The Chalk Blog

Staying Safe, Sheltering in Place, Serving Teachers

Nationwide, we have been practicing social distancing. Located in Minnesota, Learners Edge is following the lead of our governor and soon will be sheltering in place. Businesses considered essential will remain operational. Because we serve teachers, we are one of them.  

Here is our plan: 

Work remotely, support each other, stay positive, serve teachers.  

We continue to be fully operational with the majority of staff working remotely and two staff rotating on-site to mail textbooks from our continuously sanitized book fulfillment area. 

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Topics: Learners Edge News, educator wellness

How to Find Your Calm

Meditating Through Tough Times

“Hi! What’s Your Mantra ?”  

A loaded question, to be sure, considering that my mantra can be different (and occasionally snarky) according to the situation: “Getting cut off in traffic is good for me!” or “Snow is lovely and not at all inconvenient.” And lately the one that I have little choice in:“Keep calm and practice social distancing.” 

Mantras are phrases that are repeated as a form of calming and meditating. This practice aids us in centering ourselves to come back to a pure sense of awareness. It’s so powerful and enticing that retreats and clinics include “mantra” in either their name or their mission statement. Better yet, science has affirmed this practice as a way to help ease the mind, body, and spirit. It can be a word, a syllable, phrase, or just a sound. The less complicated, the better.

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Topics: educator wellness, Self-Care

5 Ways to Avoid Burnout

Self-Care... Even in February

Ah, February: the shoulder season between winter and spring, and the month that Hallmark and Russell-Stover make a killing. It’s also, for some reason, one of the most difficult months for teachers. The holidays are over, but spring break is still weeks away- and the energy for outdoor activities is waning. Even if it’s not teeth-rattling cold where you are, it’s hard to rev up during the toughest months of the year 

If March would only get here already. 

Fortunately, time continues, and eventually all will be ok. Until then, here are some ways you can be nice to yourself (and keep your sanity) in February, or any month that feels burdensome. 


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Topics: educator wellness, Self-Care

Self-Care is Not Selfish

How Taking Care of Yourself Supports Advocacy

This blog comes from Colleen Schmit at Taylor and Francis.

It may not seem like the two should go together but self-care and being an advocate for education go hand-in-hand. Self-care includes prioritizing your health, happiness, and well-being. Self-care is liking yourself enough to place yourself on your to-do list. The old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup” applies when we think about taking care of children. If you aren’t taking care of yourself (mentally, emotionally, and physically) you are not going to be a strong voice for children. Working in the field of education includes advocacy. You must be an advocate for children, for other teachers, and for yourself. Without self-care, this becomes an even bigger task than it already is. 

One of my favorite things to discuss with educators is self-care (or our lack thereof). I can articulately and passionately talk this talk. As of late, guess what I am not good at…walking the self-care walk. Summer is here. My kids are at home. Life has become both slower and busier all at once. I have let myself become overcommitted, stressed, and last (once again) on my to-do list. UGH! I am writing this blog right now on day 3 of dealing with strep throat. I had let myself get so run down that it eventually led to me getting sick. If anything, writing this blog is a great reminder for not only YOU reader but for ME as well. Below are the warning signs of when self-care is lacking and the steps take to get back on track with taking care of yourself.


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Topics: Teaching Advice, educator wellness

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

4 Secrets to Successful Parent/Teacher Conferences

Working with parents made simple!

As parent-teacher conferences loom, educators start to get nervous. We work hard to get all of our ducks in a row-- the test score data, the report cards, and the examples of student work.  There’s an enormous amount of anxiety and stress thinking about how to accurately convey details about each student’s successes and struggles. Will parents push back on my assessment of their child? How in the world will I squeeze in all I want to say in a few short minutes? Will the parents even show up? 

Since becoming a parent I’ve been able to sit on the other side of the table and see things from a different perspective. I’ve reflected on the purpose of the parent-teacher conference and come to the realization that less is more!  Less data, fewer numbers and more stories, more connection. 

Reframe your thinking, save time and make each meeting work for everyone with our 4 secrets to successful parent-teacher conferences! 

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Topics: educator wellness, Parents

Struggle with the Juggle

The balance of work, life, family, and everything in between!

Like so many working moms, I “struggle with the juggle”: being a parent, a partner, and an employee fills up my brain to overflowing on a regular Tuesday. Add another commitment in there – even a small one – I need to rearrange everything to accommodate it. Many people seem to be able to handle it. I am not one of those people. 

There’s a lot of talk about self-care right now pertaining to educators (and humans in general), and it’s making me an ace at saying no, even though I don’t like doing it. 

“Sorry, I can’t volunteer/ chaperone /attend all the things at my kids’ dance/ Girl Scouts/ PTA/ soccer, etc.” 

I don’t like shirking responsibility, and don’t like that it makes me look like I don’t want to be involved.  

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Topics: educator wellness, Teacher Burnout

Perfectionism: Burnout's Evil Sidekick

A Guest Blog from Taylor and Francis

About the Author: Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin has taught the Post Doc Masterclass at University of Cambridge but lives most of the year in the U.S. writing books for educators and researchers. She is a Mensan who serves as Coordinator of Mensa's Gifted Youth Program in her county. She has a Ph.D. in Education, has been honored by the U.S. White House, presents extensively (e.g., her TED Talk at TEDxTUM), and has many media appearances such as National Public Radio (NPR). Learn more at www.JennyRankin.com.


It takes a very special person to embark on a teaching career, let alone sustain one. We teachers want so much for our students that we set the bar very high on what we do to help them. Yet this can lead to a problem that looks good on the surface, yet steadily erodes our ability to enjoy our jobs: perfectionism.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, educator wellness, Teacher Burnout

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

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

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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