The Chalk Blog

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.


Read More

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.


Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, educator wellness

Using Music to Teach

An Interview With Our Co-Founder

JOY is the emotion I feel when talking with Learners Edge co-founder, Kyle Pederson.

As a former middle school geography teacher, Kyle explains how he used music to engage his students, to help his students express themselves, and to ensure they remembered important facts. Now as a composer, Kyle shares his favorite musical artists and reminds us that music helps us to think better, remember better, and love better.

As you read Kyle’s perspective on using music to teach, we hope JOY is one of the emotions you feel, too!


Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

Learning and Teaching About Disability

Funny. Smart. Strong.

This is Lydia Dawley.

Even though Lydia doesn't speak a word, she told her amazing story to a packed audience of students, faculty, and guests at Winona State University’sDisability is Natural Cultural Fair. Organized by students enrolled in an ever-popular course called Disability Communication and Culture, the Fair is designed to provide publicity about the culture of disability. Surrounded by easels showcasing colorful artwork created by those in the community with a spectrum of disabilities, we watched as Lydia navigated the wooden ramp in her hot pink wheelchair and took center stage. 

For those unfamiliar with disability, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. The anxiety in the room was palpable until Dr. Kelly Herold, the teacher who welcomed us to the event, said something that made us laugh. We watched as Lydia threw her head back chuckling--clearly finding Herold’s comments funny, and just like that, the tension disappeared. The brief history the professor provided about the great distance the disability community has traveled; from institutionalization, to genocide, to the Gang of 19, to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to the mainstreaming of students engaged us, equipped us with context, and got us ready to listen and learn.


Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

How to Approach Tough Conversations

Our Brains as Storytellers

Few situations give me the nervous sweats and worry than a difficult conversation. I don’t believe anyone seeks out conflict, but it can be nearly debilitating if there are too many unknowns and questions. Why did she react that way? What was the intent of that comment? Why does he keep acting like that around me? 

The Curriculum and Instruction team from Learners Edge attended a Dare to Lead training, which covered Dr. Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability, courage, and wholeheartedness. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in Social Work, and is a licensed Social Worker. She’s a researcher and professor at the University of Texas-Houston, and the author of 5 New York Times bestsellers, including Daring GreatlyDare to Lead, and Rising Strong. Her TED Talk about vulnerability has been viewed by over 43 million people, and she recently released Daring Classrooms -a (free!) teacher hub that includes the applications for the principles in her books.


Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

Why and How to Use Your Walls

Promote Learning Using Every Aspect of the Classroom

I bet you use a variety of methods to increase the likelihood a student will learn the concepts being taught. You might use teachable moments, great books, novel activities, and the occasional dollar store purchase to engage and encourage student interaction with new ideas. But do you use your walls? If you don’t, you should, and here are a few reasons why! 

Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies

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.

Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

A Happy Message From Our CEO!

Learning = Happiness

Are you happy? We all strive for happiness in varying ways, some techniques prove more successful than others. In my experience, one sure-fire way to increase happiness is through learning. Put a smile on your face for five minutes, and let’s take a deeper dive into how learning can help improve your level of happiness.

Curiosity: As humans, we are curious about the world around us. How did these beautiful, huge mountains form? What lies beyond the night sky we see? Why do children love to play? Asking why and simply wondering initiates progress and personal growth which often leads to happiness. For many of us, there is an innate joy in the process of learning and acting on the wonder of what is next to be discovered. 

Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

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.

Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

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. 

Read More

Topics: Teaching Advice, Instructional Strategies, Social Emotional Learning

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

 

Recommended Posts

Insights...

from Great Teachers

At Learners Edge, we strive to bring you applicable, relevant advice and strategies that you can implement in your classroom right away. 

Enter your email below to have these strategies & ideas delivered right to your inbox.

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Recent Posts