What “level up” really means: Games, Teaching, and Self-awareness

There’s a story I often tell about my second year of teaching. I tell it to new educators, veteran educators, and perhaps most importantly, I tell it to myself around the start of new “years” both calendar and academic.

After returning from winter break, the coaching staff at my cyber charter school challenged all of its teachers to start making 5 phone calls home per day. They could range from positive celebrations to reminders about missing assignments, to more serious check-ins about a student's progress, but we were challenged to make 5 of them.

It felt impossible; I barely had enough time in the day to complete my existing professional responsibilities. As our coaching staff reminded us, however, cyber schools have an increased responsibility to make ourselves available. It was important that we "lev