The Chalk Blog

Professional Learning Series: Awareness

What is Awareness?

Merriam-Webster’s Definition of awareness: 

the quality or state of being “aware”: knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists 

The Learners Edge Professional Learning model describes awareness as, “Analyzing prior knowledge and experiences related to the topic.” If we meld this idea with Merriam-Webster’s definition of awareness, we can begin to understand the importance of knowing and understanding that the learner already has knowledge or experience that exists specific to the topic at hand. Why is that important? Well, let’s check out the research! 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

Professional Learning Series: It Starts with Intention

Establishing Learning Goals and Exploring Motivations

Learners Edge, founded by teachers for teachers, is passionately committed to providing fellow educators with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help them succeed in the classroom and in their careers. With that, Learners Edge has completed a meta-analysis of research on adult learning theories, online education trends, and professional development best practice. This allowed for the creation of the Learners Edge Professional Learning Model. 

The model includes five elements to ensure adult learners experience quality personal and professional development and carry new knowledge into their classrooms. This will ultimately have positive impacts on their students. The components are as follows: 

  • Intention: Establish learning goals and explore motivations 
  • Awareness: Analyze prior knowledge and experiences related to the topic 
  • Investigation: Examine relevant, research-based resources to build personal and professional connections to the topic 
  • Application: Apply new learning through practical design, implementation, and collaboration 
  • Reflection: Consider the impact of new learning to influence and transform future professional practice 

While these elements are specific to Learners Edge professional learning, the same steps can be used to improve any adult professional learning opportunities and increase positive outcomes. This blog series will discuss the five components of the model specific to professional learning for teachers. Let’s start by digging into the first component, intention.  

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

Beat the Mid-Year Blues With Our Top Ten Strategies

Don't forget to keep your 'teacher-spark' alive!

This blog post was originally published on the Learners Edge Chalk Blog on January 8, 2016, but the strategies were so well received that we freshened them up to share with you again!

It’s January…Christmas break is over, the days are shorter, the weather is colder and you are already counting down the days until summer vacation.  Am I right? But what happens if, or rather, when you catch a case of the blues as a teacher? Teaching is arguably THE most rewarding and completely exhausting profession.  It takes oodles of patience, passion, resilience, and commitment. By January we’re often feeling drained and struggle to find the energy to make it through to spring break, let alone summer!  Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you survive.  Our team has compiled our 10 best strategies to help beat the mid-year blues and keep the spark alive in your teaching.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teacher Burnout

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

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 Excellence, 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. 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Teaching Advice

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 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 Excellence, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

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 Excellence, Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

10 Ways to Keep Students Focused Before a Holiday Break

 

This blog was originally published on December 9th, 2015, but it was so well received we wanted to share it again! 

With Thanksgiving behind us, that can only mean one thing, that winter break is not only on your mind, but is also on the minds of your students. Unfortunately, there are still a few more days of school to get through before winter break. So how do you keep your students' minds focused on school and working productively?  Here are our 10 best strategies to help keep students focused and save your sanity before the break.

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration

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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