Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Check out my Guest Blog at Richard Byrne's "Free Technology for Teachers:

New post: Finding great Google Apps information but, no time to research it? - Guest Post

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First Big Guest Blog

No matter what area it is that you are trying to break into everybody needs to catch a "big break." I believe I have finally found mine and hopefully this will get me back into educational blogging,  When I was blogging more I was learning more. When I was learning more I was bringing more of the great educational technology ideas back to the teachers in the classrooms and shops at Assabet Valley. 

A Special thanks to Richard Byrne at for giving me the opportunity to guest blog on his successful site. I never thought that less then a year into "going Google" with Google Apps for Education I would be blogging and using all of the amazing free tools that Google offers...

Tough Love for Seniors

As we continue to see more and more of our seniors here at Assabet Valley attending two and four year colleges we have certainly answered the call in providing them with more and more high level Honors and AP courses.

However, the way we teach these courses is most critical to the readiness and rigor they will see as college freshmen.

A couple of years ago I read an interesting piece in the Marshall Memo on a different approach to teaching seniors. The article details one school in Worcester's (my hometown) decision to take a "tough love" approach to teaching their seniors in order to get them truly ready for the challenges they will encounter the following year. They wanted to shock their top seniors and take them out of their comfort zone while they still can oversee them if things get too difficult.

Some examples of the new approaches were:

- Syllabi similar to those in college;
- More classes conducted with college-like lectures;
- Tough-love refusal to accept late papers unless an extension had been granted;
- Tough exams based on textbook reading;

This is certainly something to consider for our senior students.  Particularly the ones in our top courses.
Its an interesting discussion as we move forward  with the continued College and Career Readiness debate that is so prevalent in education today.

Teach and Retire Rich

Bringing back an older post which I find most important. I always try to remind all our 1st Year Teachers to get their 403b plans started immediately!

Teach and Retire Rich 

To most educators this title may sound like an oxymoron. However, there is a very real way of retiring from this rewarding profession and living very comfortably. I have noted a book to read below entitled "Teach and Retire Rich" which I thought had some great ideas on how to help you with this process.

I am sending out this information because I was surprised to find out that many of our staff do not know as much about our Tax sheltered 403b plans or how they work as I thought.

Most people who know me may laugh that I am even attempting to write about anything financial. However, I am just passing it on some great guidance I was given over a decade ago from a colleague who was near retiring.

No matter how small your contribution may be it could really pay off in the long run.

I would recommend looking into this forum to ask questions on 403b's and finding out what is best for you:

I have also read this book and it gave me some great ideas on how to go about this process (you can find it for next to nothing at

Good Luck!!