Sarah Brown Wessling

Johnston Senior High School, Johnston, Iowa


Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and is Teacher Laureate Emeritus for Teaching Channel. Connect with Sarah on Twitter: @SarahWessling.


So You Wish It Had Been Different: Three First-Year Struggles
Sarah shares some common end-of-first-year struggles and how to use them to launch an even stronger year two.

One More Zero
Sarah helps Tch celebrate one million Tchers with a heartfelt letter.

Tcher’s Cut: Making the Invisible Visible
Sarah pulls back the curtain pull to tell the story behind some of her videos.

Tch Talks Podcast: Listen. Hear. Learn. Do.
Sarah introduces Tch Talks, a new podcast from Teaching Channel.

What Do You Believe About Teaching And Learning?
The way you set up your space is the first message anyone gets about what learning will look like in your classroom. Sarah poses a challenge and asks, what do you value?

Grant Project Reunion: What Students Say Four Years Later
What would your former students say about assignments, projects and lessons from your class? Sarah revisits a Tch video with 3 students who were in it. Now in college, they reflect on what they learned.

One Goal, Two Lessons: Teaching Critical Thinking To 11th and 4th Graders
Sarah demonstrates teaching critical thinking to 2 groups of students - an 11th grade class and a 4th grade class.

The Precipice of Possibility
Sarah talks about the fear and vulnerability of opening up her practice, and the ultimate and profound changes it brought to her. You must read this.

A Letter to My Children: What It Means To Be A Teacher
Sarah explains what teaching means to her in this moving note to her children.

"Skinnying" the Standards
Making the standards more accessible to students on a day-to-day basis.

25 Alternatives to Using the Word "Great"
Recommended substitutes for an overused and imprecise feedback phrase.

My Ideal Teacher Bookshelf
These are the professional books that Sarah treasures.

A Secret to Great Teaching: Maintain a Beginner's Mindset
Seeing yourself as a novice, and not an expert, is a path towards growth.

Read more from Sarah Brown Wessling
See all of Sarah's blog posts from her years as Tch Laureate.

Setting Up Students for Productive Group Work
In this interactive video, Sarah asks how to reflect on how she gives directions for a task.

Stepping Back & Observing Group Work
In this interactive video, watch how Sarah takes a backseat role while her students collaborate.

The Stoplight Method: An End-of-Lesson Assessment
Sarah shares a quick formative assessment technique.

Vocabulary Paint Chips
A way to help students build and track a stronger vocabulary.

Simplifying Text Complexity
An unpacking of text complexity and how teachers can design tasks with text complexity in mind.

Think Alouds: Unpacking the Standards
Sarah provides an overview of the standards and ideas for implementation across disciplines.

When A Lesson Goes Wrong
Sarah quickly revises a lesson plan that fails.

More videos from Sarah
See the full listing of all of Sarah's videos.