Always a Lesson: Teacher Essentials for Classroom and Career Success

Always a Lesson: Teacher Essentials for Classroom and Career Success

by Gretchen Bridgers
Always a Lesson: Teacher Essentials for Classroom and Career Success

Always a Lesson: Teacher Essentials for Classroom and Career Success

by Gretchen Bridgers


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Step-by-step advice to help teachers master classroom management, lesson design, student engagement, and beyond

Always a Lesson: Teacher Essentials for Classroom and Career Success is the book that can turn every good teacher into a great teacher. The art and science of teaching can be difficult to navigate. There are moving pieces that change how teachers should approach instruction, like unique student needs year after year, curriculum changes, updated research on best practices and more. It's essential that teachers of all levels continue to learn and develop their craft so that they can best manage these moving pieces. Using personal stories and tangible next steps gained from her experience as a teacher and teacher leader, author Gretchen Bridgers can level-up your teaching, filling the gap left between traditional teacher-training programs and the real world.

With high teacher turnover rates in the wake of the great resignation that occurred post-COVID, teachers need support more than ever. Always a Lesson offers a systematic process for strengthening the skillset of any teacher. The sequence of what teachers work on is the key to move through obstacles and increase effectiveness. No matter their level of expertise, Bridgers takes the stance that all teachers are learners. By applying the principles and strategies in this book, novice to veteran teachers will see a positive impact on student learning and their proficiency as an elite educator.

K-12 teachers, teacher mentors, instructional coaches, school administrators, and anyone else with an interest in improving teacher retention will thank their lucky stars for this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781394158805
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/02/2024
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

GRETCHEN BRIDGERS is owner and chief consultant of Always A Lesson, which provides the support and guidance educators need to develop into their full potential. Gretchen is a two-time National Board Certified teacher. She also serves educators through her blog, her Empowering Educators podcast, coaching, keynote speaking and professional development sessions.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Part One The Beginning, the Pathway, and the Formula 1

Prologue Where It All Began 3

Lessons from the Trenches 3

Introduction The Teacher Success Pathway 17

How to Use This Book 18

How This Book Will Help You 20

Chapter 1 The Formula 25

More Than a Toolbox 25

The Teacher Success Pathway 29

Part Two Brick 1: Lesson Design 33

Chapter 2 Obstacles to Lesson Design 35

Less Time to Plan 36

Too Much to Plan 36

The Lesson Plan Vortex 37

Less Time to Collaborate 38

Chapter 3 Lesson Design Phase Overview 41

Backwards Design 44

Gradual Release 48

Chapter 4 Effective Design 51

Pacing/Time Management 52

Checks for Understanding (CFUs) 53

Transition Routes 55

Teacher/Student Actions 56

Material Organization and Distribution 56

Differentiation 57

Chapter 5 Getting Started with Lesson Design 59

Lesson Plan Components 59

Sample Practice Script 66

Chapter 6 Mastering Lesson Design, Part 1 69

Standard, Objective, and Assessment Example 72

Direct Instruction Example 73

Guided Practice Example 74

Independent Practice Example 76

Chapter 7 Mastering Lesson Design, Part 2 79

Creating In- Class Data Collection Procedures 81

Developing Your Own Systems and Habits 83

Lesson Design Scenario Practice 89

Part Three Brick 2: Classroom Management 93

Chapter 8 Understanding Classroom Management 95

The Three Rs of Classroom Management 95

The Impact of Classroom Management 101

Chapter 9 Getting Started with Classroom Management 105

R1: Relationships 105

R2: Routines 108

Chapter 10 Addressing Misbehaviors 117

Chapter 11 Mastering Classroom Management 131

R3: Rope Students into Your Lesson 133

Part Four Brick 3: Student Engagement 145

Chapter 12 Understanding Student Engagement 147

What Student Engagement Does 147

Why Student Engagement Matters 151

Chapter 13 Getting Started with Student Engagement 157

Approaching Engagement from Three Directions 157

Building Engagement into Your Lesson 162

Chapter 14 Mastering Student Engagement 169

Strengthening Student Engagement 170

Part Five Brick 4: Student Choice and Ownership 179

Chapter 15 Understanding Student Choice and Ownership 181

Why Student Choice and Ownership Matters 183

Building In Student Choice and Ownership 187

Chapter 16 Getting Started with Student Choice and Ownership 191

Characteristics of Student Choice 192

Chapter 17 Mastering Student Choice and Ownership 199

Communication 199

Decision-Making 200

Environment 202

Equity and Equality 203

Co-create Norms 206

Data Collection and Reflection 207

Flexible Seating 208

Peer Evaluations 209

Project-Based Learning (PBL) 209

Part Six Implementing Your New Learning 215

Chapter 18 Teacher Success Next Steps 217

Chapter 19 Ongoing Learning 221

Ongoing Learning Opportunities 224

Continuous Collaboration 227

Chapter 20 Conclusion 235

Appendix 1: Reproducibles 239

Appendix 2: Using This Book to Mentor Others 295

References 305

Acknowledgments 311

About the Author 315

Index 317

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