New Year, New Goals. Now What?

Posted on January 06, 2021

New Year, New Goals. Now What?

Happy New Year! It’s now time when traditionally most make declarations about changes they will make and think about how they will become better versions of themselves. Right now, you might be feeling exhausted, stuck, and unmotivated as the first quarter of 2021 begins due to the many effects from the previous year that have turned our world upside down. There is hope for a better year! Now is the perfect time to stop and think about what you are going to do next.

Tags : Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Retention, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, News, Techer Evaluations, Teacher Evaluations, Classroom Management, Student HOTS, Discipline


Look for Sunflowers in the Weeds

Posted on December 16, 2020

Look for Sunflowers in the Weeds

Chris Hogan, an EntreLeadership personality with Dave Ramsey shares: “Everyone needs AIR”. He uses AIR as an acronym that means, appreciation, inspiration, and recognition. Chris believes that these three elements help us to breathe better. Today is the final installment in our three-part series on “AIR”. As a reminder, the R stands for recognition. As an educator, we recognize students all the time for good grades and passing tests such as STAAR. But what about those who fall through the cracks, those students who are failing? Did you know that sunflowers can be weeds? Harriet Tubman once said: “I was a neglected weed.” Those weeds are majestic flowers that rise to the sun in recognition of its power are like those children in your classroom who are failing. This week’s blog shares a story about Mrs. W., a teacher who stopped and recognized a student and the impact it made. She used best practices such as differentiation and cultural responsiveness to reach a student who was struggling. Take a minute to read this blog. You will discover that you can become the “sun” in someone’s life!

Tags : Insider, Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Recruitment, Retention, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, News, Techer Evaluations, Teacher Evaluations, Student HOTS, Appreciation


10 Children’s Books that Promote Diversity Awareness

Posted on November 18, 2020

10 Children’s Books that Promote Diversity Awareness

Reading books with your students that promote diversity awareness can be a great way to introduce discussions about identity, cultural awareness, and the importance of diversity. Classroom discussions on diversity may help students learn valuable lessons about how to appreciate and be more accepting of people who are different.  At the same time, when children have access to books with characters that they can relate to, it can help them to make important connections about their identity. At some point, everyone was a child and can probably relate to wanting to feel like they belong and wanting to feel valued for their identity. Some adults are still struggling with their identities and feelings of acceptance even today.  One question that can be reflected on is: How do educators prepare the next generation to embrace diversity and develop a strong cultural competency in our youth so that all children feel included, represented, and accepted for who they are?  Educators have a great platform to help children embrace and accept unique differences. By using books with diverse characters and storylines as tools in the classroom to introduce lessons and discussions about diversity, students can not only learn more about themselves but grow a love for reading. The thought here is that having conversations about diversity and differences amongst people will help to fill a diversity awareness gap and help children to feel more welcome and accepted in their environment regardless of their cultural identity.

Tags : Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, Classroom Management


The Threats within the Household: A Deep Dive into Domestic Abuse & COVID-19

Posted on October 07, 2020

The Threats within the Household: A Deep Dive into Domestic Abuse & COVID-19

In the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic, teachers and school administrators had concerns about the safety of some students in their own homes. Unfortunately, the facts have concluded that their concerns were valid. Quarantines and lockdowns have meant that students at risk of abuse are left alone with abusive loved ones for prolonged continuous periods. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to a restructuring of the public services that provide support for people experiencing domestic violence. Due to the many obstacles that were introduced to families during the onset of the virus such as health concerns, financial challenges, and even psychological stress, a large spike in domestic violence within the household has been very apparent. This, in turn, can prove very detrimental to families everywhere and challenge educators to take steps to ensure the student environment is conducive to learning.

Tags : Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, Differentiation, Classroom Management, Student HOTS, Discipline


Read, Lead, Succeed! The Benefits Of Being A Daily Reader!

Posted on September 30, 2020

Read, Lead, Succeed! The Benefits Of Being A Daily Reader!

One of America’s former presidents Harry S. Truman once proclaimed that “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Our Agency, YES, INC. believes that reading is an important key to be effective. One of the great things our CEO encourages us all to do each day is to devote time to reading daily. You may find that the more you read the more engaged in life, work, and other ventures you will be. So, teachers, parents, and scholars, it’s time to check in with you on your reading habits! With the huge spike in remote work and online social media, you may have realized that your daily reading habits center around tweets and Facebook updates. When was the last time you submerged yourself in a great book whether it be for work or pleasure? As life continues to change, it’s more important now than ever to make sure you make time to read. 

Tags : Insider, Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, Differentiation, Classroom Management, Discipline


The Flipped Classroom Model: What It Is And How It Works

Posted on September 16, 2020

The Flipped Classroom Model: What It Is And How It Works

What is a Flipped Classroom? The Flipped Classroom is an alternative model of instruction that is gaining attention from educators. According to The Flipped Learning Network, This pedagogical approach moves instruction from a group learning space to an individual learning space. This approach differs from the traditional model of instruction because it reverses the process of instruction and transforms learning into an interactive learning environment that supports active learning.

Tags : Professional Development, Special Education, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, Differentiation, Techer Evaluations, Teacher Evaluations, Classroom Management, Student HOTS


What is Augmented Reality in Virtual Education?

Posted on September 02, 2020

What is Augmented Reality in Virtual Education?

Just when you think the ways educators can reach students have met its’ threshold, learning finds a way to travel beyond the classroom and come alive right before their eyes! It is a known fact that all educational institutions are open to making learning more engaging for their students, but what better way to ensure the impact of students’ learning experiences than to simulate an experience in the classroom?

Tags : Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, Differentiation, Teacher Evaluations, Classroom Management, Student HOTS


Be Virtually Inclusive: Do's and Don't For Educators

Posted on August 26, 2020

Be Virtually Inclusive: Do's and Don't For Educators

Schools are rapidly shifting to online learning, at least for now. So that means you are likely to begin the school year much differently than ever before. It’s now time to embrace the season we are in and adapt to new teaching methods. Effective teachers are resilient and therefore capable of creating sustainable online classrooms when they are all in. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that online classrooms may never feel the same as live instruction, but we can do our very best to make our virtual classes come to life.  While planning out your lessons it’s important to consider how you will ensure that your classroom is inclusive and accessible for all learners. While you may be teaching from behind a screen this year, don’t let the screen box in your thinking! Students need to feel a sense of belonging, and they also need to be able to access course materials. What principles of inclusive/ accessible teaching are you drawing upon that will help students feel accepted this year? How will you support them in achieving learning goals while you are teaching them online? Empathy and resilience on the part of both students and instructors will be of the essence. To help guide you toward full inclusion and accessibility with your virtual classroom this week's blog will give you do’s, don’ts, and other simple ways to modify your virtual classroom design to create space that will accommodate learners and inspire them to do their best work. 

Tags : Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, Differentiation, Classroom Management, Student HOTS


What is a Virtual Bitmoji Classroom?

Posted on July 30, 2020

What is a Virtual Bitmoji Classroom?

Are you in search of a fun way to add an animated personal touch to your online classroom? If so, have you ever heard of the virtual Bitmoji Classroom? Most people by now have used Bitmoji's in some way to express feelings or send birthday wishes and other types of greetings and messages to family and friends. How about using the same type of Bitmojo’s in your virtual classroom for back to school? If you’ll be starting off the 2020-2021 year virtually, this is a fun and helpful option for you and your students. The interactive elements of Bitmoji will allow students to click through the Bitmoji to see assignments, documents, and websites. With its ability to digitize the classroom, Virtual Bitmoji classrooms are becoming the next best thing for educators. Educators all over are creating Bitmoji’s for their virtual classrooms that will incorporate animated fun for their students, and in turn, students have a more engaging online classroom experience. With Bitmoji you can even organize the images in your online classroom platform so that they hyperlink out to external sources. This blog will define what a virtual Bitmoji classroom is and provide you with some ideas on where you can go to gather ideas for your virtual classroom. Be sure to check out the link below to watch a youtube video that will show you how to set up your very own Bitmoji Classroom for free. 

Tags : Professional Development, Special Education, Classroom Management, Student HOTS


COVID-19 A Wake-Up Call For Equity in Education

Posted on June 24, 2020

COVID-19 A Wake-Up Call For Equity in Education

The United States is often dubbed the greatest country in the world. Despite this, our great nation is battling injustice and inequities. It is important now more than ever for our society to rise and confront long-standing inequities in our nation and our schools. We need effective leadership through quality leadership so we can thrive. Although we have made progress, people in this country are still carrying around fear, anxiety, and even worse, harsh realities of the recent events occurring in our communities, schools, and the country as a whole. This is our nation’s wake up call. Most of the country has been forced or strongly encouraged to remain inside of their homes during the past 3 months due to the effects of a global pandemic with no end in sight. Many are finding themselves thinking about young children who are growing up in an era of mass school shootings, bullying, discrimination and prejudices and now living through COVID-19. Our youth have experienced their school lessons being cut short, unfinished projects abandoned, conversations left pending, graduations canceled, and once in a lifetime experiences stolen. However, these recent unprecedented times have given rise to many facets of inequity in education that can be evaluated, contemplated, and addressed now. Out of this crisis, a new age in education can be ushered in if we are intentional about learning from our past. Social Distancing Creates Equity Issues in America

Tags : Professional Development, Cultural Responsive Teaching, Special Education, Teacher Preparation, Student Engagement, Classroom Management, Discipline