Practice and Teach Kindness

Practice and Teach Kindness

Educators are being encouraged to practice self-care more than ever before. This is not the solution to the many challenges and systems issues facing educators. However, it is helpful to practice those things that we can control, and that can improve our own mental and physical well-being. One of those things is to practice kindness towards others.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to look at the research on acts of kindness, it is very interesting! Acts of generosity, caring, and being helpful to others have been shown to have more benefits to an individual than traditional self-care practices. This …

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For Healthier Kids, Flip the Script on Self-Care

For Healthier Kids, Flip the Script on Self-Care

One way to help kids who are struggling is to try flipping the script – talk less about self-care and more about care for others around us.

Research shows that kindness towards others is more beneficial for mental and physical health than self-care. Active kindness: helping others, volunteering, being generous and consciously kind, results in us feeling physically better, less depressed, and more energized. It just makes us happier.

Being actively kind has profound positive impacts for kids. An article in Psychology Today reports that kids who have life experience helping others are three times happier than those who …

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How Teachers can move from “What is Wrong with You?!” to “What Happened to You?”

We now know that childhood trauma, including ongoing toxic stress, has a profound impact on brain development and behavior. In fact, behaviors teachers see in the classroom that seem to make no sense may actually be a student’s adaptive responses that show a brain’s capacity for prioritizing survival.

When we blame the student or take behavior personally, our responses may be hurtful rather than helpful. Over the past 18 months, as the effects of the pandemic have further increased stress and struggle for all families, especially those from marginalized and Brown and Black populations, teachers may see a good deal …

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How Parents & Caregivers can move on from “What’s Wrong with Me?”

How Parents & Caregivers can move on from “What’s Wrong with Me?”

Our early experiences shape us in profound ways. If those experiences were persistently stressful or traumatic in your early life, you may suffer from the results of adversity, just like millions of other parents and caregivers.

Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey teamed up on a new book titled What Happened To You? that illuminates how early adversity affects human beings. Many of us are caught up in blame and shame, and the authors point out that rather than asking, “What is wrong with me?” or “What is wrong with you?” we should shift the question to ask instead, “What …

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How to Help Kids Rebuild Their Stamina for the New School Year

Masked up, many children have headed back to in-person learning. Though the academic load has not yet become heavy, the time in isolation has taken its toll in many ways.

Just like an athlete returning to training after post-injury recuperation, our kids need to slowly build back the stamina they once had.  We can help our kids steadily build it back over time and adjust stamina for social interaction, focus and study, and all that it takes to be an engaged student of today.  Here are some ideas to support your kids in this time:

Acknowledge the internal work of

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Teachers & Students Need to Rebuild Stamina for this School Year

We may be back to in-person learning, but it’s anything but normal. Masks, social distancing, altered scheduling, and new safety protocols make the days almost unrecognizable from where we were in March 2020. One of the biggest differences? The amount of stamina you may have for this new normal.

And it won’t just be you. Another thing you may notice is that the stamina your students had for things that seemed natural and normal in the past is now fragile. After almost two years of restricted socializing and limited school hours, our students’ capacity to focus and be in groups …

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A Strong Start for Teachers

Teachers: we sincerely hope you were able to take some well-deserved time off this summer. The past two school years have asked too much of you. And right around the corner is the beginning of something new…a new classroom of kids, new challenges, new successes.  Although we continue to face many unknowns this school year, here are a few ideas help craft a smooth transition and a strong start for your students and yourself.

Welcome your students: Just like us adults, they will be feeling a rollercoaster of emotions this new school year. Explicitly validate their feelings of both nervousness …

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A Smooth Transition to the School Year

The new school year is fast approaching, and the sunlit days are growing a little shorter. It’s time to transition from summer to the more structured schedule of fall.  There are still a lot of unknowns this school year, so it will helpful for kids to feel as ready as they can. When we leave this shift until the last minute, the change can be difficult for both kids and adults and anticipatory excitement can become overwhelming stress.  In order to create as smooth a  transition as possible to this new school year, consider some of the following:

  • Fully experience
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2020 Taught Us to Embrace Mistakes

If there was ever a year in which we did a lot of learning in a short time, it was 2020. It took multiple attempts and making lots of mistakes along the way. We worked at gaining skills at delivering online instruction and figuring out ways to build relationships and create community even though we weren’t in the room together. We accomplished what we had never imagined before the pandemic. Most of us do not like to make mistakes, but last year we had to leap in. We discovered that that people had more grace for us than we expected. …

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Rethinking Rewards: Focus on Finding Solutions

Rethinking Rewards: Focus on Finding Solutions

 

During stressful times, when we are challenged by our kids’ behavior, it is easy to fall into a punishment-reward cycle.  We may lose our calm, flip our lids, and lay down a punishment. Then we feel bad and come back instead with ideas for incentives and rewards. Research tells us that neither work for developing self-motivation or long-term success. Punishment and rewards are alluring because they often do show very short-term success. They are also familiar to us because most of us grew up with them. What other approaches can we use when faced with problems like unfinished school …

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