National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month
Child Abuse and the Stress of COVID-19
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, there were 18,875 confirmed cases of abuse in 2018. Types of abuse ranged from critical care neglect, exposure to dangerous substances, and physical and sexual abuse, to child sex trafficking and child prostitution. Child abuse and neglect are unfortunately not uncommon in our society and we all know there are many more that go unreported.
We also know that abuse increases in times of stress and these are especially stressful times.
COVID-19 has shut down our schools where many students find support and help. For many, school is their safe place and their teachers may be their only positive relationships.
COVID-19 has shut down and slowed down businesses. More caregivers are out of work adding more stress to households. Less work also means less money for food and essentials. Tensions run high and bellies get hungry.
COVID-19’s social distancing, social isolation and shelter in place orders can limit or terminate vital lifelines to friends, family and advocates who are sources of support.
COVID-19 news has created stress and uncertainty about the future that has put everyone on edge. Increased stress and uncertainty about the future are also closely correlated with increased substance use and abuse, depression and anxiety.
All these factors increase the possibility of abuse and neglect.
Schools are more than fact factories. If it wasn’t clear before, the COVID-19 shut down has made it so. Schools and teachers provide safe, nurturing environments for students; they form a hub of resources that provide food, and often other necessities like clothes and toiletries and more. Schools and teachers are a connection point for other services
With schools closed for probably for the rest of the school year,
what can educators do to help?
Use the resources you have to listen, educate parents, pass on stress reducing ideas, and provide platforms for staying socially connected
Most teachers are still in touch with their students in one way or another. If you're not, find ways to stay in touch with your students. If you're still connecting with students through email, apps, or online learning, listen to them and engage with them. Be the same caring, positive adult you were in person. Don't be fooled! They miss you, the normalcy of the school day, and the predictability of a safe classroom. Connecting online can help them adjust, still feel connected, and know they haven't been abandoned.
Educate Parents & Give Them Stress Reducing Tips
Kids can act up and get rambunctious just doing kid things. On a normal day parents can feel stressed, but spending weeks together sheltering in place can push even the most lovey-dovey family over the stress cliff!
You can even print the tips and include them in lunches delivered to students and families with personal notes!
Encourage Students and Families to Stay Connected
Connecting to our friends and families to laugh and vent is a great way to reduce stress. Social distancing can reduce or eliminate this stress reduction outlet, as well as, cut victims off from their support systems. Encourage adult and students to stay connected to their friends through safe apps, texting, catching up with neighbors from their porch, or making a phone call. (People do still make phone calls, don't they?) Have your class meet in an online meeting place to virtually interact with their peers. Be creative with ways to be social while social isolating.
For a list of ideas click here to read:
Coronavirus Resources & Tips for Parents, Children & Others
April Featured Class of the Month
Robust Vocabulary Instruction
(3 credit hour graduate credit or IA license renewal)
Examining: Robust Vocabulary Instruction is a 3 credit hour course that provides participants a research-based framework along with practical strategies for vocabulary development with children from the earliest grades through high school. Educators will learn to select words for instruction; create meaningful learning activities, and engage students in thinking about and saying new words both within and outside the classroom. Effective vocabulary instruction has been shown to increase learning in all content areas, increase test scores, and boost grades.
2 New Classes Being Offered in April!
!!!NEW FOR APRIL!!!
I'm So Stressed! Mindfulness & Meditation for Teachers & Students
(3 credit hour Iowa license renewal)
Course 2 in the Educators' Self-Care Series
Anyone in education is under a huge amount of stress in their school life. Added to that, most educators have family commitments and are squeezed in the sandwich generation raising kids and dealing with aging parents. As educators, we need now, more than ever, to practice mindfulness for ourselves, our families and our students. Mindfulness is a practice that can transform us, bring us peace, heal our bodies and our minds and allow us to enjoy our lives.
Express: I’m So Stressed! Mindfulness & Meditation for Teachers & Students is a class designed to bring into alignment the mental and physical self by promoting calm, self-discipline and patience through mindfulness practices and meditation exercises. This class will provide a look at the nature of mindfulness, the benefits of mindfulness and the how-tos of mindfulness.
Join us April 22nd to June 5th
Click here to learn more or register!
I'm So Stressed! Mindfulness & Meditation for Teachers & Students
!!NEW FOR APRIL!!
Express: Beyond the Gradebook: Teachers Do a Lot More Than Teach!
(3 credit hour Iowa license renewal course)
Every one of us has dealt with the effects of abuse. We may have grown up with it, or seen it in the family of a friend. We see it in some of our students. Jacob Chastain, the author of Teach Me, Teacher, shares his experiences growing up in an abusive home. He overcame the horror and “saw the light.” Why? What did he do and can we do that for ourselves and our students? Chastain celebrates good decision making, passion for teaching and being positive. He says he can’t imagine not loving what he does!
How do we become “good” teachers, how do we reach the kid who has, thus far, been unreachable and how do we make this world a better place because we care about and support kids? Chastain’s book is a powerful reminder of how important teachers are in this world and how vital it is that each child have a champion.
Join us April 22nd to June 5th
Click here to learn more or registration!
Beyond the Gradebook: Teachers Do a Lot More than Teach
All courses are accredited. Choose from:
6 week Iowa License Renewal Courses
8-9 week courses that can be taken for Iowa License Renewal or EDMA Graduate Credit
Visit our website to learn more and register for upcoming classes
Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for upcoming class information, education articles & news and creative classroom ideas & strategies!
Go See the Principal
True Tales from the School Trenches
By Gerry Brooks
Could use a good laugh while you're social isolating?
Are you missing your students and the crazy things they do sometimes?
Would you like to learn a few things to make you a better teacher?
If so, then Go See the Principal is the quarantine book for you!
Author Gerry Brooks takes his years of experience as a teacher and principal and weaves them into humorous anecdotes that every educator can relate to.
The book starts: "I'm an elementary teacher that has taught every grade with the exception of Kindergarten. *
Footnote: *Because I'm not insane."
There's something for everyone in this easy-to-read book. With humor and experience, Brooks imparts small bits of wisdom to administrators, teachers and parents.
Devote a little of your self-isolation time to yourself and give Go See the Principal a read.
Did You Know?
Many Education Companies are Offering Free Subscriptions & Resources During School Closings Due to Coronavirus
Has COVID-19 thrust into the world of online teaching?
Do you have parents desperate for resources to homeschool their children during the COVID-19 school shutdown?
Are you suddenly homeschooling your own kids?
If so, then you need resources NOW!
Many businesses are rising to meet online learning needs and they're doing it free of charge!
What do you need? Math, literacy, robotics, ESL, art, lesson plans, an online meeting place?
How about autism resources, STEM learning, music, library books, or a relaxing museum tour?
Amazing Education Resources is a grass-roots, growing and current database of educational businesses providing free subscriptions and resources to educators during this time of crisis.
Whatever your grade-level, or subject; whether you need supplemental materials, activities, lesson plans, or homeschooling support, this list has something for you.
Check it out at:
The Treasure Trove
Educator Resource of the Month
Kids Yoga Stories
This is a fantastic site that champions the cause that all kids (younger and older) need to move, control and calm their bodies through yoga. It doesn’t hurt teachers either! We are all so stressed that the serenity that yoga can bring is exactly what we need!
The Benefits of Yoga:
This website extols the benefits of yoga.
Resources are also included--information and posters; how to’s on getting started and maintaining a classroom yoga routine; steps to developing a yoga program are explicitly provided, and a good walk through is presented.
What Does It Look Like to Integrate Yoga into Your Classroom?
It may be easier than you think! Kids Yoga Stories advises:
"Follow your own interests and passion, and the children will feed off of your enthusiasm. Remember yoga is a lifestyle, not something to perfect overnight. Your classroom yoga experience will be personal to your classroom depending on what you are interested in."