George Lucas Educational Foundation

David Cutler

High School History, Government, and Journalism Teacher

David Cutler is an independent school teacher at Brimmer and May in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, where he teaches United States history and journalism. He also directs the student-staffed writing center. Cutler is proud to serve as a Teacher of the Future for the National Association of Independent Schools, as well as a PBS Digital Innovator.

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  • Teaching Strategies

    Tips for Writing Strong Letters of Recommendation

    Use personal narratives to write authentic, effective, and compelling recommendation letters. 
  • Assessment

    Tips for Allowing Test Retakes

    Allowing students a chance to redo tests and assignments can help them keep striving for mastery, if the process is well managed.
  • Literacy

    Modeling Writing and Revising for Students

    A high school history teacher demonstrates the writing process for students by composing and editing an article while they observe.
  • Teacher Development

    How to Become and Remain a Transformational Teacher

    Transformational teachers share best practices, build mentoring relationships, observe their peers, keep things fresh, model their subject's usefulness, and demonstrate caring beyond what they teach.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Don’t Listen to Music While Studying

    I notice several students listening to music while busy at work. I have no good reason to ask that they remove their headphones and turn off their devices. I ask one student why music helps her concentrate. "It soothes me and makes me less stressed," she says. "Plus, Ed Sheeran is just awesome." As a college student, for me as well, music offered not only comfort but also increased focus -- or so I thought, at least until coming across the work of Dr. Nick Perham, a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
  • Character Education

    When Helping Hurts

    Learning includes developing time-management skills, making choices, meeting deadlines, and coping with possible failure. This becomes harder when adults try to make students' lives too easy.
  • Student Engagement

    Strategies for Reaching Quiet, Disengaged, Struggling, and Troublemaking Students

    Not every student benefits from in-class participation, immediate answers, inflexible grading, or harsh consequences. Learn the nuances for those requiring deeper recognition and a lighter touch.
  • Student Engagement

    To Teach Effective Writing, Model Effective Writing

    Edutopia blogger David Cutler believes that the best writing teachers model writing for their students. He suggests six strategies, including continuing to hone your own craft and demonstrating the value of sharing finished work.
  • Assessment

    Crafting Feedback That Leads to Learning

    Five techniques for giving feedback that helps students improve their work.
  • Media Literacy

    Teaching Why Facts Still Matter

    When it seems as though politicians and others can’t agree on basic facts, it’s more important than ever to encourage our students to seek truth.
  • Teaching Strategies

    Making Learning Meaningful and Lasting

    Some of the best ways to make learning "stick" include connecting content with meaning, encouraging self-testing instead of rote memorization, and giving frequent, low-stakes assessments.
  • Family Engagement

    8 Tips for Reaching Out to Parents

    Edutopia blogger David Cutler offers eight tips for engaging with parents, from avoiding confrontation and communicating clearly, to earning their trust on back-to-school night and coaching their children's after-school activities.
  • Family Engagement

    What Teachers Want Parents to Know

    A teacher who has worked in a variety of schools reflects on what his colleagues have had in common.
  • Teaching Strategies

    You Can’t Cover Everything

    Teachers have mandated content to cover, but also seek to develop skills that students will use long after they have forgotten rote facts.
  • Student Engagement

    Where Do Introverts Fit Into Group Work?

    Striking the right balance between group and independent work isn’t easy.

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