Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

June 1, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo

“Teachers ‘Seek Relevance & Choice’ In Professional Development”

Teachers ‘Seek Relevance & Choice’ In Professional Development is my latest Education Week Teacher post.

It includes responses from Roxanna Elden, Sally J. Zepeda, Christopher Lehman, Jennifer Abrams, PJ Caposey, Patricia Reynolds, and Sharon Milano. In addition, I’ve highlighted comments from readers. All make suggestions about how to make professional development more effective learning experiences.

Here are some excerpts:






April 17, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong

Wow, the school year has gone by fast, and it’s time to start thinking about how to end it well.

I’ve written and/or published a number of related resources over the years, and thought it was time to bring them all together — for your benefit and for mine.

Feel free to leave suggestions for additions in the comments section.

Here goes:

Finishing the School Year Strong is an excerpt from one of my books. That link is to its site on Education Week. Edutopia also republished it.

Ideas for English-Language Learners | Celebrating the End of the School Year is a piece I co-wrote for The New York Times Learning Network a couple of years ago.

Ideas for E.L.L.s | Celebrating the End of the School Year is Part Two topic of that New York Times post.

Here’s The End-of-Year Goal-Setting Activity I’ve Done With English Language Learners – Including Worksheet & Video

Here’s The Latest Reflection/Goal-Setting Sheet I’m Using With Students

What Do You Do To Keep Students (& You!) Focused Near The End Of The School Year?

What Do You Do On The Last Day Of Class? (Part Two)

Here is a two-part series over at my Education Week Teacher column:

Ways to Use Class Time During the Last Two Weeks Of School

This post offers suggestions from two exceptional teacher authors: Roxanna Elden and Donalyn Miller.

Ideas for the Last Two Weeks of School — Part Two

This piece includes responses from three great educators: Chris Wejr, Alice Mercer and Bill Ivey.

September 17, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

My BAM! Radio Show “Kicks-Off” A New Season With Episode On Teacher Attire


My weekly ten-minute BAM! Radio Show has just kicked-off a new season with an episode where educators Renee Moore and Roxanna Elden discuss how gender, class and race relate to the question of teacher attire.

You can also listen to the previous twenty-one episodes at the same link.

September 14, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

“Teachers Should Dress As Students’ Advocate, Not ‘Peer'”

Teachers Should Dress As Students’ Advocate, Not ‘Peer’ is my latest Education Week Teacher post.

In Part One of a two-part series, four educators – Roxanna Elden, Renee Moore, Jane Fung, and Rebecca Mieliwocki – share their thoughts on how teachers should dress.

I’m adding it to The Best (Or, At Least, The Most Interesting) Posts On Teacher Attire.

Here are some excerpts:





March 29, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

‘Best Practices’ Are Practices That Work Best For Your Students

‘Best Practices’ Are Practices That Work Best For Your Students is the final post in my three-part Ed Week series on the five best practices teachers can use in the classroom.

Today’s post features contributions from Roxanna Elden, Barnett Berry and Pedro Noguera, along with comments from readers.

Here are some excerpts:




March 19, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best (Or, At Least, The Most Interesting) Posts On Teacher Attire

'Tie Straightened' photo (c) 2006, glindsay65 - license:

I’ve worn a sport coat and tie everyday during my ten year teaching career (except for when we go on field trips to San Francisco and to Yosemite), and have explained my rationale for doing so in previous posts that have garnered many comments (I’ll link to them later in this post).

Recently, the topic of teacher attire has been in the news lately, and I thought it would be useful for me to bring those new articles together in one “The Best” list, along with my past ones. I hope you’ll share your own comments….

First, here are the new ones:

Ofsted launches new clampdown on scruffy teachers
is from The Telegraph.

Teachers condemned for being too scruffy – report is from The Telegraph.

Do Clothes Make the Teacher? is by Walt Gardner at Education Week.

Now, here are my posts — and you definitely want to check out the comments left on them, too:

A Question On Teacher Attire

Can An Educator’s Clothes Affect How He/She Teaches?

Study: Appearances Matter

I’d recommend you also read Dave Dodgson’s post, Suits you, Sir!

Teachers, T-Shirts & The Messages That They Send

Teachers Should Dress As Students’ Advocate, Not ‘Peer’ is one of my Education Week Teacher posts. In Part One of a two-part series, four educators – Roxanna Elden, Renee Moore, Jane Fung, and Rebecca Mieliwocki – share their thoughts on how teachers should dress.

Let me know what you think….

December 25, 2013
by Larry Ferlazzo

Guest Post From National Teacher Of The Year: Bad Days “Happen To All Of Us”

'Today is a bad day' photo (c) 2009, Paul Downey - license:

Readers might remember that last month I posted a popular series at my Education Week Teacher column on the best ways to deal with bad days.

Because of some technical difficulties, I didn’t receive a response from Jeff Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher Of The Year, in time to include it there, so I’m publishing it here as a guest post.

The good news, though, is that we’ve worked out those technical issues and several responses from Jeff will be appearing in future posts at my Ed Week column.

You might also be interested in those three Ed Week posts in that series:

Response: Recover From Bad Days by Seeing ‘Disasters as Opportunities’, which included comments by Roxanna Elden, Allen Mendler and Julia Thompson.

Response: A Bad Day In The Classroom ‘Will Pass’, with contributions from Terry Thompson, Renee Moore and Cindi Rigsbee.

Response: Using ‘Self-Compassion’ to Recover From a Bad Day, including responses from Amy Benjamin and Dina Strasser.

What do you do when you’re having a bad day in the classroom? How do you get over feelings of frustration?

Jeff Charbonneau is the 2013 National Teacher of the Year. He is a Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering teacher at Zillah High School, in Zillah, WA. You can follow him on Twitter at @JeffCharbonneau:

The first thing to remember is that bad days happen. Period. Having a bad day is not an indication of your ability as a teacher. HOW you respond to that day is.

Let’s think about the different kinds of bad days:

Student Related

We work with students whose lives are incredibly complex. Many of my students have lived a much harder life in their 15 years, than I have in my 35 combined. As teachers we need to remember that.

Very often we become so focused on our lessons, that we assume that our students should have the same focus.

However, the reality is that when a student is acting out, rude, or otherwise non-engaged, it is normally due to something else in their life. We need to understand that sometimes our role as a teacher is to be a sounding board – a safety zone for a student to release the frustration, anger, and disappointment that they are suffering from in other parts of their lives.

I try to remember to not take everything personally. Students may be mad at “the teacher”, but greatly appreciate me as a person.

This does not mean that students should be excused from bad behavior – quite the opposite in fact. The consistency of rules and standards helps to create a safe environment for all of learners. As such, holding students accountable for their actions is a paramount duty.

My biggest piece of advice for dealing with student behavior is to first ask yourself why the student is acting out. Only then can you choose the appropriate course of action. Remember – it’s not about making sure your feelings are not hurt – it’s about helping the student learn to navigate their emotions.


Co-Worker Related

The world of “he said, she said” did not end with our teenage years. In fact, many times bad days have very little to do with procedures, policies, or rules, and instead have everything to do with relationships with our co-workers.

As teachers we have learned to have an incredible amount of patience with our students. How many of us give the same level of patience to the adults in our lives?

The next time you have a disagreement with a co-worker, try treating them the same way you treat your students; with compassion, understanding, and most of all, the respect necessary to allow all to remain dignified.  The techniques for building positive relationships with students do not change when working with adults.


Reflect to Recharge

No matter the cause, bad days have one thing in common. They happen to all of us.

The catch is to understand that bad days can be incredibly positive turning points in your career depending on how you respond to them. The key is have a meaningful and honest reflection with yourself. Try to calmly answer the following questions at the end of that bad day:

  1. What happened in my life and the lives of others just before the day turned bad? Were there other events that caused uncharacteristic behavior?
  2. What did I learn from today?
  3. What can I do to help prevent similar outcomes in the future?

Just remember that when all is said and done, bad days help to make good days look that much better.