Educator

Prevent Bullying in School #StandWithKeaton

So, I’m sipping my coffee watching GMA, when a story comes on called “Celebrities ‘Stand with Keaton’ to Support Bullied Boy with words of Encouragement.”  It is about a young boy’s emotional viral video with him telling his mom about being bullied at school.  His mother had to pick him up early due to him being bullied.  His emotional outpouring on camera just made me feel so heartbroken, but not helpless.  He said kids pour milk on him and put ham down his clothes.  They call him names and make fun of his nose.  This is so disappointing. I know as teachers, we are in the forefront of preventing children from bullying.  We can make a difference and protect these children while teaching others about kindness.  Keaton is amazing!  The end of the video, where he tells people to “stay strong” and thinks it will get better is absolutely inspiring! I stand with Keaton, and I hope you will too. Yesterday, I posted about bully principals.  Today we are talking about strategies you can use to prevent bully behavior in school.

  1. Practice What You Preach Some of the same bully principals I wrote about yesterday, preach about how teachers should have a zero tolerance for bullying. Stopping bullying begins at the top! Principals should have a zero tolerance and lead by example.  Some teachers are guilty of this also.  I know of children who were bullied by a teacher.  The teacher humiliated them in front of their peers, held their work up and called it “ugly” to the rest of the class. They even made fun of a student who stuttered while encouraging others to join in on the bullying. The students,  along with a group of other children who felt bad for the students being bullied by the teacher, did the right thing by telling a teacher who told an administrator.  That administrator did nothing to protect the children.  The School Board was informed.  They did NOTHING to prevent this situation from happening again.  So, don’t just define your beliefs.  Live them!
  2. Increase Adult Supervision  Most of the time bullying happens when kids are alone and without supervision.  If bullying is happening at lunch, as a teacher, make a point to walk around a couple times or actually eat lunch with some of the students.  If you are aware of issues in the hallways, ask teachers to volunteer to monitor the hallways.  Most teachers, when aware of a bully issue, are happy to assist. If it is on a bus, talk to the bus driver.
  3. Have School Wide Bully Prevention Workshops A lot of schools just put up an Anti-Bullying poster and never really talk about it with the students.  Teachers, you should role-play bullying scenes with students.  Give them strategies like when they SEE something, SAY something.  Make sure as a teacher, you follow through with telling the proper people about any bully situations you discover.  We want every child to feel safe at school.  Even if you have a poor administration or district, you can talk to your staff and have them supervise areas.
  4. Teach KINDNESS  Teach acts of kindness as part of your social studies curriculum.  Reward students for kindness with hugs, stickers, a shout out on the announcements, etc.
  5. Work with parents who have children who are being bullied.  Some teachers don’t want to get involved because sometimes it is a fine line between bullying and innocent teasing.  The bottom line is if a child is feeling like they are not safe in school, there is a problem.  Talk to the parents to come up with how students can know the difference. Tell the student you are there to keep them safe.  Work with the students who are bullying or “teasing” to know the difference.  Some kids don’t even know they are bullying until you bring it to their attention.  This is why it is important to role-play.
  6. Talk About It Have regular conversations with a purpose.  The goal can be each week to take 5 min. to discuss with your class about if they feel safe at school or on the bus.  These discussions can lead to your ability to gain knowledge about bully situations before they get out of hand.
  7. Share Keaton’s story with your students.  Show support by sharing his story with the hashtag #StandWithKeaton!

I hope some of these tips will help you help your students.  Our number one priority is to provide a safe learning environment for our children. Watch the video here.

Celebrities stand in support of bullied boy after heartbreaking video

When Your Principal is a Bully…

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about power greedy principals.  The complaints range from humiliating teachers in front of peers to threatening a grade level change because a teacher has refused to participate in a particular professional activity outside of contract hours.  Part of the problem may be because the districts are putting too much demand on principals, but I don’t accept that as an excuse for ignoring ethics. Neither should you!  Teachers have a high pressure profession and when their principal is unsupportive, it adds to the stress of the job.  I know many teachers who have sought professional help to deal with the stress of their principal/teacher relationship.  Many are on anti-depressants to help them deal with the stress this relationship places on them.  Medication dependency is not what we want for the people guiding our students. There are many decent and professional minded principals.  I’ve worked for administrators who were fair and have inspired me to be a better teacher, made it easy to wake up each work day, and who embodied workplace integrity.  So, what can you do if you aren’t that lucky?

Business, Businessman, Male, Work, Success, Job, ManHere are some strategies for dealing with a BULLY principal:

 

 

  1. Collect data just like you do for your students.  If a principal tells you that you have to work the valentine’s dance or they will make you do cafeteria duty all year, write it down.  If they are telling your peers that they should take you shopping because they don’t like the way you dress, write it down.  Make sure you put the date and time on the data.  If you get an email saying you have to stay late (past your contract time) to attend a meeting, save and print that email.  Keep copies of everything in a collected file.
  2. Join your union, if you haven’t already.  They can answer all of your questions about your contract.  I’ve never been one for following the contract precisely when I choose to use after hours time for work. I work long hours and take work home with me regularly.  What teacher doesn’t?  But there is a big difference between you choosing to stay late and a dictatorial principal telling you that you have to do it.
  3. Talk to your principal.  Give them a chance.  Ask for a meeting, tell them what you disagree with and give them the opportunity to correct it.  Maybe they are under their own pressure from above and are not aware of the effects of their actions.
  4. EMAIL is your best friend when facing major administrator/teacher issues.  This will preserve everything in writing, preventing denial as a defense.
  5. If you have major problems, for example your principal has placed multiple behavior problems in your class with the intent of making your work more difficult, then you have to get direction from your union, school board, or superintendent.  You are a professional.  You know when unfair practices are taking place.  It is unfair to you and stakeholders that a principal would encourage a classroom environment that is disruptive. I’m aware of many teachers getting physically harmed or threatened on a daily basis with no support from administration.  This is unacceptable!
  6. Take your personal time when you know you need it.  Yes, for teachers it is not easy to take time off because of the planning necessary for a substitute. Invest time and materials in a “Sub Tub” at the beginning of the year.  There are plenty of premade sub plans on-line to help you with this if you can’t make it yourself.  If you find that you are on edge because of your oppressive administration, take a mini vacation to collect you thoughts.
  7. Your health is number 1!  If you are so stressed out over a bully principal that it is damaging your health, seek a new position or find a different profession. It is not worth losing your health when there is another position somewhere with a happy well-adjusted administrator who would love to have you on their team.

 

CHECKLIST for 12 Day Giveaway

Hi everyone!  This is an exciting time of year.  To say thank you for all the hard work you do, I’ve teamed up with the BEST Teacher Pay Teacher Authors to bring you a MEGA Giveaway! Checkout and LIKE my Facebook Page for details.  You can check this blog daily too for information on daily special REASONS to visit each day!  Here is the directions for the $20 CASH part of the Giveaway.  One person will get $20 CASH! (see below the image also to enter the raffle for $500 and MORE prizes for TEACHERS)

  • Download and print the checklist
  • Follow the directions
  • Take a photo of this checklist after it’s completed
  • Upload it to my Facebook Page or one of the participating store’s pages with the Hashtag #TisTheREASON
  • Download the PDF HERE: 12 Days Giveaway PDF Checklist 12 Days Giveaway CHECKLIST Updated
  • Winners will be announced on December 17th.  The only requirement is for you to be a teacher to win. Good LUCK!

Enter the $500 #TisTheReason Rafflecopter Giveaway

Thanksgiving Activities Including Tortilla Tepees

Where has all the time gone this school year?  It is already time for the turkey which also means Christmas is here now.  I must admit I LOVE this time of year, but it is so busy.  This blog is all about saving you time and money as a teacher.  So, here are a few ideas for Thanksgiving Crafts.  Follow this post to the end to see the huge giveaway ending November 15th at 12:00 EST so you can get some holiday CASH.

One of my favorite crafts to do each year no matter what grade I teach is Tortilla Tepees! They are super easy to make and the kids love decorating them!

Materials: 1/2 of a round Tortilla for each student, pretzel sticks, markers, toothpicks

Directions: 1. Cut the tortilla in half. 2. Fold it into a cone shape. 3. Cut the pointed end off. 4. Unfold the tortilla. 5. Let the kids use markers to draw a picture on the tortilla. (I like to go review Native American symbols prior to this activity, so they can use some on the tepee.) 6.   Place a small amount of blue on the edge of the fold using a toothpick to hold it together. 7. Use 3 or 4 pretzel sticks with glue in the top of the tepee and lay sideways, so it will dry overnight.

Placemats are always nice to send home as a keepsake.  Here is a FREE download to make prep easy.  Just have kids cut, color and glue!

Thanksgiving Placemat

MORE Thanksgiving Resources:

Native American Headbands, Disguised Turkey Home Project, A Plump and Perky Turkey, The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey, Turkey Trouble Writing, November Writing PromptsTurkey Opinion Writing, Thanksgiving Play

As promised, I said if you stick around to the end of this I would tell you how you can win some holiday MONEY!  Here is a raffle that you can join easily.  I joined up with lots of other authors to bring some lucky teachers some holiday joy! PRIZES include $200 in gift cards to Amazon, TpT, and a Rose Gold Heart Locket.  Good Luck!

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Writing Prompts for the YEAR

Why is writing important?  It is important because we can communicate easier in creative ways with others.  Writing is necessary for life.  This skill helps express feelings and thoughts.  Writing builds a connection with reading skills.  It is different from oral communication.  Writing helps organize thoughts.   Studies show that teachers should spend more time teaching writing both explicit and naturally.  This is where it is helpful for a teacher to provide a daily writing journal.  If students finish work early, give them the option to write in a journal.  It is unclear through research just how much time is needed to teach writing because every student learns differently.  Also, many teachers integrate writing in other subject areas.    Share different types of writing with your students.  Let them have opportunities for a real audience and a chance to hear feedback not just with the teacher.  I used monthly journals.  Every Friday I allowed a few students to be the featured author, and share their writing with the class.  Each author could choose 3 people to give feedback or a positive comment.  I had to model this the first couple weeks, but students are quick to pick it up.  No matter what, make sure you teach writing in elementary everyday.  It will build a great foundation for your students.

YEARLONG Writing Prompts Monthly Journals BUNDLE

YEARLONG Writing Prompts Monthly Journals BUNDLE

Surviving the School Year

My job is to help make planning a SNAP!

I know a lot of you have been busy with hurricane clean up, fires, flooding, and more.  It has been a crazy start to the school year for a lot of you.  I personally just finished cleaning up from Irma. Now is the time to show students how we bounce back quickly from disasters and/or help others in need who were less fortunate.  To help you with your year, I have a few resources I made free for a limited time, and a SURVIVAL KIT for KINDERGARTEN teachers for  a super low price to help your year run smooth. BE SURE to scroll down to get the FREEBIES.

If you want to know when products are 1/2 off, please follow my store by clicking the green follow button found HERE. 

Free Happy Birthday Hat

What kid doesn’t want to feel special on their birthday?  Treat them with this birthday hat. (Free for 48 Hours)

One last thing…

This is good for any teacher who is having trouble with tattling in their classroom.  The best part is that I made it FREE for 48 hours.  Hurry and get yours, so your year with be smooth with teaching students the difference between tattling and telling! #lifesaver

NEW RESOURCES to check out:
Author’s Purpose FLIP BOOK
OCTOBER Writing Prompts (JOURNAL)
Constitution Day Flip Book/Activity
3 Week Lesson Plans – ENERGY K-1

3 Week Lesson Plans – What is a Scientist, The Scientific Method, Science TOOLS K-1
Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions Assessment – YEARLONG K-3

 

Happy to help.

If you need help, have a request, or find any errors in products you have purchased, I am here for you!  Unlike big textbook publishers, I can tailor products to meet your needs in most cases. Contact me at cindy@teachersbrain.com

 

Hurricane Kindness (with a side of coffee)

So after driving 10 hours to evacuate from the hurricane, we wanted or NEEDED a Starbucks coffee . We were in Perry, GA, I think. We went out of our way to find the only one for miles. I walk into a beautiful store. My mouth anticipating Pumpkin Spice. Our noses smelling the aromas of fresh brews. Only to be greeted by a smiling employee who explained nicely that I had entered a forbidden zone. 😵They were hosting a private event. My face quickly showed my heartache. The area manager came over to see what the problem was. I explained my disappointment. Tom took time to find out why we were traveling. He told me that the store was new, and hasn’t even opened to the public yet. He directed other managers and employees to take care of my whole family for free. They all wished us safe travels. The coffee helped get us to the next destination. Thank you Tom! Thank you Starbucks for your hospitality and generosity! #starbucks #TomRocks #AwesomeCompany #kindness

LABOR DAY GIVEAWAY & Sale

TEACHERS!!!!  Labor Day is a day we want to THANK YOU with a *****GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY*****  We have teamed up with other talented teacher authors to give away 2 AMAZING prizes to 2 LUCKY teachers!  The prizes are $100.00 to Teachers Pay Teachers, and $100 to Amazon!!!

Also, many of the stores you can follow are holding big sales this week, so visit their stores. See Below to sign up:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

******The more stores you follow in the Rafflecopter, the better your chances are of winning!*********

This giveaway ends Sat. September 9th at 12:00 PM EST and our TWO lucky winners will be announced on Sunday, the 10th and contacted.

 

Several of these author’s stores will be holding sales on Labor Day as well! Check them out. My store, Teacher’s Brain, will be 20% off for ONE DAY ONLY, Labor Day! Yes, even BUNDLES will be on sale!

Celebrating The Great American Solar Eclipse

I know today is such an exciting day with children! They get to witness The Great American Solar Eclipse! My daughter has texted me three times trying to get me to pick her up early because “No one else is in school Mom!” Don’t worry! If you didn’t get a chance to experience the real thing with your NASA approved glasses, you can still make the eclipse a great “hook” for a lesson! Students can learn about he motion of the earth, and moon as they travel around the sun. Here is a simple and effective way for free to teach them the rotation. Get a ball to represent the moon, a globe, and a flashlight to represent the sun. Turn off the lights. Have the student who is the “SUN” with the flashlight, shine it on the globe. Next, have the ball, “moon” rotate around the sun slowly, blocking the sun from the earth. Ask questions here to generate thinking. “What do you think the moon looks like? Where is the shadow?”  Then, for older kids, have the earth rotate around the sun with the moon still rotating around the earth. They will get a good understanding of the rotation from this activity. You can do this with printable hats as well.

You can spend the whole week learning about shadows, rotation, gravity and more! Use this week unit on the solar eclipse to captivate your students all week. It’s a great opportunity to really hook your students into developing a love for science with this Great American Solar Eclipse, so use it.  After all, it’s been 99 years since the last one! Get the students involved in celebrating their PLACE in SPACE!

Solar Eclipse 2017 Activities WEEK LESSON PLAN with Crafts and Home Connection

Back to School with Teacher’s Brain

Welcome back to school teachers!  I hope that this year, I can help you with all your fun, engaging planning!  So to start off the new year, I want to share with you 5 resources that I could not live without when teaching Kindergarten!

  1. Jitter Glitter Slime (to start the year off right with inquiry lessons)
  2. Comprehension for the YEAR
  3. TheKissing Hand
  4. Kindergarten Survival KIT 
  5. Kindergarten YEARLONG Morning Work

Find me on Facebook under Teacher’s Brain to find all my fun Facebook Live Teaching Tips.  A new raffle will be coming up soon for you to win some Back to School CASH! Check it out in the next couple days. 🙂

Cindy