So it's my first year teaching and I've been dealing with a lot of stress lately. I moved to a small town where I know no one and currently spend most of my time either at the school or at my house. Most of my unit plans have changed because my students are behind on some very basic information, and I constantly feel like I'm playing catch up. Any suggestions on how to de-stress and feel a little bit more in control with teaching? Thanks!
Join an exercise class, like Zumba or Insanity, that meets weekly.
Find a place of worship, if that’s your thing, and go to services and find out in they have small groups that meet during the week.
Find a civic group to join, like Rotary, Civitan, or Kiwanis. If you’re a woman, consider League of Women Voters or Daughters of the American Revolution.
Volunteer at a pet shelter. (KITTEN THERAPY! PUPPY WALKING!)
Check out the local library’s public programming for free entertainment.
I have just started my student teaching at an elementary school in the lower grades. Teachers were discussing a student who "thinks they're a boy." I asked what bathroom they use and if the school lets them use the one they feel most comfortable in. One teacher said, "they're a girl so that's the restroom that they use." I have been meaning to ask the school nurse about school policy because I'm curious but I have not had the chance yet. I was curious about advice working with students this age.
Hi there anon,
This is definitely going to be a complicated issue — but it will probably be more complicated for the adults involved than the kids. How are the kids reacting? How about the student’s parents?
Finding out about the school policy is an excellent start. Be prepared for push-back; trying to act as a student teacher may be difficult. Do you have an advising/mentor teacher? A supervisor through your program? Have you mentioned this to them yet?
There are a number of books out there both for kids at the early elementary grades and for adults that help introduce the idea of trans* issues and gender spectrum and non-conforming youth; it might be a little passive aggressive to just leave a few pieces of reading in the teachers’ lounge, though you could always feign having left it by accident by looking for it later.
But if the administration is on board and/or you feel comfortable suggesting some informal (or formal, though most schools set those schedules far ahead of time) PD, I would suggest exposing the adults in the school to some important resources for schools regarding working with LGBTQ* issues — including and especially gender — in a way that’s safe and respectful for the students. There are a number ofresources out there aimed at schools but also at the elementary level specifically, which may come as a surprise to many people. Gender Spectrum and PFLAG are some of my perpetual favorites. If you search “gender spectrum” and “education,” you can also find a number of articles that may outline specific things that you can do as a teacher to encourage acceptance and self-expression in your own classroom.
Please don’t hesitate to offer some more information, ask some more specific questions, or keep us updated. I’d love to be of more help.
Building a library in Bed-Stuy to close the gap between a child’s performance in school and her or his socioeconomic status
So this is a project started by the kind of friend you’re always catching up yet never feel far from. This individual has always had an unsinkable, adventurous, proactive spirit, and I’m not remotely surprised to see her doing such awesome stuff with it.
And here’s the thing —
This project, aside from the person running it, gets at my heart in a very personal way on a number of levels.
Giving kids a space to be.
Giving them a space to read, dream, create.
And it’s a school of diverse, low-income kids in NYC. I’m pretty sure that this is the same neighborhood my mother went to high school in. This city is my soft spot.
So, while my heart is in every educational fundraising project that crosses my screen, this one has some special connections for me.
And we need some help getting it funded, because thus far it’s slow-going.
So if you have change to spare, or can signal boost and pass it around, this is a project that could really use your support.
Imagine if you had to spend hundreds of dollars of your own money just to get your job done. That’s how much the average teacher had to spend on school supplies for their students in past years, experts said.
My friends can’t wrap their minds around the money I spend for my job.
Breaking news: Sky is blue. Cats meow. Pope Catholic.
Breaking News: Sun at center of the solar system.
Breaking News: Classrooms are often underfunded, water is wet.
Calling All Gender-Issues educators and Trans*-Activists, teachers and social workers and psychologists and community organizers alike (and of course, students too):
Abnormal Psych textbooks often address trans* issues and gender in a highly problematic light. That may not come as a surprise — this is the field that didn’t remove homosexuality from our diagnostic manual until the seventies.
But when people try to teach with accompanying texts and find that those texts’ coverage of gender and trans* psychology is at the best outdated and at the worst inflammatory, discriminatory, inaccurate, and/or prejudicial, it’s up to the educator, if they are teaching responsibly, to have conversations about this material and/or supply or direct their students to more accurate and appropriate coverage.
This is where we can come in.
I have a number of sites, worksheets, etc., that can be useful to educators and student activists on a surface level and, in some cases, for deeper understanding, exploration, and discussion — but when you have a community at hand, one person’s voice should never be the only voice.
So tell me, with answers, asks, or reblogs, and it will be compiled over the course of the next few weeks: what are your best, favorite, or most often-used resources for educating older students, young adults, and especially other professionals, about trans* and gender-spectrum related issues?
My students need a variety of printmaking materials such mixing trays for inking, linoleum to carve and print with, and tools to carve the linoleum. Throughout the year in art, I want students to experience as many different styles of art and art materials as possible. With limited budgets, this can difficult to afford some of these more…
Hello all! My school added a third full-time art teacher this year, but did not increase our budget. Money will be tight so I’m trying to get supplies funded through donor’s choose! I want my students to be able to experience printmaking, but the supplies we have are in very bad shape (10+ years old, broken…) I do a unit with 6th grade where I connect art with geometry/shapes/types of symmetry/angles of rotation, so you would be supporting arts education, STEAM (and STEM) education, interdisciplinary learning, and project based learning.
This project is already half off thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and until Friday the 29th, if you type in the code INSPIRE, your donation gets matched! I could have this funded with only a few small donations!
Please donate if you can, or if not, I’d appreciate some reblogs too!
Interdisciplinary learning is one of my favorite things in education, and this looks like a really incredible setup not only for that but to teach an artistic skill that many don’t get to experience! I’ll be putting my money where my mouth is this evening, and in the meantime, boosting!
Have you considered the movie “Shelter” for your G/S Alliance?
No, but I just looked it up on Amazon. The plot seems interesting, but according to Amazon, it’s R (and not available?) I have to be careful with R-rated movies in school. We typically do movie “nights” in my room after school. So far we’ve done “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “RENT.”
A friend and I are trying to think of LGBTQ+ movies that would be appropriate, and all the ones we keep coming up with follow that terrible ending formula of “one character realizes they’re straight and the other comes out of it with an experience that makes them a better human being and somehow more part of the LGBTQ+ community by merit of having pursued a doomed relationship or something.”
Then I said “well we don’t get happy endings,” and she said, “No, you get Maurice.”
And then through this conversation about tropes in queer-oriented movies and how frequently they end in one-sided or tragic romance or a queer person snapping and killing people, I remembered — I had the perfect recommendation…but it was R-rated. (The Celluloid Closet.)
HOWEVER. I highly recommend looking at that documentary for future reference — and to pick out pieces that would be appropriate for your kids, because it’s an incredibly eye-opening film about the history of coding and the treatment of queer characters in Hollywood and television, and it was a big hit with our student group in college.
And if the general public wants to be informed about history and also possibly depressed, but want to come away with an understanding and appreciation of where we’ve been and where we are to help think critically about where we’re headed, PBS has a top ten list of documentaries about LGBTQ+ issues that they released for Pride and, having seen several of these films, I’m inclined to suspect it’s a good list overall. There’s a good focus on intersectionality — it isn’t your average “here are a handful of films all about the same hot topic and focusing mainly on white cis gay men with money.”
So I ran into, by sheer coincidence, a young group of equally nerdy people that included a therapist from another organization who was in the same program I had been at my previous job.
And we spend a good half of the time making DSM jokes, swapping horror stories, talking about vehicle contents (mobile work), commiserating with some of the other folks about gender issues and nonbinary status, and deliberating phrasing.
It was BEAUTIFUL. We were pretty excitable about it.
Fantastic idea! But… why cut off the crust? Crust is yummy too.
I am like a gigantic child and didn’t like the crust on this bread. (It was really, really cheap bread; the crust was a little like flaky cellophane.) Plus, for the purposes of freezing, the crust can have some texture problems once you thaw it out.
But I didn’t waste the crusts, if that makes anything better! I saved them in a baggie to go a bit stale, and when I can get my mini blender into a dishwasher (I don’t have one of my own, and washing it by hand still didn’t get well enough into all the nooks and blades), I’ll be making them into breadcrumbs and freezing them, too!
Today's big question: How do you engage a four-month-old in an activity aligned with science objectives?
One of a number of possible answers: Texture.
One of the foundations of science is exploration, and very young children are naturally inquisitive and prone to exploring their environment. Engaging babies in play that involves new textures — board books like Pat The Bunny, for example — start encouraging them early on to interact with their environment and teach them that there are many different properties to physical objects. Giving them access (with supervision) to objects that have varied textures not only stimulates their curiosity, it also gives them more incentive to reach, grab, and feel. Building these impulses early on, though it might not be great for caretakers with long hair or jewelry that little hands can grab, lays a good foundation for natural exploration later on and helps babies continue to develop a number of physical and cognitive skills (reaching, grabbing, depth perception, gross and fine motor, intentional interaction with objects, body awareness, etc.).
I spent three hours today reading through developmental milestones, curriculum, and standards.
Somehow in all this, I ended up back in a teaching role. But an individual (or small group, if a child has siblings) teaching role for children and parents both, combined with social services. It’s a two-fer.
I strongly suspect that when it comes time for internships, I’m not going to want to leave this job.
You don’t have to achieve great things by the time you’re 25
You have intrinsic value above and beyond your perceived utility to other people and society at large.
You don’t have to have sex, or have sex in any way that you find uncomfortable or unpleasant, to keep anyone’s love or good opinion of you. They didn’t love you or think very well of you to start with if they demand it.
You don’t have to stay with someone who isn’t meeting your emotional or sexual needs because they need you, or you’ve been with them for awhile, or you need to be in a relationship. You need you. Your time is your own and it is finite.
It’s ok to work at a job you enjoy that doesn’t make you miserable even if it’s not a career and it won’t “lead to anything.”
Your life is not a narrative. It is not leading to anything, there is no overarching thesis, it does not have themes beyond the usual shared cultural experiences of your time and place. This is ok. It does not mean that your life is without purpose or meaning.
It’s ok not to like or get along with the vast majority of people you encounter, so long as you afford them the same respect, courtesy and dignity that they afford you.
Expensive is not always better.
Failure is temporary if you’re still alive.
People are both much better and much worse than you’d suspect, but usually not all at once.
Stop thinking of your future self as a different person and it will be easier to prevent money and health problems.
Let people help you, lean on them when you need to, and be available to help, but don’t swing too far in either direction. Try to carry your half of the life basket as evenly as you can.
Set boundaries, and do not be afraid to kick people out of your life who disregard them. You will not end up alone and unloved. People who love you will be ok with your boundaries.
Your power does not come from money or beauty, but from seeing life steadily and wholly, from a curious and thoughtful mind, and from your ability to say no when you want to, and yes when you want to, and I don’t know when you don’t know.
There will be bad times, maybe lots of bad times, but not only bad times.
Love will not heal the wounds in your soul, but love can give you the impetus to begin the work of healing yourself.
Life might be a long series of starting over, and that’s alright.
You’re really cool, you’re really beautiful, you’re really special. Really. Not to everyone, but to a lot of someones sometimes.
What would therapy be like for a kid that is in the 0-5 range? Why do kids that young usually go into therapy?
Elimination disorders, anxiety, general temperament, hyperactivity, etc. Typically the bar is set a bit higher, where serious one-on-one treatment is not pursued unless there’s very clear impairment. So a child who is hyperactive but within an average level usually isn’t given intense psychotherapy, for example. Often there’s more parental empowerment in such cases, and families are equipped to monitor potential symptoms so more serious help can be pursued in the event that symptoms worsen or do not subside over time.
A. Sick of the policing and profiling of LGBTQ youth
B. Believe that LGBTQ youth should have access to public/safe space C. Ready to organize and fight back against the forces that oppress LGBTQ youth of color and/or D. Ready to be FIERCE & Fabulous while doing so
Please email FIERCE Organizer, Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a new member orientation!
I was really surprised to see the big question featured!
On the one hand it could certainly be seen as a musing a la thinking aloud.
On the other, and in its true intent — if you all have any requests, questions, suggestions, or needs, please drop me an ask or reblog! As the year kicks off to a start, I hope to be as helpful as possible from the get-go!
Whether it’s a focus on adults or kids or both or in between, how can I be of most help to my fellow #education tumblrs out there this year with one foot in the #education and the other in psych/social work (and both up to the ankles in LGBTQ+ issues)?
One thing I didn’t do last year was push teaching set routines and procedures the beginning of the year to make everything flow better as the year went on.
I am sitting and writing a procedure down for EVERYTHING because you need that with the little ones. Some of them might not have been in school before, so the structure has to be there in the beginning and it has to be consistent.
Suggestion: have a second version ready of some of your routines to teach halfway through the year. My mentor suggested it when things started to get too comfortable and kids started slipping. It really helped to get back on track after Christmas break!/p>
When I worked in a first-grade classroom, the mentor teacher reviewed the procedures the first day back from every break with a themed set of activities that were lighter on the academics and more into getting them back into the practice of being in a classroom. I was skeptical about them losing academics time, but in the end it got them through more material than other first-grade classes.
Many questions. Is this how self-harm is manifesting in some kids? Is it a cry for attention? Will the framing of this as a stupid new trend that kids are doing (which may be true for some) prevent others from seeing that for some kids this may be a huge cry for help?
High school teachers, are you seeing this at your schools? How is it being handled?
I haven’t seen this or heard of it in schools here (touch wood).
But I do know that it’s possible to burn a small amount of rubbing alcohol on your skin (in a thin layer) without burning yourself (thanks to the minuscule amount of alcohol, the relatively low flame temperature of ethanol, and the fact that, positioned correctly and burned briefly, the flame will take the heat up and away from the skin).
I wouldn’t be CONFIDENT in doing so. But I do know you can.
My suspicion is that the students probably have a small amount of this knowledge (probably from youtube videos), and are attempting to replicate the visually spectacular feat. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I suspect some will get hurt (I hope not many - I hope none at all). But I don’t think that the majority of cases would be due to self-harm.
If it helps any, from a mental health standpoint, this sounds significantly more like risk-taking behavior done as a social activity than for self-harm. Self-harm usually focuses on sensation and is generally a very private act, and because the point of this activity is that you DON’T get burned and then to display it to others, it would be unlikely to be for self-harm.
Of course, everything needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. But in terms of a blanket assessment, this is more like the cinnamon and salt-and-ice challenge — really unsafe behaviors done for a lark or the bragging rights.
And it makes them just as dangerous. Because the kids who do these sorts sometimes underestimate the harm that can come from them or are impulsive enough that they don’t think about it at all. And consistent involvement in these sort of social high-risk behaviors CAN be indicators of a kid who needs some assistance in some part of their lives.
Your new potential job (or current job?) sounds very interesting!
Thank you! I’m hesitant to post the details on here as I’m never sure who all is reading, and one has to be very careful, especially when they’re openly queer and discuss related issues and also work with youth and families, but I CAN say that it involves parent education and direct work with families, is not crisis-based like my current position, but still involves significant linkage to community services.
To be honest, I find crisis work to be my forte, but I also know that it’s the kind of work that for some folks needs to be cycled with less burnout-inducing work in between.
I’m very excited to still be able to do a lot of the work I love and learn new things while also having more space to breathe (and have a personal life — my current job requires significant on-call crisis response).
Trying to get myself acquainted with the system as I’ll be working with the program in the fall! I won’t be a classroom teacher, but I’d like to see who all is around — teachers, assistants, advocates, home visitors, behavior specialists — to network with and hear experiences from about working with what seems like a really wonderfully thought-out team approach to early education.
Mental health, for example. Your job at work is to help others with their challenges, to connect them to services, to support them in identifying and communicating and processing their feelings, but often it’s just to listen. Teaching — you plan, you guide, you grade, you pay attention not only to how students are learning the material but to how they’re growing as human beings, which means, among other things, infinite attention — and listening. Doctors and nurses examine and treat, but to do that they need to listen to their patients’ concerns, complaints, contexts. Youth workers, social workers, geriatric workers, a whole host of nonprofit professions…all requires, sometimes in a very big way, listening.
And the listening can be draining.
So when it’s time to be a friend, outside of work, sometimes you just can’t be available in some ways. And that’s alright. You learn to tell people, I can’t have this conversation today, I’m sorry. I can’t help right now, I’m sorry. Give me an hour. Give me a day. Try later in the week. Write it out for me and I’ll read it later. It’s work, whether you want it to feel that way or not.
But what do you do when someone needs to express themselves, just to get it out, and they don’t see the harm in it? That’s a need that shouldn’t cost you anything for them to fulfill. They aren’t expecting anything in return. But the sheer act of hearing some things expressed does just drain you even further - chips away at whatever you have left for yourself.
It’s an uncomfortable balancing act between self-care, this work, and being a friend. Sometimes you can’t do all three. And sometimes, even when you say it outright, people still don’t understand.
So if you know someone who works in any field that requires them to give of themselves so fully — whether it’s mental health, education, other helping professions medical and otherwise, try to hear them out when they tell you they just can’t. They aren’t saying they don’t care. They aren’t saying they don’t want to be there for you. But these jobs often leave a person with nothing left, and even just talking at them could put them right back at work again. Sometimes they need that break. So write it down for them to look at later, or find another source to tell, or hold onto it for when they can attend. And they’ll be ready and willing to listen once they can recharge.