for books in your school or classroom or to raise money to give books to students in a needy school in your area.
  • Try talking in rhyming words all day.
  • Read Red Fish Blue...
Continue Reading...

How Do You Create a Culture of Readers?

reading teaching Feb 20, 2020


Creating a reading culture in your school can be as simple as re-evaluating how you promote and talk about reading. Here's an incentive program that helps promote a culture of readers. It can be done as a class or as a school but is most effective when done school-wide. [I wish I'd thought of it, but I didn't.]

The Million Words Club 

At the elementary school my kids went to, students can read any books they choose to get to a million words read in a year. When they get there, the art teacher does a cartoon drawing of them reading and it hangs framed in the hallway until they graduate and take it home (my daughter is in college and still has hers). You could easily do a photo booth session with lots of books or something fun related to reading instead of the cartoon drawing. Students can earn ribbons to add to their framed photo for each additional year they read a million words.

The school started this program 12 years ago and it’s still going strong. The kids...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.