The Chalk Blog

Susanne Leslie

Susanne Leslie, is the Lead Curriculum & Staff Specialist with Learners Edge. Prior to joining the Edge, Susanne worked as a parent educator in Minnesota's Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program and worked with parents of 0-5 year olds. Susanne is the proud parent of two daughters.

Recent Posts

Accomplishing Goals in 2019

One Word, One Goal. Start.

My colleague Jess played soccer in college. An accomplished mid-fielder--who was later moved to forward due to her dazzling ability to score goals, Jess’ all-time favorite soccer player is Abby Wambach. Ms. Wambach holds the record for the most international goals scored (184). Both Jess and Abby know a thing or two about setting (and scoring) goals.

Goal setting is everywhere as we kick off 2019. With all of our plans to eat healthy, get fit, and make positive changes--I began to wonder...why do some people set goals and achieve them, while others can’t seem to “score”? As teachers, how can we guide our students to set and achieve goals?

To answer this question, I put our team together and we developed a game plan with three ways teachers can assist their students in setting, and achieving, goals.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Advice

Mental Health of Students [VIDEO]

Preventing Those Mid-Year Blues

It's that time of year again where mental health seems to be a struggle for everyone. As educators, we need to be aware of how our students are feeling at all times. This video blog from one of our amazing Curriculum and Instruction team members, Susanne, is a great start for learning more about student mental health.

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Topics: Video, Teaching Excellence, Instructional Strategies

Financial Fitness

How to stay financially fit in 2019!

In a weekly meeting about our Learners Edge blog, we searched for gaps in the topics we cover for teachers. At the time, I didn’t see anything we had missed, but later, while reading articles for an upcoming blog called “The 25 Things Teachers Want You to Know About Teaching” (coming soon!) I recognized a pattern: each of the articles I read included comments or quotes about teachers and money — how much teachers earn, how much of their own money teachers spend on classroom supplies/to help students, and how often teachers work summer jobs to make ends meet.

I found the gap and it was money.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Advice

The Year in Review

Remembering the Great Moments From 2018

My friend Bob passed away at the age of 92. Bob and I used to talk about how fast life goes as we grow older. In our conversations, we spoke of a life well-lived, his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. Paradoxically, my colleague, and brand-new mom, Katie and I talk about the future, life’s possibilities and the seemingly endless sleepless nights that come with parenthood. No matter where we are in our lives, whether looking back or looking ahead, taking time to purposefully reflect is sometimes powerful, and always meaningful. Here is our Learners Edge year in review.

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Topics: Learners Edge News

Just for You: PCE!

It's about to get personal...

Although I am not (yet) a famous “influencer” I will do my part to try to influence you into using a new educational acronym: PCE!

PCE stands for Personalized Continuing Education, and it is all the rage! Instead of being told what you need or should learn, you get to decide! In fact, having control over your professional development and what you are learning is “energy-giving” according to the author of "Unshakeable: 20 Ways to Enjoy Teaching Every Day No Matter What" by Angela Watson. If you are ready to energize and personalize your professional development, Learners Edge has FIVE PCE (Personalized Continuing Education) opportunities for you (am I influencing you, yet?!):

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Topics: Courses, Teaching Excellence, Personalized Continuing Ed

Grasp and Grip [VIDEO]

Simple ways to increase classroom play

Skills that should be "simple" have slowly become lost in the shuffle of technology. As teachers, it's important to incorporate activities in your classroom that allow students to work on their grasp and grip. Susie, one of our Curriculum & Instruction team members, is here to give you some quick ideas!

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Topics: Video, Teaching Excellence, Instructional Strategies

Learners Edge Launches New Continuing Education Course: Growing Gifts

Course 5066: Growing Gifts: Stories, Supports and Strategies in Gifted Education 

Everyone likes a good story. 

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers by Judith Galbraith and Jim Delisle, is filled with stories to help the reader understand how it feels to be identified and labeled “gifted.” 

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Topics: Social Emotional Learning, Special Populations

Achieving Success with English Language Learners

This blog was originally published on November 6th, 2015, but it was so well received we wanted to share it again! We also added our Top Three Tips when working with students who are ELL.

As teachers we are constantly trying to improve ourselves, our teaching strategies, and our ways of interacting with each unique student. Learning is difficult in itself, but a language barrier makes things more complex. Below are 3 tips from Learners Edge about how to work with ELL students, along with some additional suggestions from Jennifer Marks, a teacher from Northborough, MA , who took Course 842: Achieving Success with English Language Learners.

Tip 1: Learn the culture. 

On a recent trip overseas, I was delighted to sit down with a group of people who had emigrated from Africa to Norway. In talking about what leaving their country was like (they all spoke Arabic, Norwegian, and English)—they shared how helpful it was when teachers learned about their native culture. Understanding just some of the cultural norms helped the teacher, the students, and those who had emigrated transition to a new culture in a way that felt respectful and supportive. When teachers try their best to pronounce names or to honor cultural norms (i.e. food restrictions, social mores) it helps to alleviate micro-aggressions which can feel hurtful to those who are new. 

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, diversity, Special Populations

NEW Course Alert: 5057: Move, Grow, Play!

Using Play to Teach and Learn

When traveling, I find it captivating to learn how different cultures educate their children. While in Germany, I observed school kids carrying canvas bags with the phrase “spielend lernen” printed above a colorful picture. Because I don’t read German, I asked my friend to translate: 

“Play to learn.” 

Play to learn is the message author Lisa Murphy, in her book, Play: The Foundation of Children’s Learning, encourages us to embrace, recognize and understand, and it is the book you will receive when you register for our energizing new course 5057: Move, Grow, Play! Using Play to Teach and Learn. 

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Topics: Social Emotional Learning, Instructional Strategies, Teaching Advice

Engaging Families and Communities in Students' Education

Student success is a shared interest of both school and family.” 

Research informs us that students whose parents [and communities] are involved in their education are more likely to: 

  • Adapt well to school 
  • Attend school regularly 
  • Complete homework 
  • Earn better grades 
  • Have better test scores 
  • Graduate and go to college 
  • Have good social skills 
  • Demonstrate positive behaviors 
  • Have better relationships with their parents 
  • Have higher self-esteem 

*Bonus: parents who are involved in their children’s education at a young age are more likely to stay involved with their children’s education as they grow 

(*Adapted from “The Importance of Community Involvement in Schools” by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved 8/2/18. www.edutopia.org ) 

So, how can teachers engage and involve families and communities in students’ education?

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

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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