in Guest Educator Column

Flexible seating in Angie's classroom

About a year ago, I was sitting in my local craft coffee shop, reading the afternoon away. I began to people watch. The man lounging in the leather arm chair; the woman meeting with a client at the long wooden table; the small group of teenagers giggling and taking selfies in the corner booth. I Read More

in Teacher Moments

Shannon Waldo's 5th and 6th grade band

You might think that after 19 years of teaching, anybody would feel like a classroom veteran. Not Shannon Waldo, who teaches K-12 music in Billing R-IV. “Sometimes I feel like such a newbie,” Shannon said. “I have to remind myself that I’m a veteran teacher.” Shannon’s background in music is deep. She began learning piano Read More

in Teacher Moments

Bethany Prenger and student candling egg

A gaggle of freshmen clattered into Bethany Prenger’s agriculture science class on a misty Monday afternoon in Eugene. After a quick rundown of the schedule for the next day’s field trip, the kids got started on the day’s assignment: checking on the eggs they were incubating and expecting to hatch in three days. It was Read More

in Teacher Moments

Casey Hassell in front of class

Casey Hassell’s parents always said she should be a teacher. It took a while, but Casey finally agreed. “I was stubborn and thought, ‘No, I want to do this instead,” she said, as she headed to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis in corporate video. Casey worked in television, Read More

in Teacher Moments

Hemmingsen with girl at computer

We all know someone who has had a passion for his or her chosen career dating back to middle or high school. That’s Patrick Hemmingsen, the science department chair and AP and IB chemistry teacher at Raymore-Peculiar High School. He loved biology as a student, and his AP biology teacher in high school encouraged him Read More

in Guest Educator Column

Sheila Carves with tortoise

“The teacher matters…” is a simple yet powerful quote by John Hattie that I have found useful to motivate, encourage and empower the students, teachers and parents that I serve in the Ferguson-Florissant School District (FFSD) and internationally. I grew up in similar demographics as the students in my district. I didn’t have a lot Read More

in Administrator Spotlight

Beth Houf high-fiving students after being named Missouri National Distinguished Principal.

Beth Houf didn’t set out to be a middle school principal. She loved classroom teaching. But a couple of years of professional development through DESE’s STARR teacher program several years ago provided her with the opportunity to train teachers. Beth realized that teachers benefit from strong administrators and that administrators support teachers’ efforts to do Read More

in Teacher Moments

Karen Pace with class.

If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, Karen Pace should be feeling pretty good. Two of her fellow math teachers at Salem High School were her students when they were in school. Karen’s philosophy in the classroom no doubt affected their choice to teach math. “You have to make math interesting so that Read More

in Guest Educator Column

Lindsay Thompson Teaching

My first and most important job is to encourage learning. This only happens when students see me as a learner. This only occurs when I celebrate their uniqueness and join them in the process of learning. Writing with students can be intimidating, but the vulnerability they watch me have, helps them be open to sharing Read More