5 Essential Oils for Teachers

Monday, December 17, 2018

Essential oils are all the rage these days, and teachers - more than ever before - are using them in their classrooms and in their everyday lives. What's the deal?! Since not every classroom and school has the ability to diffuse oils in their classroom environments, I compiled a list of the 5 essential oils and oil blends that are perfect for every teacher. The oils I'll be referring to are all from Young Living Essential Oils.

A Wellness Roller
I think the one commonality among teachers is...germs. Yep. They're everywhere. A roller (you can buy some great rollers off Amazon here) with essential oils that promote a healthy immune system is a tried and true way to boost your health and wellness to fight off the inevitable kid germs! 
This is the blend I like to use;
I roll this on the bottoms of my feet and on my spine every night before bed. Sickness, be gone!

5 Gifts Under $10 for Paraprofessionals

Thursday, December 13, 2018
Paraprofessionals are the MVPs of our programming, but sometimes giving them gifts can break the bank during the holiday season! Here are 5 suggestions for gifts that are under $10 so you can still show them how much they're appreciated. 

Celavi Essence Facial Face Mask Paper Sheet Korea Skin Care Moisturizing 9 Pack (Mix of 9)

What screams "self care" more than a face mask?! These face masks have great ratings on Amazon, and the set comes with 9 face masks for only $10.99! You can split them up into gift baskets for your favorite paras!

3 Time Management Hacks for Special Educators THAT WORK

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Our time is so precious and there's simply never enough of it! So, how do we get a hold of it?

1.) Determine where your time is being spent.
Have you ever read the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? While I am personally not one to consistently dive into the "self-help" genre, this book is essential for anyone and everyone. Stephen Covey lays out some really important habits that those who are truly effective embody. One of my greatest takeaways was his Time Management Grid. 
What in your day fits into each of the 4 quadrants? Where are you spending the bulk of your time? I created a grid for special educators to show the generic overall events and expectations in our field, and where they might fit into the time management grid. 

All About the Emotional Disability Category

Monday, November 19, 2018

Disability categories ebb and flow and change regularly. At one time, we called students as Emotionally Disturbed, or having a Behavior Disorder, and nowadays we refer to this label as Emotional Disability or having an Emotional Behavior Disorder. Some people may refer to this as a student having ED or an EBD. Does it really matter what words we use? Yes, it does. Language matters. There is always a reason why language changes when referring to populations of people, and there is a specific reason why this language changed. There is no longer a defined difference in having an emotional disability or a behavior disorder, it is now considered one in the same. 

How does a student get identified as having an emotional disability?
According to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), a child must exhibit at least one of the following to a marked degree and it must adversely affect their educational performance:
  • struggles with learning and it cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors
  • struggles to build and/or maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers
  • given normal or typical circumstances, the child exhibits unmatched behavior or feelings
  • a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
  • a tendency to develop physical symptoms and/or fears associated with personal or school problems

5 Ways to Teach Size of the Problem

Friday, November 9, 2018

Making mountains out of molehills can be some of our biggest battles as teachers in behavior focused special education settings. Situations as small as a student getting the wrong pencil can start an enormous battle when we are working alongside children with limited coping and problem solving skills. Teaching students to determine and accept the size of the situations they face is a crucial step in the process of problem solving on a daily (hourly!) basis. Here are 5 steps (and a few tried-and-true support products!) to help you figure out how to best tackle this essential skill!

5.) Focused Practice
Students need ample time to practice this skill in non-crisis situations. As we know, teaching skills during the apex of crisis is essentially a lost cause, and these skills should be focused on when students are at their baseline. I love scenario based practice using frequently experienced situations as a guide. Having your students problem solve through common situations when they're ready to learn is an important way to build their skills so they can see clearer when they face those uncomfortable situations in the future. 

I created a set of 100 scenarios that I used every day during our morning meeting time. I projected these and together, as a group, we talked them out. This allowed students to role-play, problem solve, and think through situations that they faced all of the time! I wrote these scenarios with my students in our therapeutic behavior setting in mind. You can grab them here!
Size of the Problem - 100 Digital Scenarios

5 Suggestions for Students that Cheat

Monday, October 29, 2018

As a teacher, discovering that students have or are cheating on assignments and tests is so frustrating. How will we ever know what they actually can do if they're cheating?! Here's 5 suggestions to tackle this important and common issue in our classrooms. 

5.) Make assignments meaningful
Research, and quite honestly common sense, tells us that we are more invested in our work when it is meaningful to us and we are invested in it. Is that the case with your students? Take some time and look over the homework, assignments, and assessments you are giving to your students: are they all multiple choice, repetitive sheets that require no emotional investment? If a child who loves art is asked to draw their response to a book chapter, don't you think they're more likely to do the assignment themselves, do it well, and be proud to show it off tomorrow?

10 Behavior Books for Teachers

Friday, October 12, 2018

There are SO many professional development focused books out there that it can be so difficult to know which ones are worth it to find at the library or buy on Amazon. Never fear! Here are the 10 behavior focused books that I would recommend to ANY teacher looking to better understand effective strategies to support student behavior. 

10.) More Creative Coping Skills for Children by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
This book has stories, craft ideas, meditations, games, and more all focused on developing healthy coping skills. It's categorized into each area (ex: anxiety, anger, depression) so it's incredibly user friendly and very easy to apply!

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