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Have you caught your breath yet during this back-to-school season? Or are you still treading water trying to keep up with the myriad of changes and issues affecting educators, parents and students? 

It’s been a challenging few years, and with state-led curriculum mandates keeping educators on their toes, we’re in for another school year of drinking from a firehose of information while providing students with quality support and education. 

First, breathe. Keeping focused is hard amidst the noise, we know.  As a good yogi would tell you, breathe deeply and focus on the here and now. What can you impact today? The answer no doubt for educators is reaching and supporting students in your class, school or district. 

Second, shift to bite-sized. When we set out to eat a meal, we don’t devour every morsel at once, do we? (If you do, consider slowing down your eating for your stomach’s sake.) When you create a to-do list, you add items one by one, so you can tick them off when they’re done. It’s a satisfying feeling. So why not only allow yourself, when feasible, to take in the “outside noise” in bite-sized chunks? 

We’ve curated for you some manageably bite-sized morsels of helpful information to inspire you and perhaps recenter your focus during the back-to-school season. 

Check your back-to-school vibe

While we certainly don’t want to ignore all negative emotions, we should put stock in focusing on the positive. Acknowledge the stress, yes (and do some deep breathing), but check yourself for what gets you motivated, inspired, excited. We liked DonorChoose’s recent tweet to help you determine your back-to-school “vibe”:

back-to-school-vibe

Instill good tech habits early on

According to a recent article by EducationWeek, you want to start early in instilling good tech habits in children. Faith Rogow, independent scholar and author, states, “Can you imagine trying to teach a high school to brush their teeth for the first time?” Similar to dental health, teaching kids about how to safely navigate technology when they’re young is key to inspiring life-long, healthy behaviors – in this context, healthy use of technology.  

As educators, we plant the seeds

Dr. Marcia Tate is an inspiring educational consultant and author, and we can’t help but be psyched when we read her tweets. This one in particular caught our eye, as it’s good to remember that the planting of knowledge and skills in our students is “an integral part of [the learning] process.” We may not always see the results of our planting efforts, but the planting is important in and of itself.

Dr. Marcia Tate on education as planting seeds

It’s not “mine” but “ours”

Education pedagogy has gone from student-centered to student-driven, and in order to achieve this, we must give students ownership over their own learning. This starts with how we frame our classrooms as communities, where we are all part of the learning. This is why we loved seeing Mrs. Morrow’s tweet on this very topic – of not just giving students ownership, but letting them know they are valued, important and deserving.

Engage parents as advocates for online safety

We may be biased but we love this recent article by our colleague, “Tips for Parents to Keep Kids Safe Online.” Tiffany Kinney, a lead state program manager for Learning.com, outlines the very first steps for parents to keep kids safe online. According to Tiffany, “our children deserve the opportunity and tools to develop the digital skills they need to stay safe, from understanding how to navigate the internet safely to knowing what to do when they encounter something potentially harmful.” Amen to that! 

Have bite-sized and helpful tips and information to share? Hit us up on Twitter at @learningdotcom!