Thank You For an Incredible Year!

Thank You For an Incredible Year!

As we close out a year of delivering the very best of Jill’s tips and tricks into your inbox every week, we just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all of your continued support! 

Because of you, we can continue Jill’s legacy of supporting educators across the country, helping to make teaching simple and teachers happy and successful. That’s the goal! 

We are excited to continue this fun and important work in 2023! 

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy New Year,

  • The Jill Jackson Team
Thank You For an Incredible Year!

Another Overrated Education-ism | For Teachers & Coaches

One of the things I hear teachers say quite a bit is that in order for kids to be able to write, they have to read. And yes, technically that is true. But a lot of times when teachers say that, what they really mean is that they are going to delay teaching writing until kids are more solid on their reading skills and the reality of learning how to write.

Actually, my research shows that we have to teach kids to write as soon as we can get our hands on them, on the first day of kindergarten! 

So if you’ve been in the read-well-before-they-write camp, I want you to switch that to starting your writing and reading instruction simultaneously. There is so much to learn in the area of writing! If we don’t start teaching those skills alongside learning how to read, we’re just hampering our kids. 

For more tips on how to give teach reading and writing simultaneously, check out the books:

Books can be found on amazon.com or at our store.

Thank You For an Incredible Year!

Don’t Take Their Word For It | For Teachers, Coaches, & Principals

When I go into classrooms to demonstrate a lesson, teachers can be really quick to tell me, “Oh, this particular kid is special ed, or this particular kid doesn’t like to talk out loud.” 

Sometimes even the kids try to regulate me! If I call on a certain student they might say, “She doesn’t like to talk in class.” While I know they’re trying to be helpful, sometimes I wanna say – well, I’m the teacher for the next 30 minutes, and she’s gonna talk! 

It got me thinking about how often we “pre-teach” each other and assume things based on a student’s past behaviors that might not be true this year. Really, it’s a waste of time and a waste of energy worrying about worrying about what kids did last year, when it could be that they’re going to make up their mind to have a completely different year when I get them. 

Here’s my encouragement to you: be careful about what information you take in from last year’s teacher, so that you can have a fresh start with your kids for next year.

For more help and tips on how to give each student a clean slate, check out the books:

Books can be found on amazon.com or at our store.

Thank You For an Incredible Year!

Lesson Planning Hack | For Teachers & Coaches

I used to lesson plan like this: think about what I want the kids to do, what I would be doing, and what I’d want them to turn in at the end – pretty traditional lesson planning, right? 

But there’s a better way! One that saves time, energy, and frustration. 

Now I start lesson planning by asking myself, ‘What mistakes do I know, or expect, my kids to make? And how can I fix those before even getting into the lesson?’

I focus on fixing up the common mistakes or trip up points that kids will likely have and then getting into teaching the lesson. It might sound like, ‘Hey guys, today I’m gonna teach you how to do [blank], but here are some mistakes you’re likely to make. So first I’m going to show you how to not make those mistakes.’

And then I get into the lesson! It works like a charm. 

For more help and tips on how to de-stress lesson planning, check out these books:

Books can be found on amazon.com or at our store.

Thank You For an Incredible Year!

How to Build Trust with Teachers | For Coaches, District Leaders, & Team Leaders

Whether you’re an experienced coach or brand new to the job, we all need some tricks of the trade that allow us to build relationships with teachers. Here are three that I think will serve you well: 

  1. Have a process for coaching! A lot of the struggle that teachers have with coaching is they don’t know what to expect. If you can say to them ahead of time, ‘Here’s what’s going to happen before, during, and after the coaching cycle,’ they’ll know what to expect and that will help them feel a lot more confident and comfortable. 
  1. Vary your approach! Some teachers are experienced and need to be coached into coaching other teachers, or maybe you can use their classroom as a demo room to bring another teacher who’s inexperienced in a particular area. That form of coaching helps your experienced teachers feel like they really bring value to the table, which they do! 
  1. How do you go with your gut? If you’re feeling like things are funky with the teacher, talk to them about it. Don’t just try to work through it by not discussing it. 

For more help and tips on how to improve your coaching practice, check out these books:

Books can be found on amazon.com or at our store.

Thank You For an Incredible Year!

Why Reading Interventions Usually Fail | For Teachers, Coaches, Principals, & District Leaders

When reading interventions fail, or don’t work like we want them two, experience has taught me that it’s usually for two main reasons. Today I want to share those reasons with you so that you don’t stumble into the same pitfalls! 

  1. Its focus is too broad. The group is formed to work on something like phonics – that is not nearly specific enough! They need to be working on our controlled vowels or variant vowels and diphthongs or whatever it is that’s very specific to learning phonics.
  1. It lasts way too long! Reading intervention becomes a life sentence, instead of a 15-20 day cycle of providing instruction on various specific things so that we can measure whether it’s working or not. Students should not be in intervention groups forever because it means that the instruction is not working.

I hope you look at those two things in terms of your own intervention and consider what you can change today that will make your intervention better even tomorrow.

For more help and tips on how to do a successful reading intervention, check out the book:

Books can be found on amazon.com or at our store.