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About

Hey there! We’re Caitlin and Jessica. Middle School ELA teachers on a mission to make your life easier and your students’ writing stronger. Simple as that.

We met while teaching together at a school in Los Angeles, only to find out that we were both from the Bay Area, we both went to the same college, our birthdays are two days apart, and we are essentially the same person (just ask our students). We are so similar that our students (and husbands) couldn’t tell the difference in our voices. Weird? Yes. A meant-to-be friendship? You bet.

We were inspired to create EB Academics because we both love to teach writing and wanted to bring that love to other teachers just like you. We know teaching writing can be a daunting and time-consuming challenge for many, so our #1 goal has become making your life easier as a writing teacher. Everything we create, write, or share is always done with intention and this goal in mind. And this online community we’ve built? Yea, it focuses specifically on Middle School English Language Arts … we thought you’d appreciate that.

Want to know what makes our day? Hearing from teachers (just like you) that our resources or blog posts have saved them time and improved their students’ writing drastically. Really. As corny as it sounds, we have both always wanted to be ELA coaches, and this incredible online forum allows us to do just that.

Excited to get in on the action and learn more about these time-saving resources we’re talking about? We thought so …

… feel free to download your FREE 12-page Writing Guide that we put together just for you. Seriously, you’ll be amazed (and shocked) by what this little 12-page resource is going to do for you in your classroom. Just click here to get in on the action.

Enjoy. And we mean that. Truly enjoy teaching writing from here on out because we’ve got you covered.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

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  • It is very possible that today’s podcast episode will completely contradict a major component of the way you teach literary analysis. 
In the episode, we reveal our third game-changing strategy for teaching evidence-based writing, and we’re asking you to take a breath, suspend judgement for a moment, and allow us to walk you through exactly why we believe in this strategy, even though it goes against the grain. 
Continue listening to the episode here —> ebacademics.com/35
  • Let me know in the comments which camp you’re in?⁣
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Holiday music right after Halloween!! 🎄 ⁣
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Or ... You’re crazy, it’s WAY too early to start listening to holiday music! 😱⁣
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Well, I used to be the latter, but the other day “White Christmas” came on, and I just decided to FULLY embrace the holidays early this year 😂 Oh well!⁣
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With that being said, this Gingerbread House for Sale Descriptive Writing Activity is an AMAZING resource for your middle schoolers to dive into right before the break!⁣
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Things are INSANE this time of year and kids need something that is engaging and fun, yet highly rigorous and academic 🎄 That’s exactly what this resource is! ✅ ⁣
Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to DM you the link! Or you can visit the link in our profile as well 😘⁣
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And if you already have and have used this resource in the past, I would LOVE to know that as well!!⁣
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Hope you all are having a restful Sunday ♥️
  • One of the biggest mistakes we can make as writing teachers is requiring our students to start their essays with a HOOK. 
With this strategy, students gets STUCK on that first sentence before they can even get a chance to get to the heart of their paper! They end up wasting tons of precious writing time trying to come up with an interesting hook that oftentimes is a stretch. 
Instead, we want to give our students a CLEAR roadmap to begin their essays. One that will give them confidence in their abilities from the get go. One that allows them to quickly move into the meat of their critical analysis, so they can truly show us what they've learned. 
If you've ever taught hook and are ready to try a new, counterintuitive approach that WORKS and gives your students RESULTS, this episode is a MUST listen. 
Head over here to give it a listen --> ebacademics.com/34
  • Double tap if you agree ♥️♥️⁣
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And if you need to call in sick to take a mental health day for yourself. DO IT. Take a day off and go get a pedicure, or go shopping, or go workout!⁣
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Do whatever you need to do to get to the place of your best self. ⁣
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I used to work with a teacher who took a mental health day every month. It was when I first started teaching, and I didn’t get it. Why was she doing that?⁣
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Well, fast forward to a decade in the classroom later, and now I truly see the value and importance of doing that! ⁣
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I know you hear it all the time, but let it sink in ...⁣
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You need to do what’s best for YOU and take care of yourself first. If we aren’t operating from our best selves, then we’re not able to serve anyone the way that we’re capable of. ⁣
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On another note, hope you all enjoyed that extra hour of sleep last night! And if you have young children, I can commiserate. My little guy woke up at 6:30 😂😭🤦🏼‍♀️📸 @dumbosteiner
  • Get a quick listen into this week’s podcast episode all about hooking your students into literary analysis writing! We have a free download for you to give you a quick WIN in the classroom. Listen to the rest of the episode and get the free download here -> ebacademics.com/33
  • We get A LOT of questions about classroom management and what to do when your kids are out of control or just not listening. ⁣
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This is worth a read. So keep scrolling down!⁣
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I’ll briefly share some of my thoughts on this (although I would like to do a whole podcast episode about it) ...⁣
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1. You need to clearly communicate your expectations. Always. (Just as this picture shows.)⁣
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2. Have a system in place that you use CONSISTENTLY. Consistency is key with anything, but especially when it comes to your rules, policies, and procedures. ⁣
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3. Never, ever yell at your students. Ever. Period. ⁣
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4. Come from a place of understanding and compassion. ⁣
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5. Take a moment to have a conversation with individual students after class. Ask them what’s going on and what you can do to help them. Don’t yell at them or make them feel bad. Come from a place of kindness and compassion. If you haven’t tried this approach before, I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the conversation. ⁣
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6. Show your students the same amount of respect you expect from them. ⁣
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7. You are the ultimate role model for behavior in your classroom. If you’re yelling or emotionally out of control when handling a situation, think about what that might be saying to your students ...⁣
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Now I KNOW this is HARD, and yes, we make mistakes. And yes, not all of this works all of the time. ⁣
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But what I can tell you is that these practices have been embedded into everything I’ve always done as a teacher, and I very rarely had behavior issues in any of my classrooms (classrooms in a wide range of ages, places, etc). ⁣
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What else would you add? A practice that you’ve used year after year that has created a positive and kind classroom culture. Please feel free to share in the comments. I would love to read them ♥️

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