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The Tools for Teaching Blog

July 1, 2019

There are two different perspectives to consider when applying Tools for Teaching to the job of substitute teaching. The first is when you are about to have a substitute. The second is when you are about to be a substitute. Our treatment of substitute teaching will, therefore, have two parts: 1) your preparation for having a substitute, and 2) what to do when you are the substitute.

Having a Substi...

September 15, 2015

Getting Into “Work Mode”

In the hall, students laugh and joke and flirt as they pass from class to class. This is normal behavior for the hallway. The classroom, in contrast, is a work environment.


Students would love to bring their social environment from the hall into the classroom. They would love to spend the first part of the class period finishing their conversations. And they will, unless yo...

August 25, 2015

Teaching Routines Saves Time and Effort

A classroom routine is simply a well-rehearsed response to a teacher's directive. The alternative is usually noise, milling around, and time wasting on the part of students and nagging on the part of the teacher.


A classroom routine is, therefore, one of the teacher’s primary labor saving devices. Yet, classroom routines are not free. They cannot simply be an...

July 29, 2015

Introduce Yourself

On the first day of school, the first question in the students’ minds is, “Who are you?” You will introduce yourself, of course, but you might also talk about yourself a little bit.


Deal with obvious questions like, “Why are you here?” Sometimes students show surprise when you confide to them that you get great pleasure from seeing them learn. Eyes may widen when you tell them th...

October 6, 2014

Physical Proximity


Watching Natural Teachers

When you watch natural teachers, you typically see students working while the teacher strolls among them in a most unremarkable fashion. Only after you watch a lot of classrooms and note the differences between the effective and ineffective teachers does the importance of this strolling become clear.


The most basic factor that governs the likelihood of s...

September 24, 2014

We are fired up about our new site and we want to pump you up too! This video has been circulating around for a few weeks, but it's still the beginning of the school year - so let's keep the positive energy flowing!

Thank you SoulPancake for another great Kid President video.


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Featured Posts

Things Change Quickly

May 1, 2020

Staying Sharp While at Home
We've all had to make some serious adjustments lately, but when it comes to school, "The show must go on." Many of you are...

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