The Chalk Blog

Keely Swartzer

Keely Swartzer is the Director of Professional Development for Learners Edge in Lakeville, Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from St. Cloud State University, a Master of Arts in Education from Hamline University and additional Director of Special Education and Principal Licensures from the University of Minnesota. Throughout her career, Keely served students with special needs and subsequently served as a Special Education Coordinator in a suburban Minnesota school district. She teaches as an adjunct instructor at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and has been developing trainings and providing face to face and online professional development for seven years. Professional development is Keely’s passion.

Recent Posts

Online Resources for Teaching English Learners

Tools to Help You Adapt Online Learning for ELs

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Special Populations, English Language Learners

5 Tips for Teaching Special Education Online

"This is no small task!"

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Special Populations

6 Great Books for Spring Break

Time to Read and Relax!

Teachers! Spring break is just ahead, we promise. In celebration of this momentous occasion, we’d like to offer our reading recommendations for your consideration as you: 

1) Visit the restroom any time you want. 

2) Drink coffee in your PJ’s (all day long if you so choose). 

3) Grade nothing and create zero lesson plans.  

4) Binge watch your favorite shows. 

5) Rest, rejuvenate and relax, oh, and of course read! 


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Topics: Books, Spring Break

5 Ways Educators Can Support Each Other

I’m concerned about the wellbeing of teachers. The fact that we, Learners Edge, have a course category called Educator Wellness indicates that my worry is valid. The fact that we need to encourage teachers to learn about happinessresilience and recharging tells me many teachers are sad, burned out and tired. I’ve read articles lately questioning whether teacher burnout or demoralization is the reason for good teachers leaving the profession. Or maybe it’s secondary traumatic stress. There are numerous reasons teachers are struggling with wellbeing, but regardless of the reason, I’m concerned.


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Topics: Teaching Advice, educator wellness

NEW Happiness Course!

 

With a game of Happiness Bingo!

Learners Edge has a fantastic new course on happiness called Living Your Happiest Life, Inside & Outside the Classroom. It’s been very popular and fits nicely into our Educator Wellness category because when you are happy, you feel well!  

The popularity of this course made me think, “What really makes you happy, Keely?” Of course, the very typical things came to mind: my kids, my boyfriend, free time, extra money, vacations, polar bears and chocolate. But you know what else makes me happy? I mean really happy? Bingo! Nothing makes me happier than yelling BINGO when my number is called!  

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Topics: Mental Health Awareness, Happiness

8 Book Recommendations on Student Behavior

Helping You Put Behavior Puzzle Pieces Together!

Student behavior is a puzzle. Many pieces are necessary to make up the complete, TRUE picture. Does the child have positive connections with staff and other studentsDoes the child need routineCould the child benefit from resilience building? What is developmentally normal? Has the child experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences or traumaWhat is the function of behavior? Does she have a skill deficit? What is his learning style? Is she receiving proper nutrition? Did the child get a good night’s sleep? So many pieces… 

Because behavior is extremely complicated, it is often a daily challenge for educators. For this reason, Learners Edge has put together a list of the best behavior books for teachersThink about what is missing for you to solve the behavior puzzle in your classroom. Then, check out our recommendation based on your needs.  

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Topics: Positive Behavior Supports, Books

Course Sneak Peek

Five Fabulous Skills for Your Students' Lifelong SuccessSocial and emotional learning (SEL) is a “hot,” necessary topic for educators. Learners Edge has a number of courses in this category to help you gain the skills needed on this topic and develop activities for your learners. One of our most popular courses is 5041: Five Fabulous Skills for Your Students' Lifelong Success. This course, affectionately known as “The Fab Five,” provides an overview of SEL and uses it as a jumping off point to further discuss success skills students need. What teacher wouldn’t want students to increase these skills for school and for life!?  

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Topics: Social Emotional Learning, Courses

Fostering Curiosity in Your Students

Strategies for sparking curiosity in the classroom

Curiosity primes the brain for learning. It makes learning more rewarding and helps students learn more, and better. It also improves learning retention and deepens understanding of content. Pretty clear, right? Curiosity is a necessity in our classrooms, and since we are in the business of helping teachers, we thought we would provide you with a list of methods for awakening curiosity in your students.  

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Instructional Strategies

Teacher Feature: August

Interview with Travis Dresch

When we were kids, our minds were blown when we saw teachers outside of school. It was so out of context, but mysteriously cool: we saw them as humans, rather than just as their professional selves. 

To this end, the Learners Edge Chalk Blog interviews teachers in a regular segment called "Teacher Feature!" To hear more about the people behind the magic in the classroom, read on, and be inspired by these fantastic education superstars.


“Choose to be happy.” This is Travis Dresch’s teaching mantra. Travis is our featured teacher for August! Travis teaches high school chemistry and biology in the Cornwall-Lebanon School District in Pennsylvania. It’s apparent he enjoys science and teenagers which not everyone can say. 

I virtually “met” Travis when he signed up for one of our new courses: 5100: Train Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Practice of HappinessHis choice of courses sense given his mantra! (We thank Travis for his loyalty as this most recent course was only one of EIGHTEEN courses he has taken since 2015. Clearly Travis is also a life-long learner!)  

We asked Travis some serious, and not so serious, questions! Take a look.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher Appreciation

Building a Bridge to Skill Acquisition in Eight Easy Steps

Help Your Students Gain Positive Skills

At its widest point, the Grand Canyon stretches 18 miles (29 kilometers) acrossIt is 6000 feet deepThats more than a mile! Many people consider it to be one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The Grand Canyon is an example of amazing geology where it seems impossible to get from one side (where you are) to the other side (where you want to be). 

A similar canyon exists in classroom management: Challenges with student behavior (where you are)…great student behavior (where you want to be). 

So how do we do it? How do we get from where we are to where we want to be? The answer is simple. We build a bridge. 

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Student Brain Development

Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.

Offering more than 100 print-based or online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!

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