Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Don't ask kids what they want to be when they grow up but what problems do they want to solve.  This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, what do I need to learn to be able to do that?" 


"Where the Jobs Are.  How They're Changing and Why Skills Matter"

Career Counseling Advice from Jaime Casap, Google Global Education

Description: lizabeth Marie Frisch's photo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Let the Teacher Resource Center Support Ocean Science in Your Classrooms!

Helping Teachers Is Our Top Priority


Since 1987, we have offered a meeting place, free consultation appointments, research assistance and access to one of the largest curriculum collections in the region and a 6,000-item collection of loan materials.


Our audience includes teachers for grades pre-K to 12 and also out-of-school instructors such as camp counselors. Most of our visitors are from New England, but they also come from around the world. Our materials can be shipped within New England, and we are happy to assist others with finding resources. You can also sign up for the latest news and updates from the TRC, including information about opportunities for professional development and project funding.
For more information, please contact us at
or 617-973-6590.

More About the Teacher Resource Center

Signature Corporate Sponsor of the Teacher Resource Center and programs since 2011.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Boston Museum of Science News! Great Field Trips and Programs

Museum of Science
E-News for Educators
- The Science Behind Pixar

- $5 Field Trips

- Student Archaeology Fair
- Science in the News
- National Chemistry Week
For information on field trips or to make a reservation, contact Science Central (open daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at 617-723-2500.

Need help getting started? Our Museum educators are happy to help you create a field trip with a field trip planning session. Call 617-589-0172.
Are your students curious about the latest news from Pluto? Visit the Charles Hayden Planetarium to see new pictures and hear about discoveries from the New Horizons mission.

Learn More
Join our program for teachers and gain access to all of the Museum’s educator resources, plus enjoy special discounts on workshops, store purchases, and more.

Learn More
Dear Educators:

Qualifying schools can take advantage of half-price field trips in October! Plus, don’t miss two upcoming events about archaeology and chemistry and the chance to discover The Science Behind Pixar.

Educator Programs Group
The Science Behind Pixar
On Exhibit Through Sunday, January 10 | Timed Ticket Required
PixarLearn about the filmmaking process through hands-on activities inspired by some of Pixar’s most treasured films, from Toy Story to Pixar’s newest film Inside Out. Resources for teachers include a full educator guide, the ability to preview the exhibition before you bring your class, and more!

Learn More | Download the Educator Guide
$5 Field Trips
October and January
Schools with free and reduced lunch participation at or above 35% and/or schools with a population of economically disadvantaged students at or above 25% can take advantage of half-price Exhibit Halls admission in October and January! Contact Science Central at 617-723-2500 to book your field trip. (Grades K – 12)

Learn More
Student Archaeology Fair
Friday, October 16 | Free with Exhibit Halls Admission
Archaeology FairExperience the excitement of archaeology with dozens of hands-on activities, live presentations, and special programs. Learn about geophysics and archaeology from Meg Watters, and 3-D laser scanning of archaeological sites from Stephen Wilkes. (Grades 3 – 12)

Learn More
Science in the News
Available to Schools by Request
Get the latest information from this multi-topic presentation that highlights current research and innovations across multiple STEM disciplines. (Grades 6 – 12)

Learn More | Request this Presentation
National Chemistry Week
Friday, October 30 | 11:30 a.m.
Chemistry WeekLearn about the chemistry of light and color! This annual event includes a stimulating talk in Cahners Theater and hands-on chemistry activities throughout the Museum. Call 617-723-2500 to register. (Grades 9 – 12)

Learn More
Museum of Science

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

You Are Invited to MEET THE PARENTS

Saturday, October 17, 2015
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM

What I Know Now That I Wish I'd Known Then: 

Working with Parents and Families

Practical Tips and Resources for New Teachers from Teachers Just Like You

The first years of teaching can be immensely gratifying—but we know that the pressure can feel overwhelming, and that there may be days of glory and days that test how dedicated you are. We can assure you that teaching is a process and that the New Teacher Community at Lesley is ready to help you along the way.

This free event will offer novice teachers, or those who are changing levels or to a new position, a wealth of opportunities to learn from more experienced teachers, and a chance to hear from others like you.

Come enjoy food, companionship, exchange of knowledge and tips, and resources. 
University Hall, Room 3-103
1815 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 
Near Porter Square T 
Lesley University New Teacher Community

To RSVP, send an email to Bethany Tremblay ( or send an email to
Registration Required
Cost: Free
Learn more about how to apply for one of our mini-grants, how to request consultations, and about upcoming events. 
More About the New Teacher Community
New Teacher Community Blog
New Teacher Community on Facebook 

It All Started In Boston: Great Field Trip Idea

We Are One: Mapping America's Road from Revolution to Independence
Bring your students for a free interactive tour of this world class exhibition at the Boston Public Library

View 100 objects from twenty partners including the British Library and Library of Congress including Paul Revere’s sketch of the Boston Massacre, Crispus Attuck’s pewter teapot and the Congressional Medal given to George Washington by the Continental Congress after the Siege of Boston. K-12 materials using primary sources from the exhibition are available free for download from our website.  

Unrest in Boston is the first of three “Map Sets” that contains lessons to help students develop critical thinking skills and build content knowledge about the events, history and outcomes of the American Revolution. Students will be able to use maps and other visual sources to understand the role of geography and place in the events of 1765-1776 in Boston.

Exhibition closes November 29, 2015


FUN Autumn Opportunities for Professional Development!


The workshop will be held at UMass Lowell, in Olsen Hall, on Saturday, October 31 from 8:30 am to 12:30pm, with registration/refreshments starting at 8:00 am.

 No previous experience is necessary! At this workshop you will:

  •  interact with other teachers who have already used robots.
  •  discover Artbotics
  •  build and program a robot creature, using the Lego Mindstorms or Arduino platform.
  •  receive advanced instruction for experienced users.
  •  learn how to use the iSENSE data viz system in your classroom
 Receive information about funding opportunities!

Letters of attendance will be available. This workshop is open to K-12+ educators only.

Space is limited, Registration required at:

Once you complete the registration form, you'll receive an electronic confirmation.  About one week prior to the workshop you will receive a reminder with directions and workshop location. 

The workshop is designed for teachers and educators. We will keep a waiting list if the workshop fills up. If you need to cancel, please let us know ASAP at: 

For more information on robotics programs at UML, please go to Please feel free to forward or post this information. 

2. New England Aquarium Humpback Whales IMAX Workshop

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Harborside Learning Lab at New England Aquarium
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Humpback whales are among the most awe-inspiring marine mammals. New England Aquarium educators have developed a workshop to help teachers build on that enthusiasm. Come learn about hands-on classroom lessons that focus on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Share ideas for integrating information to support curriculum learning goals.  Staff from the New England Aquarium will facilitate the workshop, which includes an introduction and preview of the IMAX film, Humpback Whales, from the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation. The workshop will also draw on information about local whale populations.

Educators attending the preview workshop will receive the MacGillivray Freeman's Humpback Whales Guide for Classroom Teachers, access to resources in the Teacher Resource Center at the New England Aquarium and the skills to take key concepts introduced in the film back to the classroom. 

Space is limited and registration is required:
RSVP Here by October 24, 2015

Contact the Teacher Resource Center at or 617-973-6590.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Letter to First Year Teachers (from the blog EAT, WRITE, TEACH)

This is a lovely letter written by a woman named Stephanie Richards who blogs about all things teaching. 

We wish you all the best as you start your new year.  Words of wisdom from teachers who've been there and done that are nuggets of gold.  EVERY teacher has been a new teacher once! 

The blog: EAT, WRITE, TEACH.

My Photo
Stephanie is an English teacher by day, a YA Fiction writer by night, and a foodie always. She blogs about her adventures in the classroom, offering ridiculous anecdotes, unsolicited advice, and silly GIFs, all sprinkled with healthy doses of sarcasm and profanity, in the hopes that it might make the daily life of other secondary teachers just a little bit easier.

A Letter to First-Year Teachers

It's a school day, so I feel like I should be helping someone out. It's what I do. But we have a snowday today, so instead of helping out students, I'm going to attempt to help out those first-year teachers out there by offering sage advice dunked in sarcasm sauce and topped with my favorite sentence enhancers.


Dear New Teacher,

You are wonderful. You are amazing. You are a saint. Thank you for what you do.

You won't hear those words enough, so I thought I'd start out with that.

My first year of teaching was pretty much horrendous. I think you can probably expect that. There were many things that were simply awful that were also out of my control, but I contributed to my own mess of a year. Let me share with you some of the things I did wrong, so you can learn from my mistakes.
  • I never bothered to ask for help. I was terrified that asking for help would be a sign of weakness, a show of incompetance. I didn't realize that doing something incorrectly was ultimately much worse than asking for help.
  • I did not manage my time wisely. I waited to make copies until right before I needed them, I spent my prep period doing projects that didn't need done until later rather than the things that should have been taken care of right away.
  • I gave way too much homework, more than I could ever keep up with for grading, because I thought that was what good teachers did.
  • I created all of my own PowerPoints, worksheets, tests, etc. because I didn't want to take "the easy way out." 
  • I was very intimidated by my coworkers (who I found out too late were wonderful, intelligent, friendly people) and I never felt confident enough to strike up a conversation. It didn't help that I was only twenty-two, I lived forty miles away, I wasn't married, and I still lived in my parents' basement. They were adults. I felt like a student eating lunch with them.
  • I didn't get nearly enough sleep.
  • I planned a wedding.
  • I never really sat down and planned my year long-term. I just planned day-by-day. BIG MISTAKE.
  • I didn't plan bell to bell.
  • I didn't develop a good relationship with my students in the classroom.
That's a lot of mistakes, and I'm sure there were plenty more. The good news is that all of these have pretty simple fixes, and you can avoid a lot of heartache by doing some pretty simple things. Allow me to offer some expletives-laden advice. (There are expletives because I am a potty mouth hugely passionate about this stuff.)
  • GOLDEN RULE OF TEACHING: ASK FOR HELP. This is not a job you can do on your own without going completely insane. Most teachers share a common personality trait in that they are happy to help people. It goes with the trade. Most of your coworkers will be happy to help you out (and you'll quickly discover the ones that don't want to help, in which case you should spit in their coffee and hide their mail). Find those experienced teachers and ask for help! They've got all kinds of neat little tricks up their cardigan sleeves for making your life in the classroom bearable, or maybe even pleasant.
  • Time-management, for the love of everything good and holy. Figure out your shit before you start it! Prioritize and get stuff done. Do everything you need to complete before tomorrow, and then you can do stuff that's more long-term. If you have to (and I do, so no shame) make a To-Do list and number the items by priority. Make your copies at least the day before, because I guarantee that the morning you need to make fifty copies of an exam and first period starts in ten minutes will be the morning that every asshole out there is making nine hundred copies of the parts of a flower worksheet, front and back. Either that or the copier will be broken. You know, all that Murphy's Law shit.
  • Bad teachers ignore their students needs and focus on their own. Mediocre teachers give busy work to meet their own needs that may or may not be what the student needs. Good teachers give a lot of homework in the hopes that en masse activities will meet the students' needs. Great teachers give just enough really good homework that will successfully meet the needs of both the student and the teacher. What this boils down to is that you don't have to give a ton of homework if the work you do give has a lot of value. It's all about quality instead of quantity.
  • It is okay to use other people's PowerPoints, worksheets, tests, and downloadable templates. :) Really, though, sharing is caring. This ties into Bullet #2. You simply don't have time to make every single thing out there! My personal rule is that I like to make things when I haven't found anything else that will satisfy. As a perfectionist, this kind of happens a lot, but I also know that I can satisfy my perfectionist needs by tweaking the work of others. Example: I downloaded a PowerPoint presentation about King Arthur from the interwebs. The PowerPoint had all of the information I hoped to convey, but it wasn't interactive enough to suit my taste. So instead of making a PowerPoint completely from scratch, I just added in a couple of slides with interactive questions and activities for my students. It took ten minutes.
  • I am not good at making friends. I'm not sure why, but I'm not. It is really important, though, that you attempt to develop some sort of a positive relationship with your coworkers. Teaching is lonely business, otherwise. If you aren't willing to sit at lunch with the science teachers, at least make friends within your department and talk about non-school stuff.
  • Sleep. Seriously. Get enough sleep, especially if you're a real bitch in the mornings like I am. I realized I was being really unfairly cranky towards my first period class and it was really because I just wasn't awake enough to deal with some of them. So, I started going to bed early and waking up earlier. Nowadays I'm up two hours before I have to be at work so I can take out the crankies on my yoga mat and on my morning coffee. I can't tell you the difference this has made in how my days go.
  • I would seriously try to avoid any other major life changes during your first year of teaching. Your first year of teaching will be its own enormously huge change. You really have no idea how much this will affect your life until your go home with whiteboard marker on your fingertips and tape on your pants and you smell like freshmen. (Side note: get pet Febreeze for your classroom, especially if you share students with the P.E. teacher.)
  • Plan your school year. I mean, the whole thing. Not necessarily every single day, but you should know exactly what unit is coming up next and you should know how you're going to do it. This year was the first time I ever did this and it is un-freakin'-believable how much easier my life is. I sat down with a school calendar and a list of all of the things I wanted to do this year, and I planned my year. Keep it flexible (give yourself at least three more days than you think you'll need for each unit to account for fire drills, snowdays, and hangovers) but try to stick with it. I already know that we will begin Shakespeare notes on Friday and we will have the Romeo and Juliet test right around March 1st. I feel powerful.
  • There's a saying out there along the lines of, "Idle hands make children do evil things like stick gum under the desktop and hit each other with rulers." Something like that. There's this cute little idea called "bell-to-bell planning" floating in the education world Kool-Aid right now, but it ain't no joke. I am a true-blue believer in bell ringers, teacher time, teacher-student time, student time, and exit slips. This is close-ish to a typical day, and dependent on the subject matter. My day really runs smoothly like this and we get a lot accomplished in a class period.
    • Minutes 1-10: Bell ringer activity and vocab card
    • Minutes 11-25: Teacher time (lectures and other such teacher-dominated teaching)
    • Minutes 26-40: Teacher-student time (guided practice activities)
    • Minutes 41-45: Student time (students get a headstart on homework, etc.)
    • Minutes 46-50: Exit slips or other such end-of-class assessments
  • Teacher-student relationship is critical in a smoothly operating classroom. I've written in the past about how I take pride in this nowadays. It wasn't the case my first year of teaching. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting to know your students. This is the motto I teach by: I don't teach English. I teach kids.
If you're still reading, you deserve a cookie or something because this is the longest letter ever. Go on. Get up a get a cookie. I'll wait.

I'm only a third year teacher, so I'm not saying you should necessarily take to heart everything I've said here (like spitting in coworkers' coffee... that's probably not a good plan... that will create animosity in the workplace). I do hope, however, that there is some merit to my words and maybe this will keep you from making many of the same mistakes I made my first year.

Teaching is a challenge, and it is a challenge that nothing will prepare you for, not even subbing or student teaching. When you are a teacher, for better or for worse, those kids are yours. Even the most stubborn, bull-headed, big-mouthed kid is yours and he trusts you to take care of his needs, both as a teacher and as a positive adult role model.

You will cry some days. You will want to pull your hair out. You will take a sick day for the sake of mental health. You will write bad words on a student's paper in a fury because twenty days into the Shakespeare unit they said Queen Elizabeth wrote the play Romeo and Juliet and then you'll have to white them out.


You will also laugh a lot. Kids are funny, whether they mean to be or not. I never realized how much I would laugh as a teacher. You will have really amazing days where your lesson goes perfectly. You will have good crying days because your non-reader finished the book you recommended and loved it. You will have a kid hug you one day, for seemingly no reason and it will be a kid that you would never in a million years have expected such a show of affection from. (Side note: I just ended that sentence with a preposition but I can't think of a better way to word it, so screw it. "Screw It" days will happen too.)

And best of all, you will have days where a kid or a parent thanks you for what you do. Last year there was a parent who brought me flowers because I stayed after school for an hour helping her son study for a test. This winter my drama club kids got me a dozen roses and presented them to me after our last show. Even that first year of teaching, when things were so bad, I had a group of wonderful drama club kids who made me a video telling me thank you for everything I had done for them. I still cry when I think about that video and those kids.

I wish you all of the luck in the world. I'm sending good vibes your way, I promise. Don't forget to wear your power heels or a tie to school the first day and be a real hardass, because it is so much easier to get nicer throughout the school year than to get tougher. Save every single picture, note, whatever from a student that makes you smile and hang it up near your desk so you can look at it on bad days. The bulletin board behind my desk is covered with student artwork, letters, and Christmas cards (still) because they are very uplifting on bad days.