George Lucas Educational Foundation
Ben Johnson profile

Ben Johnson

Administrator, Author, Educator

I am a career educator with recent experience on the campus and district office levels. I am an advocate of student-directed learning in all its forms. I am an ardent supporter of the use of technology as “tools to think with.” I am the author of Teaching Students to Dig Deeper, a college-readiness book for students, parents, and teachers.

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Posts

  • School Leadership

    Rethinking the Teacher’s Role

    One of the greatest goals of a transformative school leader is working to update perceptions of what the job of teaching entails.
  • Creativity

    4 Ways to Develop Creativity in Students

    Creativity is a valuable skill, and there are common strategies teachers can use to help students develop it.
  • Teacher Development

    What’s Your Teacher Reputation?

    Finding out how students and colleagues perceive you is the first step to presenting your ideal self.
  • Classroom Management

    The 5 Priorities of Classroom Management

    To effectively manage a classroom, teachers must prioritize building relationships, leveraging time, and designing behavioral standards.
  • Teacher Development

    What Is Your Educational Philosophy?

    While lesson planning this summer, educators might also take time to reflect on their core beliefs about learning and teaching.
  • Teacher Leadership

    Outstanding in Your Field: What It Takes to Be a Great Teacher

    How does one advance from good teaching into greatness? It takes a tremendous deal of reflection and the will to change.
  • Formative Assessment

    Creative Ways to Grade and Provide Feedback for Students

    Students need feedback often and creating a system by rubber stamping work can provide visible and immediate proof of student progress.
  • Classroom Management

    How to Manage Cell Phones in the Classroom

    What is your school and classroom cell phone policy? Read these tips when devising an effective plan for student use of mobile phones of campus.
  • Student Engagement

    The Art of Managing Middle School Students

    Edutopia blogger Ben Johnson offers up tricks of the trade for managing middle school kids.
  • Student Engagement

    How to Inspire Students Who Dislike School

    Students must be willing participants in their education, and we have a few ideas on how to help them feel motivated.
  • Student Engagement

    Student Learning Groups: Homogeneous or Heterogeneous?

    Whether to form groups with students of similar or mixed ability depends on the purpose of the learning activity.
  • Teacher Leadership

    10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout

    We all face burnout, sometimes on a daily basis, and in my case, especially after fourth period. Most of the time, we can pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and go back to the drawing board to try another strategy to find success with student learning. I have to admit that it is getting more and more difficult to make that transition back to a willingness to try again. Rather than provide a list of things to avoid, I would like to take a more proactive stance by sharing things that will help diminish burnout feelings and help you answer, yep, it is worth it.
  • Assessment

    The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom

    Posing a question to the class, allowing for think time, and then calling on a student is one simple strategy for engaging students in better academic discourse.
  • Student Engagement

    Great Teachers Don't Teach

    In a conversation on LinkedIn, one person asked, "What are the characteristics of an effective teacher?" My experience is that good teachers care about students. Good teachers know the content and know how to explain it. Good teachers expect and demand high levels of performance of students. Good teachers are great performers and storytellers that rivet their students' attention. All of this is good but great teachers engineer learning experiences that maneuver the students into the driver's seat and then the teachers get out of the way.