15 Anti-Bullying Books for Young Kids

15 Anti-Bullying Books for Young Kids

Help your youngsters better understand what a bully is, bullying tactics, and how to prevent them by reading books that focus on empathy, inclusion, kindness, conflict resolution, and confidence.

Here are our favorite anti-bullying books that are perfect for kids in Pre-K through early elementary school.

 

 

CHILD BOOKS

1. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon

Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do. Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn’t mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart. But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that. 

 

 

anti-bullying books

2. We’re All Wonders

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid but is not always seen that way. We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

 

 

anti-bully books

3. The Juice Box Bully

Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete’s new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates teach him about “The Promise”. Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make “The Promise”?

 

 

anti-bullying books

4. Kindness Starts With You

Follow Maddy through her day at school, where your child will learn how easy it can be to spread kindness. From taking turns on the swing to including everyone in the game – this storybook shows that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted! A lightbulb lesson of kindness is found on each page!

 

 

anti-bullying books

5. Stick and Stone

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor? Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.

 

 

anti-bullying books for kids

6. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round. Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again? Chrysanthemum is a classic that gets children thinking about and bonding with their own names and the names of everyone else in the class, and it’s the perfect vehicle for starting a discussion about treating classmates with tolerance, kindness, and compassion.

 

 

anti-bullying books

7. Purplicious

In this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Pinkalicious, a young girl remains true to herself and discovers that pink isn’t only a pretty color, but also a powerful one. While everyone knows Pinkalicious’s favorite color is pink, the bullies at her new school don’t agree. All the girls are wearing black, painting in black, and making fun of Pinkalicious for loving pink. “Pink is for babies and stinks!” they tell her. Pinkalicious feels left out until she learns that pink can be a powerful color, and that the most important thing is to be yourself.

 

 

anti bullying books for kids

8. Monty the Manatee

Meet Monty. He’s a big creature with an even bigger heart. Monty’s nervous because it’s his first day at Sea School. He tries to make new friends but the other sea creatures think he’s a bit slow and strange….so they’re mean to him and call him names! When a dangerous predator invades the classroom and threatens to eat them all for his supper, Monty comes up with a plan. Is he brave or clever enough to save them all? The other creatures don’t think he is.

 

 

anti-bullying books

9. Empathy is Your Super Power

Learning to understand and care about the feelings of others is one of the most important steps in a child’s development―and it’s never too early to help little ones build those skills. This beautifully illustrated storybook teaches young kids how to recognize and practice empathy through simple real-life scenarios that are easy for them to understand. It’s written with clear language for adults to read aloud and features discussion questions and activities that encourage kids to talk about what they learned and use it in their lives.

 

 

anti-bullying books

10. One

Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. As budding young readers learn about numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors, they also learn about accepting each other’s differences and how it sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count.

 

 

anti-bullying books

11. It’s OK to be Different

Every Child is Unique! Whether they are big or small, short or tall, like to swim, dance, sing, or bike. Perhaps they have a special need or are from a different ethnic background. Maybe they wear glasses or talk differently. The truth is that all children are different and their individuality should be celebrated, not bullied or shunned. And this inspiring and brightly illustrated rhyming picture book does just that. By highlighting the ways kids are different from one another, it helps children to accept themselves and others as the beautifully unique individuals that they are. 

 

 

anti-bully books for kids

12. Enemy Pie

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning a best enemy into a best friend.

 

 

anti-bully books for kids

13. The Recess Queen

Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different. Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced. If kids ever crossed her, she’d push ’em and smoosh ’emlollapaloosh ’em, hammer ’em, slammer ’emkitz and kajammer ’em. Until a new kid came to school! With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.

 

 

anti-bullying books

14. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Lucy has big hair, eats fun foods and is teased by a boy named Ralph at school because she is different. She tries to be brave but she wishes the teasing would stop. What should I do? she asks herself over and over. Lucy’s Papa Gino reminds her to do the right thing and treat people with kindness. So when Ralph gets stuck on the playground and needs help, will Lucy use this chance to teach Ralph a lesson? Or will she have the courage to be true to herself and make the right choice with an act of kindness?

 

 

anti-bullying books

15. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?

 

 

What are your favorite anti-bullying books for young readers? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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.

Virtual Valentine’s Day – 13 Ideas for Teachers

Virtual Valentine’s Day – 13 Ideas for Teachers

Who knew we needed this holiday so much!? Celebrating friendship, love, appreciation, and inclusivity – Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to bring your class some fun and good-feels after a tough year.

In normal times, we’d be organizing handmade paper valentines, classroom activities, candy hearts, and other treats for an in-person celebration. But this year requires a little creativity in moving the holiday online and rocking it – luckily, we’ve gathered up a list of 13 great ideas to help you do just that!

1. Throw a party – Yep, even if you’re teaching remotely you can still throw a great virtual party. The key is creating a fun mood and tone. Decorate your space in pink and red (even just a little goes a long way) with things like garlands, paper heart cut-outs, paper flowers, and other crafts. Check out tips on resources, tech, and tailoring for different grade levels here.

2. Make Valentine’s Day cards – These are the beloved Valentine’s standby – and the good news is they’re not going anywhere. With some planning ahead, you and your class can still make traditional paper cards (see #s 2, 3, 16, and 18 here) or you can go totally virtual using any of the many online cardmaking apps out there. We also have free downloadable teacher-to-student Valentine’s cards on our blog.

3. Do holiday word games – From word scrambles to crosswords and rhyming exercises check out these holiday-themed downloadable worksheets.

4. Get crafty – Send a craft packet out to your students ahead of time and add craft-making to your party plan. The ideas are endless: beaded hearts with pipe cleaners, heart pockets, friendship bracelets, collages, and more – find dozens of ideas here and here.

5. Embrace magnetic poetry – Students can create poetry for the occasion by using this easy-to-use free online tool.

6. Facilitate peer shout-outs – Part of the beauty of Valentine’s Day is lifting up the things we find great about another person. Use this cool heart-shaped word cloud to help students create clouds containing things they love about their fellow students or family members. This exercise is great to assign to student pairs.

7. Do a candy heart experiment – Slip in some science with this fun activity. Best for preschoolers or kindergarteners (requires parental supervision).

8. Spread the love – Check your local Children’s Hospital or hospital’s pediatric unit to see if they have a Valentine’s Day card campaign your classroom can join. These can be done online and be delivered electronically. Pro tip: hospitals usually ask that the message sticks to a Valentine’s theme rather than a “get well” message.

9. Share stories – Ask students to create their own “Things I Heart”: on a heart-shaped paper cut-out, they can write down things they love in their life – this could be people, pets, food, activities, sports – anything that makes them happy and feeling good. Besides being good for the holiday, this also helps them start strengthening their gratitude muscle. Download our printable template here.

10. Do a kindness challenge – Devote the day, a week, or even the whole month to a kindness challenge. The idea is to have kids think of little kindnesses they can do for others – such as leaving a thank-you note for their mailman, doing an extra household chore for their parents, or hanging a birdfeeder for hungry birds. Find more ideas here and here (make Covid adjustments as necessary).

11. Have a poetry reading – There are a zillion poems about friendship and love – and plenty appropriate for every grade level. Have students find a poem they like and then share it with the class (older ones can memorize and recite; little ones can read from the page or screen).

12. Do some creative writing – There are so many writing prompts for the day! Have students write their own poetry, write a friendship letter, make a gratitude list, draft a love letter to the earth or write thank-you notes.

13. Holiday gif – Kids can easily make Valentine’s-themed pixel art for free at home. A great intro to animation!

Just because Valentine’s Day may not happen in the classroom this year doesn’t mean it can’t still be great. Enjoy this day of kindness and love with your students – kindness really does make the world go round!

 

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.

Valentine’s Day Brain Break Activities on YouTube

Valentine’s Day Brain Break Activities on YouTube

Get your students up and moving at your Valentine’s Day classroom party with our list of fun Valentine’s Day-themed brain breaks!

These YouTube videos are all free and great for socially distant in-person learning, and for hybrid or online teachers looking for activities to help their remote students get their wiggles out. Check them out below.

 

 

virtual valentines game

1. Find the Gnome – P.E. with Mr. G

Find the Gnome is a brain break activity that has students guess where the infamous gnome is hiding by performing exercises, yoga poses, and dance moves. Whoever has the most right guesses at the end is the winner. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

2. St. Patrick’s Valentine Delivery on the Run! – Online P.E. Coach Hayne

Students can help St. Patrick’s leprechaun deliver Valentine’s Day cards on Rainbow Road. Seems easy, however, Rainbow Road is full of obstacles like wind tunnels, unicorns, and wind that the students must get around by performing different actions. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

3. Boom Chicka Boom Valentine’s Day Songs for Kids – The Learning Station

The Learning Station is back with this great sing-a-long Valentine’s Day song for young kids! Get your littles excited by having them stand up and sing and dance along to this fun and catchy toon. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

4. Achy Breaky Heart Dance Along – GoNoodle | Get Moving

The older kids can also enjoy a fun dance along by learning how to line dance with GoNoodle! These steps can be pretty tricky so here are some instructions to go over before the music starts: right grapevine – kick – left grapevine – kick – front grapevine – stomp – back grapevine – stomp – right heel, heel – left heel, heel – toe – toe & heel 3x’s – JUMP! (and say Yee Haw!) & start from the beginning. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

5. Valentine’s Day Workout – Disney Just Dance – Teacher Mister Alonso

In this video, students choose which shadow is the correct true love of the Disney character. Whichever shadow they choose, they are to do that workout. At the end of the workout, the shadows are unmasked and they will see if they answered correctly. Whoever does gets a heart; most hearts at the end wins. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

6. Would You Rather – Valentine’s-Themed This or That – Empowered with Ms. Jenny White

Students will be asked a series of Valentine’s Day questions, where they will get to pick their favorite answer. Whichever answer they choose, they will have to do the exercise that appears after it for 30 seconds. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

7. Cupid on the Run – P.E. with Mr. G

Cupid has lost feathers from his wings and cannot fly without them. It’s up to your students to help him collect his wings, but they will run into some obstacles along the way. Run, jump, throw, duck, and more to help cupid collect all of his feathers so he can fly on Valentine’s Day. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

8. Have Fun and Freeze! – Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel

Students can get up from their seats and dance along to Jack Hartmann’s song, but when the music stops they have to FREEZE! (Feel free to make up rules about students who are left dancing, like having them do jumping jacks until the next FREEZE.) Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

9. Valentine’s Day Workout Heart Break Challenge – RSD Online

With this fun workout, your students will feel like they are in boxing class! They’ll air punch, dodge, duck, and jump through all of the obstacles as the (anti-Valentine’s Day) video plays. Just make sure students are spaced out for this one so there are no accidents. Click here to play!

 

 

 

virtual valentines game

10. Cosmic Kids Yoga Valentine’s Special – Cosmic Kids Yoga

You can’t go wrong with a calming session of Cosmis Kids Storytime and Yoga! This is a two-in-one video that features a Frozen story and a Harry Potter story, so kids can choose which one they would rather do. Click here to play!

 

If you are looking for something else to do for your classroom party, here are some other great Valentine’s Day activities for kids on YouTube to check out. They may not get kids up and out of their seats, but they are every bit just as fun!

 

Other Fun Valentine’s Day Activities:

Valensteins | Valentine’s for Kids Read Aloud – Kid Story Time

How to Draw a Valentines Golden Retriever Puppy – Art for Kids Hub

Easy Kids Valentine’s Day Heart Crafts – Cayla & Co

Saint Valentine’s Day Animated History – Fiveminded

Pete the Cat – Valentine’s Day is Cool Read Aloud – SandZ Academy

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty. We specialize in 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.

Cute Valentine’s Day Bulletin Board Ideas

Cute Valentine’s Day Bulletin Board Ideas

Valentine’s Day is almost here! That means it’s time to switch up your winter classroom bulletin boards and door decor to something a little more soft and sweet.

We’ve pulled together the cutest classroom bulletin board inspo for Valentine’s Day- check them out below! And for all of our remote educators, you don’t have to miss out on the fun! Use these ideas for your Zoom backgrounds, or even create a “bulletin board” on a blank wall at home.

 

1.  Books Are Like a Box of Chocolates

Have each child can make their own chocolate to hang on the bulletin board.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

2.  Love is an Open Door

Because you can never go wrong with Olaf on Valentine’s Day!

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

3.  We TOAD-A-LY Love School

Put each child’s name on a heart, or get creative and have them each make lily pads.

toadly love school

 

 

4. Love You to Pizzas

Such a cute and fun reminder to let each child know they are loved.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

5. One in a Minion

Who doesn’t love minions?! If you are feeling ~extra~ put some minion googles on each name heart!

one in a minion

 

 

6. Llama Tell You

Have each child write their favorite part of class on their own individual hearts.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

7. How Many Kisses Tall Are You?

Not technically a bulletin board, but so creative and perfect for Valentine’s day!

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

8. Our Class is Full of Sweet Hearts

If you want a quick and easy Valentine’s Day bulletin board decoration, this is perfect for you!

class full of sweet hearts

 

 

9. Yoda One for Me

Alt. Title “Friends Forever, We Are” Put student names in the hearts – or for all our Mandalorian fans, use frogs 😉

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

10. Are You a Library Book?

Because nothing will even beat a good punny pick-up line.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

11. Love is in the Air 

….and so is our class! Add pictures of each student in your hot air balloon.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

12. Bee-Mine

You could do so many things with this one! Have students make their own bees, make a honeycomb, put their photo on the bee-heads, etc.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

13. Love Letters

So cute! You could even have each child write one good thing about the other and leave them in their envelopes.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

14. We LOVE Learning

And we LOVE this. You don’t have to be a Sign Language teacher to use this door decor!

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

15. We Love School a Latte

Because we know how much you love coffee…

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

16. Will You Be My Favorite Gnomie?

Put student names in the hearts or have them each make their own cute little gnomes.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

17. Black History Month + Valentine’s Day

= YES!

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

18. We Love Our Lab….A BOT

Or easily change up the wording to suit your classroom!

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

19. Let Love Grow

Perfect for Valentine’s Day and to leave up for Spring.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

20. 28 Ways to Love Yourself

Because students need to know it’s important to themselves, just as they love others.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

21. Reading is a Tweet!

If you make the birds look like the Twitter birds, it will surely get your student’s attention.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

22. OWL Love You Forever

Simply, adorable, and easy to incorporate student art. What’s not to love?

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

22. “…Taught to Love”

Another one of our favorite Black History Month + Valentine’s Day bulletin boards.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

23. A Cup of Kindness

Kindness week is ALSO in February, if you want to combine the two 🙂

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

24. Sending Love Your Way

Let your students paint or color their own hearts. You could even have them write what they love on them!

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

25. 100 Reasons Why

Have each student write on a few hearts why they love their class.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

*BONUS* Anti-Valentine’s Day

Because not everyone has to love the holiday.

valentine's day bulletin boards

 

 

Head over to our Pinterest for more Valentine’s Day Bulletin Board options! Don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new idea we discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. California Casualty does not own any of the photos in this post, all are sources by to their original owners. Get a quote at 1.800.800.9410 or www.calcas.com.

Mental Health & Your Classroom Culture

Mental Health & Your Classroom Culture

Coronavirus has taken its toll on the world, mentally and physically, and after almost an entire calendar year of adapting to the constant changes in education, our teachers are not the only ones who are feeling the effects. Students across the country have had their lives turned upside down more times than they can count within the last year- virtual classes, hybrid learning, not getting to spend time with their friends, avoiding public places, no birthday parties, spending their vacation-time indoors, wearing masks, not seeing their older relatives, etc.  It’s no secret adjusting to our new normal has been stressful and hard on them.

As a teacher, your students trust and confide in you- sometimes more than their own parents- so oftentimes you play a critical role in helping them manage their own mental health, especially amidst a pandemic. By creating an environment that is safe and comfortable you can aid in helping them cope with their anxious or depressing thoughts and feelings, and catch issues before they become major problems.

Here are 4 easy ways you can create a classroom culture that encourages positive mental health.

 

1. Create a Safe Space for Conversation

You can support the mental health of all of the students in your class by fitting in small lessons or units informing them about mental health, the symptoms, and what they can do for support. Normalize talking about feelings and the importance of mental health in your classroom, like you talk about the importance of physical health. Giving your students a safe space to discuss in your classroom will let them know that those anxious thoughts are, “normal” and that they are not the only ones feeling that way. The more you talk about common thoughts, feelings, and actions related to mental health, the better your students will be able to understand and identify them within themselves. Students and parents alike will benefit from knowing more about mental health issues and how they can cope and work through them.

 

 

2. Check in With Your Students

Checking in with your students will give you insight into their feelings, so will have foresight into what the day ahead will look like, and so you can follow up with them (or if it’s serious or consistent, with their parents) and see why they are feeling the way they are. There are a ton of different ways you can check in with your students. Many teachers use Mental Health Check-In Charts in their classrooms, so students can let the teacher know how they are feeling at the beginning of each day. If you’re teaching virtually, you can still use the same method, just have each student send an emoji or word that describes their feelings. If you would prefer to do check-ins more privately, you can have students keep a daily journal where they write a few sentences each day about their feelings and then submit them.

 

 

3. Create a Positive Learning Environment

Creating a positive environment for students means not only encouraging positivity, but it also means making your classroom (or virtual classroom) somewhere that your students feel comfortable, like they belong, can take risks, tackle challenges, and trust others. Some easy ways you can encourage these behaviors in your room include, incorporating engaging lesson plans and experiments, using fun technology or apps (like Kahoot), adding more group work and projects, bringing in flexible seating, and adding decor that encourages positivity and kindness like: posters, sticky notes, bulletin boards, etc. Not only does a positive environment help with students’ mental health, but it also has proven to boost students learning and academic success up to 25%.

 

4. Incorporate Some Brain Breaks Into Your Day

Brain breaks are an important part of the educational day, and they are great for student, and teacher, mental health! However, they are sadly often overlooked and forgotten about due to lack of planning and time. Brain breaks have multiple benefits including better behavior, increased productivity and mood, enhanced comprehension, creative thinking, and increased time on task. Because children’s brains cannot focus on one subject for too long, using short brain breaks between lessons have proven to help students pay more attention and succeed more overall in the classroom. Examples of easy brain breaks you can incorporate into your day include: a yoga video, short dancing session, 2-minute stretches, short meditation, taking a small walk around the classroom, or just closing their eyes and taking a minute to relax.

 

Even with a positive classroom culture, some students can still struggle with their mental health. As a teacher, it is important to know the signs of students that may need help.

Here are some behaviors to keep an eye out for:

    • Feeling sad, extremely tired, or withdrawn for more than two weeks
    • Has or expressed intentions to harm themselves or others
    • Intense worries or fears that make them unable to do daily tasks
    • Severe mood swings or changes in personality
    • Frequently causing problems or interrupting class
    • Having difficulty concentrating

If you see a student who is struggling week after week and not making any improvements, it’s time to reach out to parents, school counselors, or nurses for additional help.

 

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.

Lessons Learned from Teaching in 2020

Lessons Learned from Teaching in 2020

2020 has been a bumpy ride for everyone, especially for our teachers, school staff, and students. Between the sudden shift to remote learning in the spring, a summer spent stressing about protocols and procedures, and an uneasy and ever-changing fall semester, they’re drained and left curious, about what 2021 will have in store for them.

But if this past year has taught us anything, it’s that our teachers and educators are strong and will adapt to any environment, that the new year may bring, for the sake of their students.

That being said, over the course of the past year, teachers have learned many valuable lessons that they are bringing with them to help guide their classrooms in 2021.

Here are a few you can take into the new year too.

1. Combine Your Learning Method With Student Needs –. Remote learning students don’t just need time learning their lessons, students (especially those at young ages) need to spend time with children their own age and connect with them to grow socially. To help guide this process many teachers have changed up their lesson planning to help incorporate more engaging activities. Some have even started opening their classrooms early, so students have the chance to mingle, virtually spend time with their peers, and feel a sense of belonging.

2. Mental Health is Key – We’re all going through a public health crisis together, and students are going through it too. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions are all spiking. Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure your, and your student’s, mental health a top priority. Be sure to make checking in on your student’s mental health a priority (whether we like it or not, educators play the dual role of teacher and counselor). And if you are personally struggling, reach out to someone or seek help from a professional. It’s okay to not be okay.

3. Engage with Parents – With virtual learning parents are playing an active role in helping their children learn their lessons. Although it’s much harder, teachers are doing all they can to make sure each child is taken care of. However, if a child doesn’t understand their homework and they are not asking questions, their teacher isn’t just a hand raise away anymore. So the child turns to their parents for help. Parents have played such a large role in their child’s education this past year, so it’s important to continue to check in with them about how their children are doing, listen to concerns, and let them know what they can do to help their children continue to succeed during this time.

4. Technology Gaps Exist and You Can Help – For some communities, the rapid shift to online learning has highlighted the gap in digital accessibility, with some students not having access and falling behind. Is this a problem you can solve on your own? No. But as an educator, you can help voice the problems you’re seeing and advocate for your students.

5. Collaboration Can Yield Amazing Results– All throughout the pandemic teachers from all across the country have come together to create virtual learning resources and lesson plans to help support each other throughout the transition to remote learning. This has resulted in thousands of new creative ideas that ultimately benefit students and help them learn (like virtual field trips!). Collaborating virtually for lessons or projects with other teachers, organizations, coaches, librarians, etc., is possible and definitely worth taking advantage of.

6. Flexibility is a GOOD Thing – It’s not always so easy to be flexible, especially when you have a whole semester of lesson plans that need to be completed re-thought. But teaching during COVID-19 has really highlighted the importance of flexibility and creativity. From all-new learning environments to best strategies for engaging students, there’s been an explosion in innovation, new ideas, and discoveries. Adaptation, flexibility, and thinking-out-of-the-box are turning out to be pandemic era superpowers.

COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives and will forever change our society and communities. It’s no secret that that education may look very different in the future, and that thought can be unnerving, but teachers will continue doing what they do best. Energized and transformed by all we’ve learned in this past year of disruption, they will take their knowledge and find a way to continue touching the lives of their students and leading them to success.

 

 

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.

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