Featured author: Christopher Mitchell
Teacher of the year award recipient Christopher Mitchell has been teaching for ten years. He teaches language arts and social studies at a large public high school near Knoxville, TN.
We chatted with Christopher about his experience teaching and being a successful TES author, and here’s what he had to say about:
What makes a good resource
A good teaching resource must have the "It factor," so to speak. It has to jump out at you as an idea that is both unique and timely. It must allow teachers the flexibility to meet the constantly changing needs of the students we serve. Additionally, it helps if the resource is "evergreen," or able to be used again and again without requiring updates. Teachers who purchase the resource might use it for several years to come.
His process for creating resources
I’m always thinking of ways to fill needs in my own classroom. If the resource fills a need here, then it’ll most likely apply to another teacher's classroom as well. Additionally, I try to find ways to make the resource stand out as best as it can. It might be a project analyzing scenery in Star Wars movies, a writing project that requires students to role-play as characters in a novel they just read, or a geography activity that brings in real-world, relevant knowledge. My goal is to craft resources that teach fundamental skills, allow students to share creative and build critical thinking skills, possibly also encouraging communication and collaboration. I’m always pursuing well-rounded resources that address these skills.
A time when he particularly impacted a student
In my first year of teaching middle school, I had a student who was difficult to reach. I did everything I could to encourage him to participate in classroom projects, discussions, and activities. As the year progressed, he slowly became more involved in my class, became friendlier to other students, and grew to love writing short stories. The year drew to a close, and I received a letter in the mail from his father, thanking me for instilling confidence in this student. The letter mentioned that the student had already been thinking about dropping out of school, but that I had taught him that he could excel if he applied himself. The student was quite successful in high school and went on to graduate.
This fun resource has students using Google Earth to find the location of NBA arenas across the country. It's a great way to teach your students about absolute and relative location. Have students that prefer football, soccer, or baseball? He's got resources for those, too!
This research-oriented activity has students stepping into the shoes of students visiting Italy to research ancient Roman emperors. It's well organized and has a great "pacing guide" to help teachers implement the resource.
Are you interested in being one of our featured authors? We’ve found that a featured author’s resources are:Student-friendly:
They’re engaging, visually appealing, differentiated, and rigorous. Teacher-friendly:
They’re organized, easy-to-use, and designed for teachers to download, print, and pass out to students. Comprehensive:
They contain everything needed to implement them in the classroom (e.g., clear lesson plan, activities for presentations, and rubrics for assessments). Searchable:
They have a detailed description with keywords that highlight applicable state standards and learning outcomes. Contact us!