The Chalk Blog

Positive Parent Partnerships

The Importance of Building Parent-Teacher Relationships

My first year as a teacher, I was terrified of parents. Phone calls, emails- all communication with them terrified me. Looking back, my reasoning was limited: I was always afraid that if they were contacting me, it was because of something I did wrong. I taught at a well-known private school, and the stories about parents from veteran teachers in the building were elaborate and brutal.  

few years into my teaching tenure, I began to realize how incorrect my perception was. Sure, there were parents who wanted to challenge me, but in general, I found that parents were often my first line of action when I wanted to help, nudge, or connect on a different level with a student. 

I went through some trial and error before understanding how to work with parents, and the following is what I’ve learned along the way...I share it in the hope that it will help you too: 


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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Parents

Top 10 Course & Cocktail Pairings

Courses & Cocktails... The Perfect Pair!

Learners Edge CEO, Eric Cohen, has paired our top 10 courses with his top 10 favorite beverages. If you're taking any of these classes this summer, be sure to try out his suggested pairing to go with it... we promise you won't be disappointed!

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Topics: Teaching Excellence, Courses, Summer Vacation

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

Intentional Wellness... Even in January

How to stay on top of your New Year's Resolutions!

Well, it’s here…January. For most people, January can be the start of a brand-new year with a brand new (hopefully attainable) New Year’s resolution or the possibility of looking forward to a Spring break vacation. But for teachers, January can mean no outdoor recess for learners with abundant energy and daily cleaning of all classroom surfaces with antibacterial wipes. So, how…how on Earth, do teachers ensure their own wellness during this time? Intentionally and with support!

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Excellence

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.

Susanne - Mental Health of Students
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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Teaching Excellence, Video

The 6 C's

2019 Edition

I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I know that New Year’s is NOT the middle of the school year.  In fact, it’s a little weird, because as the new year begins, even though you make resolutions, it’s not always the time you think about what you can do differently in your classrooms.  However, I offer a few words that might help you as you make it through the long winter, and beyond…

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Excellence

Set SMART Goals for 2019

Setting goals has never been so simple!

Every December, I start to hear my friends and family talk about their New Year’s resolutions-- drink more water, eat better, exercise.  Let’s be real, teacher friends.  These resolutions are too lofty and vague.  Failure is sure to follow.  What we really need is to get SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely)! 

As teachers, we’re very familiar with setting SMART goals for and with students to help them achieve at higher levels in math, reading or to improve behavior.  We look at data, determine the target, then plot out how and when students will meet the goal.  Research tells us that goal setting is the single most powerful motivational tool because it “provides purpose, challenge, and meaning. Goals energize people. Specific, clear, challenging goals lead to greater effort and achievement than easy or vague goals do.” (Blanchard, 2007) 

So if SMART goals work for students, why can’t they help us meet our own personal and professional goals?  Here’s how you can transform your tired New Year's resolutions into SMART goals! 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Excellence

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: Teaching Excellence, Personalized Continuing Ed, Courses

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!

Read More

Topics: Instructional Strategies, Teaching Excellence, Video

Teaching Replacement Behaviors

Saving time and energy with proactive teaching strategies!

“We can’t hold kids accountable for things we’ve never told them we expect. Behavior should be treated like academics. Students have to be taught the skills they need.” Erin Green, Director of National Services Operations at Boys Town, had this right!

As a former teacher of students with emotional and/or behavioral challenges, I found myself spending much of my time creating functional behavior assessments and behavior support plans, writing individualized education plans, collecting data, developing reinforcement programs and intervening in behavioral crisis. Far less of my time was spent actually teaching! And rarely did I proactively teach replacement behaviors. Can anyone relate?

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Topics: Special Populations, Teaching Excellence

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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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