The Chalk Blog

Dawn Butler

Dawn Butler is the Lead Course Specialist with Learners Edge. Prior to joining the Edge, Dawn was a high school English teacher for 11 years. In her free time, she can be found wrangling her 6 year old son, 3 year old daughter, 2 cats, and a dog. Her parents were teachers, her husband is a SPED teacher, and her parents-in-law are teachers, which really helps Dawn to continue to foster her passion for education as she works to offer the best possible courses at the Edge!
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Teacher Feature: Josh Petitt

Interview with Josh Petitt

When we were kids, our minds were blown when we saw teachers outside of school. It was so out of context, but mysteriously cool: we saw them as humans, rather than just as their professional selves. 

To this end, the Learners Edge Chalk Blog interviews teachers in a regular segment called "Teacher Feature!" To hear more about the people behind the magic in the classroom, read on, and be inspired by these fantastic education superstars.


Josh Petitt is a middle school English Language and English Language Arts teacher at St. Paul City School, a pre-k through eighth grade charter school near the capital. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Arts in Teaching through Hamline University. Josh lives in Hugo with his wife, two daughters, ages ten and seven, as well his son, who is three years old. The family also has a dog named Slipper.  

Why did you decide to become a teacher? 

"As is usually case with major decisions, there is not single reason. After earning my undergraduate degree, I tried a series of jobs over several years. Most of them paid reasonably well, but they also left me feeling incomplete. I knew I needed to look for something wherein I felt I could make a difference, wherein I felt I mattered beyond the bottom line. At that point, I started volunteering, and one assignment was a middle school in Burnsville, MN, where I enthusiastically volunteered with one of their English as a Second Language classes. After the first day in that school, I knew I wanted to teach middle schoolers; I simply enjoyed the children that much. So why did I become a teacher? I suppose the easiest answer is that I enjoy spending time with adolescents."

Read More

Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher Appreciation

Our New Course on Student Anxiety!

Becoming Aware of Anxiety in the Classroom

Bear with me as I give you a very superficial and hypothetical quiz. Which of these kids have anxiety?  

  1. An 18-year-old college student states, “I’m totally freaked out about my philosophy test tomorrow.”
  2. A somber looking 4th grader usually has his hands up in his sleeves and tends to stare at the floor.
  3. A chatty middle schooler is hanging out with her friends, but often leaves the group and runs away.
  4. A teacher asks in a class discussion, “what do you think, Aaron?” Aaron stares back and looks like he can’t breathe.
  5. A 3rd grader has trouble staying in her seat and is constantly kicking the chair in front of her.

All of them do, and each one is demonstrating a kind of symptom. And, it’s possible that none of them have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. 

Confusing? Fair enough. The confusion and blurry lines around anxiety make it challenging to identify or diagnose.  


Read More

Topics: anxiety, Courses

Teacher Feature: Carol DeGeorge

Interview with Carol DeGeorge

When we were kids, our minds were blown when we saw teachers outside of school. It was so out of context, but mysteriously cool: we saw them as humans, rather than just as their professional selves. 

To this end, the Learners Edge Chalk Blog interviews teachers in a regular segment called "Teacher Feature!" To hear more about the people behind the magic in the classroom, read on, and be inspired by these fantastic education superstars.


Carol DeGeorge is a Social Studies teacher at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, New York. She earned her BS in Communications and her MS degree in Secondary Education/Social Studies from Iona College.  Carol also holds a Masters in School Administration and will soon be completing her third Master's degree, in Human Resources. She has been teaching for 27 years, including time teaching in Poland and China. In fact, she has traveled to all 7 continents, and has taken students to Ghana, South Africa, the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Russia, and Eastern Europe.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? 

"Not quite sure why I went into teaching, but the reality is that when it comes time to retire, it is not going to be easy. I will miss the kids and the connections I have made with them. I will miss the silliness and fun I have as a teacher."

Read More

Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher Appreciation

Mother's Day Ideas

Using Instagram for Mother's Day Craft Inspiration

It’s a Mother’s Day tradition for students to create something crafty to celebrate their moms. From the traditional-tried-and-true projects that use pasta or popsicle sticks to the mason jar indoor herb garden trendy, we’ve got you covered!

Read More

Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Holidays

Teachers We'll Never Forget

Past Teachers Who Shaped Our Futures...

My life is full of teachers – parents, in-laws, friends, husband – and I was in the classroom as a trained teacher for 11 years. There’s no end to the sacrifices regularly made by educators and education professionals, and we really should be thanking them year-round. There are many all-consuming professions, but education is one of the unique ones that has the responsibility for other human beings, so it’s pretty difficult to get an educator’s brain to power down and stop thinking about teaching and students. Teachers do it all, and they do it because of their true love of children and learning.  

Below, you can see how my colleagues and I couldn’t wait to talk about the teachers we have loved and appreciated in our educational journeys. Many, many thanks to these teachers, and to teachers everywhere!

Read More

Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher Appreciation

Improving Your Teaching Strategies

Why Instructional Coaching is Important

Sometimes it takes a while to hit our stride in teaching, and feedback is usually pretty helpfulBut scoot past student teaching and the survival mode into the instructional aspects… that’s when we need help yet again. As a student teacher, we’re watched, evaluated, supported, and given specifics for improvement. Then comes that first outing alone in our own classroom, where management of said space and its inhabitants can feel like an episode of Survivor. But with or without years of experience, diving into the intricacies of instructional practice is always better done with the help of an objective eye, as we once had as student teachers. 

Enter Instructional Coaching - the colleagues who have the perspective, knowledge, and experience to challenge us to move towards meeting our goals and realizing our potential 

Read More

Topics: Instructional Strategies, Educator Coaching

Collaborative Learning [VIDEO]

Improving Collaboration in Your Classroom

Dawn - Collaborative Learning - Final
Read More

Topics: Classroom Management, Teaching with Technology, Video

Introducing... NEW Courses!

Brand New Courses for YOU!

After the cold has (almost) left and the days get longer, the world begins to wake up and stretch a bit. Spring is about to come alive in education with these fantastic new offerings from Learners Edge! 

Read More

Topics: Learners Edge News, diversity, Courses

Pi Day

How is Your Class Celebrating?

We know it’s irrational, this never ending and constant love of pi(e).

Fortunately, there are plenty of other pi(e) lovers to unite with, and hundreds of ideas to be found to celebrate 3.14159265358979 – and pie.  

(And Albert Einstein, whose birthday auspiciously falls on this day.) 

For our part, Learners Edge will be enjoying a few different kinds of the tasty kind of pie. Check out the list below for some great ideas to celebrate pi(e) in your school or classroom! 

Read More

Topics: Instructional Strategies, Holidays

Earn Credits for Reading With Friends!

Celebrating 10 Years of Book Study at Learners Edge!

"There is power in unity and there is power in numbers." 

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Collaboration is not new, but in our profession, engaging with one another is truly a gift, and a wonderful opportunity for discussion and action.  

The Book Study from Learners Edge is one of five personalized professional development opportunities available, and the only option to complete as a group. The syllabus is a framework for teachers to guide their own learning using a text of their choice, which has made this course perfect for 3,368 groups in the 10 years of its existence.  

Read More

Topics: Literacy, Personalized Continuing Ed, Courses

Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.

Offering more than 100 print-based or online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!

Request a Personalized Course Recommendation

 

Recommended Posts