Office Hours are one-on-one Zoom video or audio sessions tailored to any teaching-related topic you want to talk about.
They are a chance to receive individual feedback from someone who has spent nearly two decades cutting through cliches to offer honesty, nuance, and practical advice.
The Story Behind Office Hours
Since 2009, when the first edition of See Me After Class was published, I’ve spoken about various aspects of teaching around the country: everything from keynotes at national conferences to district-wide new teacher orientations to professional development sessions based on individual chapters of the book.
Often, at these events, I’ve asked the coordinator to set up a period of “office hours” where teachers can speak to me privately about a specific issue in their school or classroom. These conversations have been one of my favorite ways to connect with teachers and make all of this into more of a two-way conversation.
Here are some things I’ve learned:
Sometimes, you need a completely personalized, one-on-one version of advice.
Much of my writing and speaking over the years has been focused on moving past teaching advice that’s good in principle but doesn’t always work as advertised. Office-hours sessions are an opportunity to get advice that is specific to your teaching experience when you really need it. Right now. For reasons only you can explain.
Sometimes, you need to talk to someone who doesn’t work for your school district, answer to your principal, or eat lunch in your teachers’ lounge.
You want to be the best teacher you can and solve your most pressing teaching problems. But you don’t want to risk embarrassing yourself or hurting your career. And you want to make sure the person giving you advice has no loyalty to anyone else who might be involved.
Your personal and professional lives are never completely separate.
One of the big underlying themes of my most recent novel, Adequate Yearly Progress, is how teachers’ personal lives impact their teaching, and vice versa. Rare is the teacher who can walk into class at her best the day after a messy breakup, or who can fully leave behind a chaotic day of teaching when he goes home. It may be that your real question is about finding ways to enjoy teaching more so you can be a happier person—or, on the flip side, addressing a personal problem that’s finding its way into your classroom so you can become a better teacher.
What People are Saying About Office Hours
“I never realized I worry about the big things but am really haunted by the little things. You gave so much perspective and helpful, supportive advice.”A.R.
Daly City, CA
“Many of the challenges we experience professionally cross into our personal lives as well. Roxanna understands both expertly and provides counsel that takes both sides into account.”Stephanie
“I didn’t know how badly I needed to talk to someone who is not a colleague in my school trying to make me feel better (while I am convinced that they are judging me), a relative who always encourages me (while I am convinced they don’t have a clue of the bad things I do on a daily basis), etc. Thank you a thousand times!”
“My first year was not an easy one and there were times when I wasn’t sure I had what it took to stick with my chosen career path. Roxanna’s advice, plus a few laughs along the way, helped me hang in there and realize I did have what it took, not to be a perfect teacher, but to be the teacher my students deserveE.D.