TeachThought is a mission-based organization and our mission is to innovate education through the growth of innovative teachers.
But as an organization, it also has another responsibility: supporting my family.
COVID-19 has turned the entire world upside down and while business concerns are by far the least interesting to me intellectually, if TeachThought doesn’t earn enough money to support my family, it can’t continue.
This means that we have to experiment with a variety of ‘revenue sources’ and ads are, for us, the most effective. But COVID-19 has reduced that ad revenue by (as of the last two weeks) by around 80%–a reduction so drastic that I, like many other people around the world, have been forced to make some very tough decisions. One example is that I had to take advantage of the home mortgage program through my lender and essentially delay mortgage payments by six months (which is up in three months) and revenue continues to plummet.
I’ve received some complaints about ads over the years–complaints that increased significantly about 18 months ago when we moved to a new ‘ad server.’ (We personally have no direct control over the ads shown on TeachThought, though I can call to have specific ads removed–explicit content, for example.)
Over the next 12 weeks or so, we are going to be testing out a different ad server in hopes of reducing the total number of ads as well as (hopefully) provide ads more aligned with TeachThought reader needs and expectations. That, however, is likely to be a slow process with some growing pains.
I have considered creating a TeachThought membership model of some kind that would, among other benefits, remove ads altogether for the reader. I haven’t done so because I don’t want anyone to ever have to ‘pay’ for our content–thus my experimenting with different ads and types of ads.
While there’s more here to discuss, the point is that you are going to see different ads over the next month or three. (The exact period is undetermined.) If you have any concerns or needs during that time, feel free to contact me directly.
If you are interested in a membership program to support TeachThought and (ideally) remove the ads, let me know that with a quick message as well.
We have more ideas in development as this is just one step of many to try to help TeachThought survive this extraordinary economic downturn and continue to help teachers help children grow.
Best of luck to each of you in this trying time. If there’s anything I can do for you as an educator, feel free to use that same address to let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to try to help.
3 Ways You’ll Grow From A TeachThought PBL Conference
3 Ways You’ll Grow From A TeachThought PBL Conference
by Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought PD
We’ve loved hosting educators from around the world at our annual Grow PBL conference in downtown Louisville for the past three years in response to requests for open-registration workshops.
Building on the success of those, we’re excited to continue that this summer with TeachThought PBL Grow 20 and we’ve added a similar public PBL professional learning event this spring, TeachThought PBL Hilton Head!
Most of our work is workshops and services held on-site by a school or organization for a group of their educators. The reality is, while many teachers would love to have us facilitate a workshop at their school making that happen is in the hands of their leadership.
Our ‘open to the public’ PD events are a great option for those educators who are looking for professional growth outside the confines of their school walls.
Why attend a TeachThought PBL Conference?
Grow Your Teaching Craft
Our Foundations of PBL Workshop, the center of both PBL Hilton Head and PBL Grow 20, is focused on helping you learn project-based learning through the creation of a project for implementation in your classroom. Over the course of the two and a half days you’ll think more deeply about your teaching as you focus on design and planning, scaffolding and assessment, and implementation and management of projects.
Because inquiry is at the heart of what we do we’ll help you learn how to empower your students with “pull teaching” instead of push. You’ll also engage in increasing levels of peer critique through protocols and practices you’ll be able to use in your classroom.
Grow Your Professional Learning Community
Educators often feel isolated in their practice. Social media can help but it can’t replace the experience of being in the physical presence of others. The benefits of teachers connecting are powerful and our events provide the opportunity to do just that both formally and informally.
At both PBL Hilton Head and PBL Grow 20 you’ll engage in professional dialogue around your practice and your projects throughout your time with us. You’ll also have the time to engage more informally and organically outside of the workshop with teachers from different states, regions, and often other countries. In the past we’ve enjoyed hosting educators from wonderful and intriguing locations like Bermuda, Guatemala, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea!
Grow and Recharge Your Whole Self
Teaching is hard. Days and hours are often frenetic and the pressures and responsibility of a teacher are many. Spring and summer are great times to take a break, take a few deep breaths, and recharge your body and brain. TeachThought PBL Hilton Head is literally on the beach in an easily accessible and breathtaking low-country setting.
You’ll be just steps from our Holiday Inn Beach House Resort venue to the feel of sand between your toes and with the hotel and being on-site you’ll easily be able to take advantage of the live music and multiple dining options.
Prefer our TeachThought PBL Grow 20 summer event? There are plenty of possibilities to find your sweet spot in downtown Louisville.
Are you a foodie? Bourbon aficionado? Love baseball? Check out iconic Slugger Museum or sneak in early on Sunday to catch a Bats game at Slugger Field. Walk across the Ohio River on the Big Four Bridge, take in the amazing Muhammad Ali Center museum, or visit world famous Churchill Downs.
We know that your out of school time is precious so we strive to make our professional learning as intellectually valuable as possible. Not only will you walk away with concrete strategies and tools you can implement with your learners immediately, you’ll also put yourself on a learning trajectory that will help you better prepare your students for the modern world with deeper learning and thinking.
We also hope these events can be socially and emotionally valuable for your overall stress and well-being.
I invite you to join us at either of these events or if you’re a school leader, consider our one day Leadership PBL event, March 25th in Louisville. Have questions? Reach out to me directly at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to help!
Ed Leaders, Want To Implement PBL? Attend “Leadership PBL” March 25th!
Ed Leaders, Want To Implement PBL? Attend “Leadership PBL” March 25th
Are you a district or school leader interested in using Project-Based Learning to empower students and want to implement sustainably?
Join us at TeachThought LEADERSHIP PBL: Developing A Sustainable Project-Based Learning Implementation Plan and develop:
- An understanding of quality project-based learning to help you better support teachers
- A short and long-term implementation plan to get you started with sustainable PBL
- An evaluation of what systems, practices, and curriculum pieces will help you grow deeper learning
- Clarification and alignment of your Mission/Purpose and Vision to help make professional development meaningful.
Learn how to shift from ‘push teaching’ to ‘pull teaching’ and grow problem-solving learners with the support and buy-in of your teachers. Facilitated by Director of TeachThought PD, Drew Perkins, you’ll engage in the PBL process to help you think through the questions important to growing sustainable project-based learning.
Bring your leadership team or attend solo and build your understanding along with school leaders from around the country in a spectacular collaborative setting in the heart of Urban Bourbon country, downtown Louisville, KY.
A Message From TeachThought Regarding COVID-19
Dear Education Professionals,
Obviously, this is a turbulent time across the world and it’s not always clear how to respond.
That’s true for me as a father and as Director at TeachThought. As the Coronavirus has, biologically, socially, and economically so greatly impacted on our planet in just a few short months, keeping up with the timeline of it all has been dizzying.
Before The Coronavirus Impact
Before the flood of Coronavirus cases started (officially) erupting all over the United States (where TeachThought is based), we provided two CDC-sourced pieces to support schools for what was coming:
We also shared another practical article on handwashing (which feels more than a little impotent in the face of what’s going on):
During The Coronavirus Outbreak: Development of TeachThought University
We also have more content coming this week on responding to the effects of the Coronavirus for families and school but in general, the biggest way we’re responding to it all is to focus more on TeachThought University development so that while you’re off, you’ll be able to access courses, research, courses, and workshops all from your home.
You can expect to hear more about this in the coming weeks. How timely that ends up being will obviously depending on the ‘curve’ experienced in the US and elsewhere. For countries minimally impacted or already on the road to recovery, the need is less urgent in the short-term but will hopefully support your growth as a teacher for years to come.
I feel like it’s necessary to repeat how insufficient the above ‘responses’ are. My inbox is flooded with emails from companies all over the world who are more or less using the outbreak as an opportunity to market themselves (which is one reason I’m not linking to TeachThought University content already ready to go above). That said, what are you supposed to say? That you’re encouraging employees to wash their hands and stay home if they’re sick? This is all obviously a major problem with countless moving parts.
The main reason I am writing, I suppose, is to let you know that I am constantly thinking of new ways to use TeachThought to support this global effort and when I have answers that I feel like honor the complexity and need and scale of it all, we will explore them.
In the meantime, we will continue to provide content that grows teachers–content that emphasizes the teaching of critical thinking and rational thought. Hopefully, in the long run, that makes a bigger difference than anything else we might do as an organization in the meantime.
For now, stay safe, follow the science, and continue to protect, nurture, and serve the people and places that matter to you.
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