Real talk from real educators who seek a more purposeful and conscious life

ANGELA WATSON

Founder of Truth for Teachers

 

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The NEW Truth for Teachers site is coming soon! We are a community of educators dedicated to speaking honestly about the realities of K-12 education. 

Here’s what to expect

The encouragement, motivation, and practical teaching strategies you’ll find here are grounded in these shared values:

Diversity of perspectives

We honor and represent the wide range of experiences teachers have. We look to see whose perspectives are missing and how that’s shaped what we believe is true. We are constantly learning and growing, and sharing that process with other educators.

Humanized Lens

We focus on personal + professional development, because who teachers ARE matters just as much as what they DO. So, we delve deeply into topics of mindset and habits for mental health to help educators be the best true version of themselves. 

Sustainable Systems

We work to inform and equip educators to navigate systemic challenges. And, we share solutions that make teaching more effective, efficient, enjoyable, and equitable, so teachers can do the job they love without burnout out.

Holistic Approach

We believe the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of students and educators are interconnected, and cannot be sidelined for academic goals. We find the overlap between what’s best for kids and what’s best for teachers.

Mission
Statement

 

The encouragement, motivation, and practical teaching strategies you’ll find here are grounded in these shared values:

  • We believe classroom teachers have a unique and essential expertise that must be centered in discussions about education. Decisions about teaching should not be made without teachers. So, we use our platform to amplify the voices of classroom practitioners.
  • We seek out a diversity of perspectives and honor the wide range of experiences teachers have in K-12 schools. We focus on teachers in the United States, but welcome and learn from the voices of educators around the world. We encourage them to speak openly and transparently about all they are experiencing.
  • We believe in the relentless pursuit of truth by uncovering history, facts, and experiences that have been obscured or whitewashed. We look to see whose perspectives are missing from common narratives and how that’s shaped what we believe is true. We are constantly learning and growing, and sharing that process with other educators.
  • We believe that who teachers ARE matters just as much as what they DO. Therefore, we focus not only on professional development, but also personal development. We delve deeply into topics of mindset, unpacking personal bias, habits for strong mental health, and overall teacher wellbeing. The goal is to provoke self-examination and help educators be the best true version of themselves.
  • We work to be inclusive but aren’t afraid to take a stand on divisive issues when needed. When deciding whether to tackle a controversial topic, our guiding question is, “Who benefits if we choose to stay silent about this?” We stand with folks in the margins and work for justice, accountability, and equity.
  • We believe in a humanized approach to education, addressing not only the needs of the whole child but the whole teacher. The physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of both children and educators is our central concern, and does not come secondary to academic goals.
  • We believe the status quo is not best serving the needs of teachers or kids, and push one another to reimagine what’s possible. We do not believe in martyring ourselves to meet impossible expectations or overburdening students with irrelevant assignments and excessive testing. Instead, we support teachers in focusing on what makes the biggest impact for kids, and setting boundaries on how much time they–and their students–dedicate to less impactful tasks.
  • We believe there is a huge overlap between what’s best for kids and what’s best for teachers, and work to offer solutions that serve the best interest of both. Kids learn best from happy, supported, balanced teachers. So, we reject the tendency to pit teachers’ needs against those of students, and instead look for the alignment between them.
  • We believe teaching is inherently impacted by the larger political, cultural, societal, and institutional frameworks that our schools operate within. So, we don’t shy away from discussing current events, and work to inform and equip educators to navigate systemic challenges.
  • We believe that a free high quality public education is not only the right of every child, but essential for the greater good of a nation. We respect parental choice, and support teachers working in private and charter schools. We also have a deep passion for strengthening our public school system through equitable learning conditions for kids and sustainable working conditions for educators.
  • We actively look for solutions that make teaching more effective, efficient, enjoyable, and equitable. We seek to help teachers find a sustainable approach to their work in order to maintain their enthusiasm and creativity. We support them in identifying practices that make the best use of class time and help meet the needs of all students, without burning out.
  • We believe our mission is up for questioning but not up for debate. We invite healthy discussion initiated in good faith for the purpose of clarification. We encourage pushing one another’s thinking to include additional perspectives. And, we welcome all educators in this space. In the interest of cohesion and forward progress, we focus on the needs of educators who share our core values. We do not compromise the work of our community to center the perspectives of those who are disinterested in (or opposed to) our goals.

 

If you feel energized and excited after reading this … you’ve found your community of educators. We’re glad you’re here! Sign up to be part of this community.

Meet the Truth for Teachers Collective

Our writers are classroom practitioners sharing what’s working
(and what’s not) in their schools.

Article Preview

Classroom meetings: Your most powerful tool for creating a respectful, inclusive class culture

By Jennifer Brinkmeyer

Listen to the podcast

How we start the school year communicates who we expect students are and how we expect students will act. Informed by our prior experiences in the classroom, these expectations become a form of bias that can create rigid roles for both students and ourselves that we then spend the entire year navigating. An alternate approach, where teachers co-construct community and rules with students, is certainly more welcoming. Without a dedicated ritual, this approach can lose steam throughout the year with students and teachers reverting to internal norms.

Article Preview

When your school’s plan keeps changing, use Tina Fey’s 4 rules of improv

By Caitlin Hilzer

Listen to the podcast

How we start the school year communicates who we expect students are and how we expect students will act. Informed by our prior experiences in the classroom, these expectations become a form of bias that can create rigid roles for both students and ourselves that we then spend the entire year navigating.

An alternate approach, where teachers co-construct community and rules with students, is certainly more welcoming. Without a dedicated ritual, this approach can lose steam throughout the year with students and teachers reverting to internal norms.

Article Preview

3 lessons pandemic teaching taught me about what self-care REALLY means

By Courtney Jones

Listen to the podcast

Dear reader, I am sorry, because yes, you are going to read another blog post dedicated to encouraging you as you continue teaching during and after the pandemic. While appreciated, I’m sure you also find this tedious, especially after a year that feels like a lifetime.

Article Preview

Classroom meetings: Your most powerful tool for creating a respectful, inclusive class culture

By Jennifer Brinkmeyer

Listen to the podcast

How we start the school year communicates who we expect students are and how we expect students will act. Informed by our prior experiences in the classroom, these expectations become a form of bias that can create rigid roles for both students and ourselves that we then spend the entire year navigating. An alternate approach, where teachers co-construct community and rules with students, is certainly more welcoming. Without a dedicated ritual, this approach can lose steam throughout the year with students and teachers reverting to internal norms.

Article Preview

When your school’s plan keeps changing, use Tina Fey’s 4 rules of improv

By Caitlin Hilzer

Listen to the podcast

How we start the school year communicates who we expect students are and how we expect students will act. Informed by our prior experiences in the classroom, these expectations become a form of bias that can create rigid roles for both students and ourselves that we then spend the entire year navigating.

An alternate approach, where teachers co-construct community and rules with students, is certainly more welcoming. Without a dedicated ritual, this approach can lose steam throughout the year with students and teachers reverting to internal norms.

Article Preview

3 lessons pandemic teaching taught me about what self-care REALLY means

By Courtney Jones

Listen to the podcast

Dear reader, I am sorry, because yes, you are going to read another blog post dedicated to encouraging you as you continue teaching during and after the pandemic. While appreciated, I’m sure you also find this tedious, especially after a year that feels like a lifetime.

Article Preview

4 tricks I learned from #TeacherTikTok that boosted student engagement

By Madeline Newton Driscoll

Listen to the podcast

TeacherTok has been a constant companion in these last few months (ok the whole year) of pandemic teaching. I just paused to check my phone usage stats before starting this article … and I’m embarrassed to say my daily average is five … FIVE hours.

I sometimes spend more time during the day scrolling through Instagram and TikTok than I do watching TV, and I can guarantee the same is true for many of our students.

Article Preview

I stopped being a “polished professional” and started showing up in my classroom as an authentic, messy human. Here’s what happened.

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By Victoria Hanson

Listen to the podcast

My first year of teaching landed me in the corner of my classroom. I had my face turned away towards the wall in an attempt to hide a torrent of tears as our school’s Occupational Therapist ushered my students out for a “bonus recess” in the middle of the day. I was at my wit’s end but mortified with myself for not being able to keep it together. I had failed to show up as the educator who I believed I needed to be and could feel my perfectly crafted, “Polished Professional” persona crumbling.

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Article Preview

4 tricks I learned from #TeacherTikTok that boosted student engagement

By Madeline Newton Driscoll

Listen to the podcast

TeacherTok has been a constant companion in these last few months (ok the whole year) of pandemic teaching. I just paused to check my phone usage stats before starting this article … and I’m embarrassed to say my daily average is five … FIVE hours.

I sometimes spend more time during the day scrolling through Instagram and TikTok than I do watching TV, and I can guarantee the same is true for many of our students.

Article Preview

I stopped being a “polished professional” and started showing up in my classroom as an authentic, messy human. Here’s what happened.

{"key":"e6"}

By Victoria Hanson

Listen to the podcast

My first year of teaching landed me in the corner of my classroom. I had my face turned away towards the wall in an attempt to hide a torrent of tears as our school’s Occupational Therapist ushered my students out for a “bonus recess” in the middle of the day. I was at my wit’s end but mortified with myself for not being able to keep it together. I had failed to show up as the educator who I believed I needed to be and could feel my perfectly crafted, “Polished Professional” persona crumbling.

What teachers are saying

I have followed Angela for many years through her books and website. She has a way of looking for the positive without denying the issues we face as educators.

Christine