Memorial Day is May 25th. It’s a solemn day when we remember the men and women of the military who have given their lives in service of our country—our freedoms. As educators, it's also a reminder that we have students with active duty parents in our classrooms, as well as students who have lost their military parents.
According to the School Superintendent Association,
there are 1.2 million children of active duty members worldwide
Military kids can face many unique challenges.
-Increased stress over family separation
-Increased anxiety and worry about a parent's safety
-Anger over being separated from a parent
-Behavioral challenges as they struggle to adapt to family separation and emotional upset
-Increased sadness or depression over deployed parent
-Coping with the loss of a military parent
-Adapting when a military parent is transitioning home, is disabled and/or dealing with PTSD
Military families move 3x more than other families adding more potential challenges.
-Adapting to new homes
-Disruptions in routines
-Seeing new medical professionals
-Adapting to new schools and teachers
-Making new friends
-Mourning the loss of old friends
-Falling behind in academics or underachieving
What can schools and educators do?
Schools should take the lead with military students and their families.
-Identify and reach out to military families
-Show support for the military
-Conduct professional development on helping military students and families
-Understand the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children that
address the challenges of transferring students, including: enrollment, placement,
attendance, eligibility, and graduation
-Have a system in place for swiftly and smoothly providing and continuing behavioral,
academic, and disability supports
-Encourage participation in sports, clubs and other extracurriculars and wave sign-up
-Be able to connect military students and families with community resources
For more information on military students and families,
check out the following links:
Recharge & De-stress with Our Educators' Self-Care Series!
New for June...
Express: I'm So Vulnerable!
How to Be Resilient in a Chaotic World
(3 credit hour Iowa license renewal)
Part of the Educators' Self-Care Series
As adults, we deal with the aging process in ourselves and our parents. We deal with each developmental level our children go through and hold on for the long ride through their adolescence. It’s tough enough when things go right, when we are healthy, our children are healthy and our parents are healthy. It is a real balancing act when things go wrong and we are caught in the cross fire of dual or even triple tragedies.
How do resilient people, adults and children, make it through? Why do some people get through trauma relatively unscathed and others end up with a life time of debilitating mental and physical problems? We will explore these questions and more in this class.
I’m So Vulnerable: How to Become Resilient in a Chaotic World is a class designed to help participants define what it means to be vulnerable and how to achieve resiliency. The class will explore:
Basic brain functioning and how neurons and synapses work to form our habits, as well as the neuroscience behind our thoughts.
The key elements for building a healthy self-image and creating a resilient and strong self.
Managing anger, calming our minds and bodies, and using the red zone vs green zone strategy to understand how to control defensiveness.
How to fine tune and enhance our emotions for the positive with special attention given to how to deal with our negative thoughts and our inner critic.
How to build on the characteristics of compassion, mindfulness, grit, gratitude, confidence, motivation, intimacy, courage, aspiration and generosity within ourselves.
Express: I'm So Stressed!
Mindfulness & Meditation for Teachers & Students
(3 credit hour Iowa license renewal)
Part of 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 explores the many facets of mindfulness and how to integrate it into our daily lives. It provides information for teachers, students and parents and gives examples and practices. Educators will understand the importance of mindfulness for themselves and for their students. The question is not “do we have time for mindfulness?” The question is “can we afford not to make the time for mindfulness?”
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.
Express: I'm So Tired! An Educator's Guide to Self-Care
(3 credit hour Iowa license renewal course)
Part of the Educators' Self-Care Series
It takes its toll on our quality of life and our performance. We need to take time for ourselves and to learn how to be healthy emotionally and physically; we need an action-plan.
I’m So Tired! An Educator’s Guide to Self-Care, provides realistic ways to become healthier and take care of ourselves. This class explains the issues, identifies the problems and helps to remediate and treat those issues that keep educators sick and stressed out.
Start the new year out right and make a plan for YOU! Class starts February 19th.
June Featured Class of the Month
How to Survive & Thrive in the Classroom
(3 credit hour IA license renewal or graduate credit)
Do you feel like the harder you work the further behind you get? Then it's time to start working smarter instead of harder. How to Survive & Thrive in the Classroom is a 3 credit hour course that builds on the 7 principles employed by master teachers presented by Robyn R. Jackson in her book Never Work Harder than Your Students, 2nd ed.
Learn How to Streamline Your Practice By:
1. Starting where your students are by assessing cultural, intellectual and classroom currency
2. Assessing where students are going academically and using curriculum and
learning goals to get them there
3. Evaluating and setting expectations for your students AND YOURSELF
4. Creating a student support cycle to help them meet academic goals
5. Identifying and eliminating practices that increase workload and negatively impact the quality
6. Assessing quality vs. quantity and toxic practices & load distribution
You will also have the opportunity to find out where you are on the Master Teacher Trajectory and set goals for your your further professional development.
Make the most of your time
and become a more efficient and effective teacher.
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!
Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our
By Michele Borba
Social media has become a big part of our lives. It connects us with more people faster. As with most everything, there are up sides and down sides.
For many youth, likes, shares, retweets and followers have become a new set of criteria for popularity. They've created a virtual world where online friends are equated with friends in real life (irl) and likes, shares and comments replace real life interactions, conversations, connections and compassion...and the selfies...how many do they need to take?!!
In UnSelfie, author Michele Borba looks at the latest research on how social media is negatively impacting empathy in kids today.
"...Teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were just a generation ago, and narcissism has increased 58 percent..."
Lack of empathy and narcissism are on the rise and that's not a good thing. Borba connects the dots and explains how compassion and empathy are key components to happiness and success.
Learn how to help youth balance the all-about-me world created by social media and become compassionate, empathetic, successful, and happy in real world.
is a perfect choice for summer reading with important information for our developing students.
Did You Know?
Iowa's first male & female teachers were Mr. Berryman Jennings
Mrs. Rebecca Palmer?
In 1830, an Illinois doctor and lawyer named Isaac Galland crossed the Mississippi and established a settlement named National (also referred to as Nashville or Ahwipetuc.) Today, there’s a town called Galland where National sat. It lies along the Mississippi in Lee County, Iowa north of Keokuk.
Galland and his neighbors built a small cabin from roughhewn wood and mud. It was in this rugged, pioneer shelter that school was first held in what is now the state of Iowa.
The first teacher was Mr. Berryman Jennings. In 1830, he was 28 years old. He taught for 3 months and was paid with home goods such as furniture, firewood, and food. He later became a doctor, but made his living as a merchant until he joined a migration train to Oregon. From there he went to California to strike it rich mining for gold, but came up empty. He returned to Oregon where he made the first steam boat. He made a killing in the shipping business, but eventually lost everything in another venture. He led quite a life of adventure.
A few years later, Iowa got it's first documented female teacher. Mrs. Rebecca Palmer taught from 1834-1835 in today's Fort Madison, Iowa. Her husband was an influential merchant. Mrs. Palmer's service predates Mrs. Susan Russel, another early female teacher, who began teaching in 1838. The Palmers eventually had a family and moved to Muscatine, Iowa.
Pioneer teachers played an important role in the future of Iowa. They were a special breed of pioneers who found ways to teach without sufficient resources and in poor conditions. They were creative and dedicated and found ways to overcome multiple hardships, often for food, room and board with little monetary compensation.
Learn more about the pioneering days of Iowa education at:
Iowa PBS Pathways
The Treasure Trove
Educator Resource of the Month
Resources for Parents, Teachers &
For years Dove has been trying to change the media image of what girls and women "should" look like.
We know that women come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but it's hard to compete with the image of the "perfect" woman falsely pushed on us day after day. Among us women, it's a safe bet we've had (or have) doubts about out looks.
Worse yet, those thoughts can translate into a distorted view of self-worth and low self-esteem.
Dove's Self-Esteem Project provides an outstanding selection of resources for parents, teachers, mentors, youth leaders. Topics include:
Family, Friend & Relationships
Respecting & Looking after Yourself
Teasing, Bullying & Cyberbullying
How Celebrities influence Body Image
How to Talk about Appearance
Need hard resources? There are plenty of those too, including:
Evidence-Base Body Confidence Programs
Give girls the knowledge, tools & support they need to develop healthy body images and positive self-esteem.
click here and check out the Dove Self-Esteem Project!