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

3 Cool Tech Teaching Tools

Tech Tools to Step Up Your Teaching Game!

As one of the more “mature” members of the Learners Edge family, I feel victorious when I learn a new tech tool! Below are three tools we hope you will find fun, fanciful, and useful in your work educating tomorrow’s leaders!

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Topics: Teaching with Technology, Technology, educator wellness

The Voice of Anxiety: True Stories About What Anxiety Feels Like

Anxiety Series: Part 2 of 3

We all have anxiety.

“I’m not ready to take the test!”

“I can’t give a speech!”

“I have a stomachache!”

Each of us can relate to feeling uneasy about getting on a plane, angst about going to a job interview, or queasy before giving a speech. The difference between “typical” or “healthy” anxiety and anxiety disorders is the disorders interfere with life and stop us from doing things we want, or need, to do. Instead of feeling uneasy, angst, or queasy, and doing it anyway, people with anxiety disorders find they cannot do the things they need to do in their lives.

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Topics: anxiety, Mental Health Awareness

FOMO to JOMO?

Anxiety Series: Part 1 of 3

Kids are cool.

Kids invent nicknames about things for which we adults are unaware. Later, typically by accident or because we ask, we find out what things like FOMO mean.

FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the offspring of the anxiety kids experience when they are continuously connected to social media. Kids’ perpetual awareness and monitoring of what the cool, and not-so-cool, kids are doing has created this derivative of anxiety called FOMO. Since the invention of social media, anxiety has catapulted to the top of the mental illness heap. In fact, 7 out of 10 children report having anxiety. You can do the math, that’s 70%.

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Topics: anxiety, Mental Health Awareness

Have you met Dr. Brené Brown?

Allow us to Introduce You!

As of March 2019, over 38 million people have watched Dr. Brené Brown’s viral TED Talk on vulnerability. Dr. Brown, a self-described “shame researcher,” and professor at the University of Texas in Houston, shares her life’s research about trauma, shame, courage, and vulnerability and how understanding their impact leads to transformational change.

We know our new course offering The Practice and Power of Vulnerability in the Classroom will disrupt your teacher equilibrium as you learn what vulnerability means for teachers and students, why vulnerability is the casualty of shame, and feedback best practices for students, colleagues, and parents.


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Topics: educator wellness, Courses

Part 2 of 2: Teacher of the Year! What it's like to win!

Interview with Teacher of the Year Award Winner: Jill Runde 

*Part 2 of 2: A blog series on past Teacher of the Year Winners. Did you miss part one? Click here!*

What do Lunchables, Suave, and a Teacher of the Year award have in common?  

Jill Runde, that’s what. 

With a successful career as a corporate marketer for Oscar Mayer and Helene Curtis on the line, Jill embraced her calling to help kids. Enjoy this interview outlining Jill’s journey from corporate marketer to Teacher of the Year in 2017. 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher of the Year

Part 1 of 2: Teacher of the Year! What it's like to win!

Interview with Teacher of the Year Award Winner: Katy Smith 

*Part 1 of 2: A blog series on past Teacher of the Year Winners. Stay tuned as we talk to Jill Runde, 2017 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Award Winner this Friday, May 3rd.*

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

Since I’ve been around a while, there are a few “hardest things” from which I could choose, but definitely at the top is having a child. 

I was a new sleep-deprived, lonely, (and even a little scared) mom, when I walked to the mailbox and found a brochure that said “Wanted: BABIES.”  

While reading through the information, I realized they weren’t asking just for babies, they wanted parents, too! I was intrigued—and it was in that moment that I discovered a program called ECFE—Early Childhood Family Education. The program said it was a place where mess-making, play, and discovery were encouraged, a place to connect with other parents in the community, and a place to learn about parenting and to receive support.

Besides the ECFE program itself, I learned about the role of parent educators in the ECFE program. I grew to understand that the role of parent educators was to provide research on parenting, best practices and support to the parents of 0-5 year oldsOne amazing parent educator I met along the way was Katy Smith. Katy won the Teacher of the Year award in 2011 and has created a following through her advocacy for children and families.  

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher of the Year

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: Instructional Strategies, Teaching Excellence, Video

The Perfect Pair

Blended Learning: The Best of Both Worlds

Bert & Ernie.

Peanut butter & jelly.

Coffee & cream.

What do these perfect pairings have in common?

  1. They work well together.
  2. They complement one another.

Just like these well-known perfect pairings, we have our own “perfect pairings” at Learners Edge that come in the form of our Blended Learning courses, which are taken without leaving the comfort of your home, kitchen, or coffee shop.  

Intrigued?

Here’s how they work!

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Topics: educator wellness, mindfulness, Blended Learning

You're in LUCK!

St. Patrick's Day Celebrating & Learning

149 million people.

That’s how many celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in 2018 according to statistics from CNN.

If wearing green, instigating shenanigans and being Irish for the day means St. Patrick’s Day to you, you are not alone.

For those of us surviving living in the Bold North, St. Patrick’s Day becomes our beacon of hope. The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day means we are halfway through March and that much closer to spring.

Celebrations enrich our lives. They spark joy, teach gratitude, and can be used to create a sense of community in our classrooms.

In this short (and sweet) video, we get a glimpse of how Ms. Laurance creates a sense of community with her students:

In addition, this blog explains four strategies teachers can enlist to ensure a sense of community is established for students:

  1. Having Morning Meetings
  2. Establishing rules together
  3. Greeting each student as they enter the room
  4. Focusing on relationships from day one

Although these four strategies are right on the mark, we would like to suggest a fifth strategy for the list: Celebrations!

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Holidays

PCE As Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Personalizing your continuing education

Do you ever ask yourself, “How can I earn credit for all of this learning!”? 

Learners Edge has the answer, you can. 

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! 

At Learners Edge, we offer a suite of Personalized Continuing Education courses where YOU tell US what you want to learn 

You can do it in three easy steps!  

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Topics: Personalized Continuing Ed, Courses

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!

Request a Personalized Course Recommendation

 

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