Tips and Tools

Tips and Tools

Tips and Tools2023-05-17T20:40:13+00:00

Self-Regulation for Educators, Co-Regulation for Students

The negative impact that COVID-19 had on our nervous systems, both as educators and students, is palpable. National data such as this report from the National Center for Education Statistics and lived experiences of educators show the pandemic has negatively impacted student behavior and social-emotional development, and teacher burnout and turnover is at an all-time high. Now more than ever, we must prioritize self-regulation as educators – not only as a modeling tool for students, but also for our own wellbeing. Educators are often selfless individuals who put others’ needs before their own. However, when it comes to staying emotionally regulated, tending to our own emotional needs can have lasting positive impacts on student behavior, school climate, and academic outcomes. In this video from Edutopia,[...]

December 7, 2022|

Showing Up for Trans Kids Creates Equitable and Inclusive Communities for All Kids – Ideas and Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Whether you have a trans child in your own family or want to support trans kids in your community, we must first educate ourselves and work through our own biases. If you’re parenting or in community with a trans child, your support could be a protective buffer for their mental health and development. If you’ve ever been stumped about how to answer your child’s questions about gender expression, pronouns, transitioning, or how to be an ally to trans and non-binary young people in your community, you are not alone. Society is rapidly changing, and although progress has been fraught with political controversy and increased oppression against the transgender community in the form of a military ban, transphobic legislation, and violence, the benefits of protecting transgender[...]

November 10, 2022|

Support for Trans and Non-binary Students Creates Equitable and Inclusive Learning Communities for All – Four Things Educators Can Do

All young people deserve and require acceptance and support from their communities to learn and thrive. Prioritizing building inclusive classrooms for all students, regardless of their identity, can quite literally save lives. According to Child Trends, a recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health demonstrates the power of affirming transgender youth’s identities: For each additional context (i.e., at home, school, work, or with friends) in which a transgender youth’s chosen name is used, their risk of suicidal behavior is reduced by more than half. Given that 41% of transgender and non-binary students report they had attempted suicide at one point in their lives, it is vital we support trans and non-binary students and colleagues in our classrooms and communities. Here are a few[...]

November 10, 2022|

How Family Meetings Can Help Kids Learn to Use Their Voice

Now that the school year is in full swing, we find ourselves settled into the hectic monotony of rushing kids to school, prepping dinner, and getting ready for bed. How do you connect with your kids and give them a voice in the family amidst the daily chaos? Consider trying out family meetings. Family meetings are a tangible way for kids to practice exercising their voice and sharing their opinions. Young people benefit so much when they have a say in how their environment is structured. When they can use their voice it also fosters feelings of self-worth and builds problem-solving skills. Here are five tips to try, plus some additional resources, for incorporating family meetings into your routine:   Scaffold the family meeting structure[...]

October 17, 2022|

Five Ways to Encourage Student Voice and Share Power in the Classroom

As educators, we may (often unconsciously) hold on to the power in our classrooms. But we do have the choice to share power with our students. Sharing power and prioritizing student voice strengthens students’ sense of belonging and diffuses power-over dynamics between educators and young people. When we let go of some control, we are able to build authentic relationships with students and find more joy in teaching. When we value student voice, choice, and agency we build a more cohesive school community. We look for ways to provide ample opportunities for our students to share their gifts, talents, and abilities. Studies find youth voice also builds leadership skills and improves academic achievement. This is counter-cultural and may initially feel difficult!  Here are five ideas[...]

October 17, 2022|

Classroom Routines Help Everyone

The start of the school year is a perfect time to co-create routines with your students! Routines help everyone get back into the swing of a structured school day. Investing thought, time, and energy into establishing routines creates a less stressful classroom for educators and students. Involve students in developing, practicing, and improving classroom routines. When you involve students in developing, practicing, and improving classroom routines, it helps ensure they feel a sense of belonging and contribution to their class community. Classroom routines and procedures also help increase engagement and minimize opportunities for misbehavior. This article from Head Start explains how routines help children feel more confident and secure. Here are some tips for incorporating routines into your classroom community.   Start Small[...]

September 15, 2022|

Back-to-School Tips – Setting Up Family Routines

Back-to-School time! How do you help young people get back into the swing of a structured school day as summer fades away? No one likes to nag their kids to wake up, and just getting out the door on time can result in power struggles. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone! Here are a few tips to ease the transition back to school.   Reintroducing Routines Family routines and structure help parents and young people alike. Kids feel safe and secure because they know what to expect, and parents feel confident because they know how to consistently respond to behavior surprises and challenges. Predictability lessens stress and increases the feeling of connection for the whole family. For example, you could create[...]

September 15, 2022|

Focusing on Connection and Belonging this New School Year

Take the time to root down in your purpose and ground yourself before students come into your classroom, and you will be set up for a regulated and connected new school year. We are all feeling a variety of emotions, from anxiety to fear to joy, as we gear up for the start of this new school year. Transitions are always challenging. But we may be feeling it even more given that the last three years were extremely unpredictable for school communities. We invite educators to focus on connection and belonging as you are getting ready to welcome students back into your classrooms. Taking time to root down in our purpose and ground ourselves before young people come into our school buildings sets[...]

August 10, 2022|

7 Ways to Start the New School Year on a Positive Note

To start the new school year on a positive note, focus on connection, routines, and helping your kids make their own choices. September is approaching, and whether this summer was relaxing or stressful (or a combination of both!), it is slowly coming to an end. It’s normal for kids and their parents and caregivers to feel a mix of anticipation, curiosity, and maybe even dread about what the new school year might bring. Here are seven creative ideas and activities to do with your kids, to prepare for the transition from summer days to structured school days. To start this new school year on a positive note, we suggest a focus on connection, routines, and helping your child make their own choices. Reflect[...]

August 10, 2022|

Ideas for Celebrating the Season!

It was far from normal, and this school year marked the first time since 2018-2019 that most kids were in real classrooms, in person, together. So, when they leave their classrooms and say goodbye to their teachers this month, it will be truly transitional. Celebrating all that they accomplished this school year can help with the transition. And there is a great deal to celebrate! Celebrations during childhood help our kids apply structure to the world and create memories that will stay with them into adulthood. Here are some suggestions and ideas for how to mark these end-of-the-school year days in ways that are meaningful for kids. Celebration Photos: Create a record of the year by taking photos of your kids with their teacher, in[...]

June 14, 2022|


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