Work Life Balance for Teachers

Work/Life Balance as an Educator

“You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note.”

Doug Floyd

Harmony is beautiful because it includes many notes

Teachers, your day to day life is demanding!  It’s time to take a look at how you can juggle all the balls of home life and school life without having them crash down on you.

But first, let’s establish the “why” – why is having this work/life balance so important?

There are many things that clamor for your attention from the time you get up in the morning to the time you lie down at night. How can you get it all done? This is where the balance is essential. You want to meet the needs of those around you, but need a plan to make it happen so that you down feel the burden.

A sense of harmony is just around the corner, but where do you start?

CREATE A SCHEDULE

Make a basic schedule to keep you on track. Of course, each day is different, but a basic plan gives the guideline. Decide how much time the day-to-day tasks require. Be sure and set a regular bedtime.  Setting a bedtime for your own children helps them perform better at school. Likewise, setting a bedtime for yourself will make you more effective throughout your day. Late night grading papers without proper sleep will make you sluggish and unable to effectively meet all the demands coming your way the next day.

PRIORITIZE AND SET BOUNDARIES

Make a basic list outline of what is most important to you. For instance, family, health, classroom, outside meetings, etc. You give so much to your classroom children. Make sure they aren’t getting more of you than your own spouse or family at home. It’s okay to say no to some things; and if you have set the boundaries, you will keep the big picture at the forefront.

BACK AWAY WHEN NEEDED

You can’t do it all all the time. When you are feeling bogged down, back away from the chaos and look at the objective. You’ll find that there are things you can let go of without compromising the end goal.

Each of your students need you at your best. You wouldn’t think of investing $100,000 or more on building a house without having a plan. But your worth is far greater. Make a plan. This will take some effort in the beginning, but you’ll have a head start at getting to a place of experiencing harmony.

Hope Rising SEL brings hope to classrooms and students through the world’s first hope-certified social emotional learning curriculum, My Best Me.
Scholarship application tips

Where do I Start with College Scholarship Applications?

Where do I Start with College Scholarship Applications?

There are many things to consider when seeking a scholarship to aid in college expenses.  If the task seems too great, here are answers to a few questions to get you started.

  1. When do I start? The best time to apply for scholarships is between your student’s junior and senior year. Begin your search and applications that summer if you can. Any earlier and you may not have enough GPA history.  If you’ve already passed this window, don’t give up!  There are many scholarships with other deadlines that might still apply to you.
  2. Where should I apply? Don’t limit your scholarship applications to only private organizations. The federal government, individual schools, and many states offer scholarships as well.  If your student has school preference(s), call that college’s financial aid department to find out about available scholarships.  They can assist you in grants or other financial aid applications for that school.
  3. How many scholarships should I apply for? Apply for as many as you can within the deadline requirements. Some awards may not have the same high dollar appeal as others; however, those smaller scholarship amounts add up and are often less competitive or go unnoticed. For example, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance fund (FEEA) offers more than 450 scholarships each year ranging from $250 to $7,500.
  4. Where can I find scholarships to apply for? Here are a few scholarship search engines to use to find additional scholarship opportunities: com, Niche.com, and Scholarships.com.
  5. What about the application? Don’t forget to carefully read over your application paying attention to instructions, questions and the deadline before filling it out. After completing it, proof the application checking for errors. Make sure you have understood and answered the questions as written. If an essay was required, proof that carefully, too! Asking a school counselor or another set of eyes to read it over is often a good idea. Don’t get your application thrown out on a technicality or careless typos and grammar mistakes. Also, send it in to be received well within the deadline.

Want to know some of the most important advice? Simply get the process started! Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Start looking now for scholarship opportunities for you. Good luck with chipping away at the bursar bill!

Tips to transition back to school

Best Practices for Transitioning Back to School

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Best Practices for Transitioning Back to School

You have had a fun-filled summer break, and now it’s time for your children to go back to school.  All that fun probably meant:

  • Staying up later in the evenings
  • Extra ice cream, popsicles, and snacks
  • Sleeping in most mornings to face a care-free unstructured day

There’s no guilt for a relaxed and memory making summer, but please extend grace when your students are having trouble transitioning back to a more regimented schedule.

Here are some tips for the transitions relating to sleep, nutrition and routines.

Sleep is of utmost importance for children to perform well and thrive in school. Studies have shown that children who get at least nine hours of sleep per night have a higher GPA than their fellow students who don’t get enough. Sleep rejuvenates the brain which is essential in memory, concentration, decision making, and social behavior. To transition, try gradually changing bedtimes 30 minutes earlier per day until adequate sleep time is achieved. Abruptly changing bedtime will most likely result in frustration for both you and your child.

Nutrition is the fuel your student uses to succeed at school. Proper diet gives many of the same benefits as adequate sleep. In addition, it produces a healthier body weight resulting in a sense of well-being, lack of discipline problems, and reduces the risk of illness and disease. Give your student a great start with a healthy breakfast. It’s important to include foods high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. There are many quick foods to aid you in getting out the door on time in addition to giving your children a good start. Be creative when packing lunches sneaking in healthy, lower sugar, lower fat foods. Here is a link to show the benefits of “Eating the Rainbow of Healthy Foods.” This is a great resource showing white, yellow, red, purple, and green foods and specific health benefits for each category.

Routines are the plans in motion that are predictable and familiar. They provide the boundaries and goals for successful school days. These plans help eliminate arguments when facing the hustle and bustle of a busy school morning.  A chart can be helpful for younger children as a visual for what they can expect at bedtime and morning time. Older children might find that a calendar or planner is more relatable for the plan. Give your kids the security of knowing what to expect. To eliminate clothing decisions in the morning, plan outfits and lay them out before bedtime.

little girl with headphones learning a school lesson using a multimedia format

Multimedia Learning is Here to Stay

Multimedia Learning is Here to Stay

Multimedia learning provides so much more than plain text, both in content and in benefits for students! It’s one the main reasons we made sure our curriculum incorporated multimedia elements for every grade and lesson. Here are four ways multimedia learning helps students succeed in their learning journeys.

Visual Creatures

Large sections of the brain are dedicated to perceiving and understanding visual stimuli. Multimedia learning helps engage the mind by using pictures, interactive activities, videos, and animations alongside the text material. Text is strengthened with these tools used together, further engaging the students growing minds by using different areas of the brain to reinforce learning complex concepts.

Engaging Learning Tools

Multimedia is ever-present in our daily lives. Computers, smartphones, and other screens are integrated into everything from entertainment to advertising to professional environments. At younger ages, children are accustomed to media being an entertainment source. Multimedia learning can help children adapt to perceiving media as a learning tool as well. Videos can be gleaned for information, text can be dynamically read, and interactive activities are puzzles to be solved. By introducing multimedia learning, not only can the student’s problem solving be improved, but they can also have a more healthy base relationship with technology by being introduced to it as a resource for learning.

Fosters Curiosity

By properly using the media resources, students can look beyond their own experiences and witness new cultures, customs, subjects, and more. With the aid of teachers and parents, multimedia learning can help expand students’ world views, showing more about the world outside of their neighborhoods. After being shown the world of endless possibilities and education, students become naturally more curious. Once they learn successfully through multimedia and see the rest of what they can know, there is a natural excitement and curiosity when approaching the world around them.

Increased Accessibility

Students are individuals and therefore have various learning styles that they use to understand the world around them. For students who struggle with reading, either due to age or a learning disability, text-only mediums can be problematic as a sole source of information. Multimedia learning opens up new learning opportunities for students like this. With more visuals, audio, animations, videos, and interactive activities, they would have access to information in more ways to help them learn. Multimedia can also help children who struggle to read learn to read better! With engaging activities, targeted visuals, and helpful videos, they can focus on learning to read to increase that skill rather than becoming overwhelmed in information at the same time.   With multimedia learning, students can become more engaged in their learning, have a better relationship with technology, become more curious, and help get over learning hurdles. This dynamic content delivery had already made a huge, positive impact on how we help students and will continue to make waves in education for decades to come.