Welcome back to a brand new school year!
This edition of the SPARK brings you some fresh, exciting ideas for starting the school year and for sustaining learning and growth all year long!
If it is true that the teaching over the course of a school year is more like a marathon than a sprint, it becomes clear very quickly that educators MUST care for themselves in order to have the energy and resources to meet the needs of their learners. The resources below will give you some ideas about how to maintain a healthy work life balance.
"The Work-Life Balance Basics: 10 Stress Busting Tips For Teachers
Former teacher and current life coach Chris Hunt shares 10 powerhouse strategies for minimizing the stress of teaching. This article, published in the US version of the British Publication The Guardian, has some cultural differences (especially some of the terminology related to education!) but Hunt's tips translate beautifully to demands on American educators. Read it HERE
Go Visual with a "Quick Sanity Break Infographic"
This simple, fun and powerful graphic from 'Mindful Teachers - Living, Learning and Teaching with Mindful Awareness' ( a site worth visiting!) provides a simple way to keep educators focused on self-care and balance. See it HERE
Computer User Health Matters!
Creating exciting learning opportunities for students means, for many of us, hours spent working on our computers. These hours of computer work can take a toll on our bodies and our health. The First Aid Guide for Computer User's Health provides some great tips to keep us healthy while using computers! Check out the visual below in greater detail HERE
For your practice
Ever wish that you had one resource that could give you ideas for building class culture, crafting innovative learning opportunities for your students and collaborating with colleagues? Check out this one-stop-shop (videos, templates and more) for creating inspired lessons. Read the tips HERE
Keeping Up With Breaking News
Helping your students understand and integrate the fast pace of news these days is more important than even. "Twenty-five Great Ideas for Teaching Current Events" from Education World gives you 25 powerful strategies that work across all curricula to create opportunities for your learners to engage with news events in novel ways. Check it out HERE
Creating a Positive Classroom Culture
Creating a positive, compassionate and curiosity filled classroom isn't easy, but it is worth the effort. Learn out some new ways to connect HERE
Go Slow To Go Fast
Taking the time to build strong relationships helps create a firm foundation for powerful learning. Watch this 2 minute video on building relationships with students HERE
For your students
Mistakes Grow Your Brain
Learning can't happen without mistakes. How can we help our students to be brave, take risks and celebrate imperfection? "Learning From Mistakes: Helping Kids See The Good Side of Getting Things Wrong" is a short and good read. While written for parents, it's 'Ten guidelines for fostering youth development' is a wonderful resource for normalizing mistakes. Read it HERE
Goals are good!
All kids can benefit from beginning the practice of setting goals for themselves. Even the youngest students can grow from learning how to set and work toward goals.
These "10 Tips for Setting Successful Goals with Students" outlines a process that can be used with students of all ages. Check it out HERE
Read a comprehensive strategy for helping secondary students set goals HERE
Summer is time for "The Educator's three R's": Relax, Refuel and Reflect!
This season's SPARK (Yes - we are making the change to a seasonal rather than monthly SPARK) is packed with ideas for summer relaxation, refueling and reflecting! This SPARK's offerings are focused on replenishing you so that you will be ready for another action packed year of teaching and learning come this Fall!
All of these ideas are For you (and if you are relaxed, refueled and have reflected on this year, your practice and your students will reap the benefits!):
Teacher Health and Well-being must be attended to – in fact it is almost the law!
Welcome to THE SPARK - our seasonal blog on inspired learning
You will find resources for: