STEM Teacher | Write about my struggles in and out of the classroom

Based on topics and growth of publication

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I used Top Publications list to sort through the fastest growing publication on Medium. I wanted to concentrate on those publications that are still experiencing growth (not entirely inactive).

Below are 3 publications that highlight different ways of learning and give a voice to educators, students, and really anyone wanting to share ideas/concepts. They also help show that learning is done in and out of the classroom.

Startup Grind

This is an absolutely massive publication with over 430,000 followers. It focuses on sharing ideas and processes that startup entrepreneurs follow. Definitely a valuable source of information for students both in and out of the classroom. I think this publication does a great job of highlighting real world experiences — both the success stories and failures that entrepreneurs go through. …

I am sure more could be added to this list

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The following four things are listed because I have personally seen the positive impacts they have had on people and I want to bring those positive impacts to those that are incarcerated.

Food Garden

As a proponent and activist for food security in the US for the past decade or so, I have always thought that every jail and prison should have a garden. This garden would be used for therapy and to grow food for both the prison and for local food shelters. I have seen firsthand the positive impacts urban farms (DC Urban Greens in SE Washington, DC) have had on communities and I know that this would help some people in jails/prisons. …

It will cost you extra time, effort, and resources

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Get a voice enhancing machine of some sort

Get a microphone or some sort of voice amplifying machine.Your mask muffles your voice more than you think and students cannot see your mouth.

Sanitizer — Triple the amount you originally thought you needed

Students are children. Sanitizer will be used generously.

Wear scrubs if you can

And bring a change of clothes to work. This will help you have a change of clothes before you enter your house. Do not wear your classroom clothes back into your house. Throw those scrubs and masks in the wash as soon as you get home.

Bring multiple masks

We are all used to wearing a mask to the grocery store for 30 minutes. 8 hours is a different story. Be prepared to go through 3–5 masks a day. …

Simple changes can go a long way.

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Take a peek on Google Maps at your local golf course. They have quite the footprint. Easy to find, in fact. So large, so lush, and so green. But not very diverse. Biodiversity can be increased with a few small changes though. Many courses already do a great job in many of these aspects but small changes to those efforts can go a long way.

Pollinator Gardens

Unfortunately, it may just be another place to lose your ball that you just sliced. These gardens can be set up in a variety of ways. They will help support the local pollinators. …

This is not meant to tell you to vote for, just how to vote safely in the time of Covid-19

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The issue circulating the internet now is how will we effectively vote this upcoming election (in the USA). USPS seems to be under attack as states move to 100% mail-in voting. In person voting does not seem viable with concerns about spreading Covid-19. Well, here is our solution!

Many schools are closed, right? (the physical buildings)

Schools across the US are moving to an online teaching option for the fall. That means schools are open to be used at voting station or polls. Huge buildings, from elementary school cafeterias to high school gyms, are open and free for voting. Use these spaces to vote and vote safely. …

Vegetables have taken the place of flowers for this nursery

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This nursery situated near one of the city’s community centers is usually filled with flowers to beautify the city. This is the nursery that the city of Vancouver uses to supply flowers and trees for the city (you know, the ones you may see in planters in from of city hall, medians, or lining the sidewalks or roads).

In response to the current pandemic, the local government decided to cut back on growing flowers (more than 60%) and replace those flowers with vegetables. These vegetables then in turn are distributed to 100s of families in need across the city. If you know of any other cities doing such work please let me know! …

As an educator, it will be your duty to address this.

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This probably is not true for those that teach younger students (K-2, maybe) but this is true for most teachers out there. There is a global demonstration happening now because of the public and recorded lynching of George Floyd. This man’s death may have the biggest impact on society during this entire century.

As educators, we cannot decide to look past this part of society. Approaching and addressing racism in our society (and sadly in our schools) is a duty of teachers. Will this be uncomfortable at times? Yes, and it should be. …

Plan your approach before you begin

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“The victory garden movement began during World War I and called on Americans to grow food in whatever spaces they could — rooftops, fire escapes, empty lots, backyards. It maintained that there was nothing more valuable than self-sufficiency, than working a little land, no matter how small, and harvesting your own eggplant and tomatoes.” (New York Times)

We have all seen how grocery stores are looking now. People are worried about this crisis. They are panic buying everything at this point. Many are worried about being dependent on this system overall but more specifically the food system.

Many are wondering how things will look if food supplies start running low. So, many are trying their luck and seeing if they have a ‘green thumb.’ From growing a couple tomato plants to full on neighborhood initiatives, people are starting to grow their own food. One woman even handed out seed kits to her neighbors (in quite a wacky fashion). …

You can find peace in there

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Even if you are not a great cook this is a great thing to do. It helps you keep track of time (set an internal clock) and you will find that it will take a good amount of time out of your day. Remember to clean up when done! Also, you may find that this will become a zen activity for yourself. If so, great!

Watch silly shows

Put down the phone and stop reading Tweets about coronavirus updates. It doesn’t help to read negative news about this situation from all over the world.


You know that pile of books you have been meaning to read for your New Year’s Resolutions? Yeah, go tackle that pile. At least try to get 30 minutes in a day. …

As the numbers of infected grow there are steps we can take to prepare for a smooth transition with our students

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Teachers across the US are worried about how they will transition into “distance learning” settings and how to manage effective learning from that end. Many factors influence whether this is even possible (does the student have access to the internet, does the school system provide technology, does the student have access to food, does the student have access to housing) but if the basic needs of the student can be met then being an online teacher is not too daunting of a task.

I taught with 51Talk about two years ago and yes, it did take time to adjust to teaching online. Nonetheless it was still an amazing experience and I was able to make many great teacher-student connections and ‘aha moments.’ Effective learning can still take place online. Many assume that classroom management and discipline are not needed in an online setting but this is false. There are still ways to manage “classroom” behavior to ensure learning is happening. …

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