5 Foolproof Ways to Stick to your New Year’s Resolution

5 Foolproof Ways to Stick to your New Year’s Resolution

New Year, new you. Right? That’s what everyone says. Statistics say that 80% of resolutions fail by February. Remember, you can achieve what you put your mind to, you just have to stick to your goals!

Here are some simple steps to keep from feeling overwhelmed and help you keep your new year resolutions.

  1. Keep it simple. If your plan is to lose weight, figure out how much you want to shred and then divide that into 11 months. This helps break down a long term goal to small accomplishable goals.
  2. Accountability. You are more likely to keep at your resolution if your goal is reinforced and encouraged by others. Rely on your support system for the hard days when you’re tempted to give up.
  3. Track Progress. Include an easy way to track your success to match your goal. A vision board or a journal are some great examples to use.
  4. Celebrate the wins. Make sure positive recognition is a part of the process. Praise can go a long way.
  5. Small stumbles will happen. It’s important to remember that bumps will come along the way. That doesn’t mean that you have failed. Write it down on your progress tracker and understand it as a learning lesson.

Change takes time and patience. Don’t give up!

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Space Heater Safety Tips – Don’t Get Burned

Space Heater Safety Tips – Don’t Get Burned

Winter is officially in full swing, and that means many of us will start to get out the portable heaters to combat those brisk nights and chilly mornings- that is, of course if you haven’t done that already. space heater

Used properly, portable heaters are a godsend, but it’s extremely important to pay attention to the possible dangers associated with that trusty little plug-in heater.

Portable heaters are responsible for an estimated 25,000+ home fires each year, causing terrible burns to thousands of people. Imagine how you’d feel if not paying attention to a simple appliance caused the destruction of your home or hurt your family.

That’s why you should follow these Space Heater Safety Tips 

  • Never use an unvented combustion heater indoors (safety experts recommend electric heaters instead)
  • Only purchase or use newer models that have current safety features and the Underwriter Laboratory (UL) label
  • Keep the heater on a hard, level, non-flammable surface such as ceramic tile
  • Make sure the heater is at least three feet away from flammables like bedding, drapes, furniture, and papers
  • Keep pets and children away from space heaters
  • Always turn the heater off when you leave the area
  • Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep
  • Check to see if it has a tip-over safety switch that will automatically turn it off if it falls over
  • Avoid using extension cords and never run the cord under carpeting or mats

Pro Tip: these safety tips also apply when turning on the heat for the entire house. If you haven’t already, the National Fire Protection Association recommends us to have our heating system, or chimney, checked and serviced each year by a qualified heating and cooling professional to make sure it’s fire safe and there are no carbon monoxide leaks. It is also recommended to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors during this time.


For more information visit:







Related Articles:

Fire Prevention Tips for the Holidays

Holiday Light Safety

The 6 Most At-Risk Fire Areas of Your Home


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or visit www.calcas.com.

Everything You Need to Know About Team-Teaching

Everything You Need to Know About Team-Teaching

Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.


Are you curious about team teaching? We have answers to some of your questions!

What is Team Teaching?

  • Usually occurs in inclusion classrooms
  • Two or more teachers working together to teach a group of students
  • Together, teachers plan, organize, teach, and evaluate
  • Teams may be single-discipline, interdisciplinary, or school-within-a-school
  • Co-teaching = general education teacher + special education teacher
  • Team teaching = both teachers plan and teach lessons
  • Parallel teaching = each teacher instructs half of the class, the same lesson
  • Alternative teaching = one teacher instructs a small group of struggling students while the other teachers the larger group, might be the same lesson or struggling group may receive extra support on previous lessons
  • Teacher and assistant = one teacher instructs while other teacher monitors and assists students as necessary, this can also be used in a teacher/observer manner to gather data regarding student progress


How Does it Benefit Students?

  • Students receive more individual attention
  • Students learn from teachers with different teaching styles, experience, perspectives, and ideas
  • Improved student-teacher relationships
  • Students achieve at higher levels
  • Daily consistency: the likelihood of both partners being absent is slim


How Does it Benefit Teachers?

  • Easier to differentiate instruction
  • Allows teachers to reflect on personal teaching strategies, style, ideas, perspectives, etc.
  • Improves teaching skills
  • Cultivates professional peer relationships
  • Improves parent-teacher communication


With Your Teaching Partner(s), Be Prepared To:

  • Plan everything together
  • Create common grading standards
  • Be honest, yet tactful
  • Play to one another’s strengths
  • Disagree politely
  • Communicate openly and often
  • Have humor
  • Trust your teaching partner
  • Be organized
  • Be flexible


Team teaching can be rewarding for students and teachers. If this sounds like an adventure upon which you’d like to embark, begin by talking with your administrator and potential teaching partner(s). In some cases, it may take up to a year to prepare for a team-taught classroom, so begin your team teaching dialogue sooner rather than later.

Have you team-taught or co-taught before? In the comments below, please share your team teaching advice!


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.



Discipline Ideas & Resources for Teachers

Discipline Ideas & Resources for Teachers

About the author

Alan Haskvitz has taught for 45 years and has credentials in special education, gifted education school administration, and all core subjects. He has been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame and was chosen by Reader’s Digest as a Hero in Education.

Discipline is probably the most difficult of all areas to deal with as it encompasses issues that may be related to a vast array of difficulties that can try the expertise of the most experienced parent and educator. Contributing factors may include personal problems, improve medication, self-esteem issues, and peer pressure.

Indeed, in my 45 years of teaching at every grade level and nearly every subject, I have had my fair share of problems all of which were unique in some regard, but needed to be dealt with in a manner that resolved the issues for all involved. With this in mind, I put together a variety of free resources that may be of value in being proactive and help to prevent a discipline problem. You can read it below:

Be Proactive

Essentially there are three main ways to deal with these issues starting with being proactive. First, let the students know behavior expectations early. From the start of the year be positive. Always look for ways to reinforce good behavior. Developing rapport with students is also essential. I used an information card that included the usual contact numbers and such items as favorite games, people, family pets, and other information that would enable me to get to know the students better. If students feel you are approachable it helps eliminate problems and also encourages them to confide in you of concerns that would otherwise be kept secret.


Consequences are important, but they need to be appropriate and consistent, but always leave yourself room for accommodations depending on the circumstances. The ideal combination is to be firm and fair and calm.


Perhaps the most important way to prevent behavior issues is to establish good communications with the student, parent, and administration. Keeping them informed of issues can help prevent an escalation that can take the joy out of teaching. I try to contact parents the first week of school and have a handout for Back to School Night that explains classroom expectations. As well, I document what I have done to keep the parties involved aware of the situation.

Expect the Unexpected/Teachable Moments

One day some students in my classes jumped out of their seats and ran to the back of the room. Some were screaming. Now, this could have been a planned event to challenge me, but from experience, I knew I had to remain calm. I walked over and saw a large spider had entered the room and caused the students’ reaction. I quickly handled the situation, but the students were unsettled. And so I turned it into a teachable moment by asking them to describe what they had seen and their actions. Some indicated a fear of spiders and were swept up in the reaction of the crowd. The appearance of the spider provided a teachable moment that even extended outside of the classroom. Most importantly it turned what could have been a behavior problem into a learning opportunity.


Here are a variety of sites that can provide ideas and resources to help you with discipline-related problems. They run the gamut from simple to complex, but each of them does provide insights from teachers, students, parents, and theorists.


Classroom and Site Discipline ideas and strategies


Methods and Practice of Discipline





Classroom Management Plan


Relational Discipline Strategies








Research sites


Special Education Related Behavior Sites





Sometimes a lesson plan might find some students are done early. This site has some ideas. I would also add that having the students create a newspaper of what happened that day in class is very good and it could be given to those that were absent. You can keep them to augment your lesson plans, too, and check to ensure learning.











Parent sites




This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Keep on Course Jeep Compass Giveaway

Keep on Course Jeep Compass Giveaway

Educators lead extremely busy lives, but the worst time to multi-task or let the mind wander is behind the wheel. From smartphones to navigation devices, technology is a dangerous temptation for drivers to take their eyes off the road. Tending to passengers, eating or drinking or checking one’s appearance are also risks. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,100 people each year lose their life in a crash involving distracted driving.

California Casualty is working to help end dangerous habits behind the wheel with the Keep on Course Giveaway. Educators who make a promise to drive safely are entered for a chance to win a new Jeep® Compass. The campaign runs from January 1, 2020 through October 4, 2020.

“Your safety is important to us,” said California Casualty Sr. Vice President Mike McCormick. “We appreciate everything you do and we know that your commitment extends beyond school to your home and family.”

California Casualty has been serving the needs of educators since 1951. We offer exceptional rates and exclusive benefits not available to the general public. Request a quote or learn more by calling 1.866.704.8614.

*Jeep is not a participating partner in or sponsor of this contest. Click here for complete terms and conditions.

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