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T.O.Y. Stories Blog

The Power of Community

January 11, 2019
Erin Doolittle Frederick County Teacher of the Year, 2015 My school is a truly special place.  We have the privilege to educate a population   ...Learn more

Using Every Tool in the Education Toolbox

October 30, 2018
Carol Detrick Garner Allegany County Teacher of the Year, 2013 The mighty Gymnogyps californianus was proving to be one tough bird. To make a long genetic bottleneck   ...Learn more

Teaching Kids, Not Classes

September 13, 2018
Sarah Desrosiers, M.Ed. Charles County Teacher of the Year, 2015-2016 Today’s children need so much more than we did when we went to school.  Society has   ...Learn more

Maintaining a Positive Learning Environment

July 6, 2018
Thomas Mills Dorchester County Teacher of the Year, 2014-2015 I teach chemistry and physics – two subjects which cause students to become intimidated and lose self-confidence.   ...Learn more

“Live, Laugh, Love & Learn”

April 30, 2018
Kimberly C. King Charles County Teacher of the Year, 2014-2015 Live.  Laugh. Love.  Learn. These words need to be at the heart of every teacher and   ...Learn more

We Are Teachers

March 16, 2018
Kelly O’Hara Elkton High School Social Studies 9-12 Grade Cecil County 2015 Cecil County TOY   During my first year of teaching, in the middle of an observation, a girl   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: We Are Family – Thoughts on Teaching in an Open Space Classroom

November 19, 2015
By Dana Jo Reinhardt Open space school design gained popularity in the United States during the 1970s with the hopes of recreating the wholesome “one   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: Connecting Students with the World Around Them

October 13, 2015
By Ryan Kaiser I come from a family of teachers. My grandmother taught elementary school and both my parents were teachers and educational administrators. It   ...Learn more

Be the Refuge for Your Students

September 4, 2015
  By Laura Ann Collins   No matter what you think you know, you simply don’t really know, so don’t assume you do. Always, always, always give children   ...Learn more

Creating Positive Student-Teacher and Student-Student Interaction

August 5, 2015
By Derek Berger Posing a thought provoking question to high school students is often met with the same result – the sound of silence. Even   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: Positivity is the Key – Encouraging Parental Involvement

July 10, 2015
By Jodie Hogan What is the first thing on my to-do list on Friday mornings?  You guessed it!  It is to make one positive phone   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: Problem-based Hands-on Learning is Key

June 12, 2015
    By Chad Shelly There is one huge challenge all teachers face.  We have to find a way to manage 25 or more student behaviors, while helping   ...Learn more

T.O.Y. Stories Blog: Students as Student Leaders in Classroom Instruction

May 14, 2015
  By Jon Cox In my co-taught math classroom, the instructional team often includes student leaders.  Students in this class typically collaborate in a small   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: Parents are key to help struggling readers succeed

April 20, 2015
By Mary Bailey We’ve all heard the saying, “reading is fundamental.” As a Reading Recovery teacher who works with students who are already falling behind   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: From Detaining to Restoring

March 2, 2015
By Sean McComb   Assign detention to raise achievement.  Really? Detention is usually considered a punitive and preventative “last resort” for most teachers.  Early in my career   ...Learn more

Adventures in ‘Close Reading’: A Teacher Prepares for PARCC

February 6, 2015
PARCC exams help teachers focus on instruction that builds students’ real-world skills By Christina Houstian   “All this?” asked Dana, a sophomore in my Advanced Placement (AP) U.S.   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: On My Knees with Meter Sticks

January 29, 2015
Carol Detrick Garner   TOY Stories: An Education Blog Sharing Thoughts, Ideas and Strategies from Maryland’s Teachers of the Year.   By Carol Detrick Garner Why you might ask   ...Learn more

TOY Stories Blog: Using Project-Based Learning to Expand Student Success

January 15, 2015
  By Laura Shelton 8th Grade Science Benjamin D. Foulois Creative and Performing Arts School Prince George’s County Maryland   I want ALL of my students to do well in   ...Learn more

T.O.Y. Stories Blog: Facing the Challenge

December 18, 2014
  Anne Cross   T.O.Y. Stories:  An Education Blog Sharing Thoughts, Ideas and Strategies from Maryland’s Teachers of the Year.   Facing the Challenge   By Anne Cross You know the kid.    ...Learn more

T.O.Y. Stories Blog: A Teacher’s Best Practice for Parent Engagement is Positive Communication

November 20, 2014
Marlo Coppage Queen Anne's s County 2014 Teacher of the Year
T.O.Y. Stories Marlo Coppage   An Education Blog Sharing Thoughts, Ideas and Strategies from Maryland’s Teachers of the Year. Welcome to MSDE’s T.O.Y. Stories Blog.  The blog capitalizes   ...Learn more