Arias Publication Giveaway: What Keeps You Up at Night?
By Stefani Roth, Interim Publisher
Like many folks, I spend a fair amount of time worrying. Some worries are personal—I hope that noise my car is making won’t cost another $500 to fix. Some are professional—Did I prepare well enough for the budget meeting? I even worried about getting this blog done on time—it wasn’t. Unfortunately, these worries keep me from getting a good night’s sleep. And we all need sleep!
As a former teacher, I often worked into the wee hours of the night trying to figure out some new way to deliver an engaging lesson. And when that failed, I often stayed up the next night rethinking a not-so-brilliant strategy, which was doubly difficult since my students had already determined how boring the next few weeks would be.
Sometimes I worried about a particular student. One 8th grader, Tobey, was very disruptive, especially during whole-class reading and writing instruction. When I spoke with my colleagues, many had written him off and they counseled me to just send him to the principal’s office. Even as a new teacher, I knew that wasn’t the best plan of action. Rather than take the behavior as a personal affront, I began pulling Tobey out during his lunch period to work on incomplete assignments. What I quickly and shockingly came to understand was that his behavior stemmed from one major academic issue—he couldn’t read. He was actually a sweet kid who had simply decided it would be better to fail than allow his peers to find out his secret.
I share these stories to communicate that we at ASCD strive to understand the challenges that you face every day as you work hard to support the kids in your building and classroom. We set up focus groups and spoke with thought leaders, experienced practitioners, and researchers. We challenged ourselves to identify the questions that keep you up at night and, by providing targeted solutions to these questions, hope to help you sleep more soundly. We listened and heard basic questions (How do I get organized and work smarter?), questions about student social/emotional needs (How do I prepare my students for the real world?),and content-related questions (How do I teach vocabulary effectively with limited time?). And it wasn’t just teachers; we also heard questions from principals (How do I make time to lead and learn as a principal?).
As we listened, we began to hear one word repeatedly—TIME. We all seem to have so little of it. So we knew that however we sought to support educators, we had to offer easily digestible and implementable solutions that ultimately give you back the precious commodity of time. Suddenly, it hit us. KISS! Usually an acronym for something else, in this case it means Keep It Short and Simple. And so ASCD Arias were born. These 50-page titles start with your questions in a specific “How do I . . . ?” format. The question format is purposefully centered on “I” rather than “you.” The first-person question format communicates how each one of us can contribute to student success, and how each one of us can be empowered to intentionally create change in our schools.
Answers You Need From Voices You Trust. The tagline for ASCD Arias is a reminder that our authors are trusted authorities who have thoughtfully penned these original publications that can be read in one sitting and immediately applied to practice. Yes, we mean it. Read Managing 21st Century Classrooms, which begins with your question—How do I avoid ineffective classroom management practices? –on Tuesday evening and walk into your classroom Wednesday morning understanding how to use activities, not prizes, to encourage positive behavior.
I often think about how helpful these solutions-based publications could have been for me during my teaching career. I’m sure I would have struggled less with instructional planning after reading Teaching with Tablets—How do I integrate tablets with effective instruction? I believe I would have been better able to help Tobey manage his thoughts, behaviors, and emotions after reading Self-Regulated Learning for Academic Success. As we celebrate teacher appreciation week, we offer these short and simple resources, created specifically for educators, to support you and your Tobeys.
I would also like to hear from you: what keeps YOU up at night? I encourage you to leave a response below for a chance to win a set of 13 ASCD Arias™ publications. To be eligible to win, answers must be submitted to the comments section by Friday, May 9, at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. Based on the best response to this crucial question, my team will choose two winners who will be announced here on Monday, May 12. Full giveaway rules are available online.
Help yourself while helping your fellow educators. Here’s your chance to share your thoughts on what keeps you up at night and win an awesome gift for yourself or for your colleagues.