Cathedral Building

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Posts tagged education

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Seasonal Activity: Feelings Egg Hunt


This one is going up a little late, but all it takes it a trip to the dollar store and about fifteen minutes to set up.  This activity is not age-limited — it can be adjusted by adding pictures or more complex feelings, or even by giving scenarios instead of feelings and having kids talk about them in reverse.  It’s not only good for socioemotional learning for therapists, counselors, or teachers, but could also be used as a creative writing activity (or art if you’re working on drawing expressions, body language, etc).

What You’ll Need

  • Plastic eggs, available at most stores for cheap (mine are from Dollar Tree, tiny plain ones in a 24-pack and the larger patterened ones in what I think was a 12-pack but a few were lost in my car)
  • Paper strips (above are cut-up index cards for durability)
  • List of feeling words (balanced between + and - is best)
  • Baskets or other containers for collection (optional)

Print and paste or handwrite feeling words (and faces, if necessary, or possible scenarios for higher-level activity) onto strips.  Fold up strips and place in eggs.

If weather permits, this is a great outdoors activity — unfortunately, today it’s raining and we’ll be doing it indoors instead.  Explain to your kids (students, clients, etc., and guardians if applicable) that you’re going on an egg hunt, and (if appropriate — i.e. if they’ll understand that it’s a game rather than reality) these eggs, just like them, have feelings that they’ll be able to relate to.

Depending on your kids, you may want to give a limit (everyone try to find five, etc.) to be sure it’s more or less even.

When everyone has collected their eggs, sit in a circle and have each participant open one egg and read what the egg is feeling.  Have the participant respond, “I’ve felt like that too!  I felt ___ when…” and give an example of a time when they felt the same way. (If doing the higher-level activity, have participants instead read the scenario their egg is in, state how they think they would feel if they were the egg, and brainstorm some ways to respond; this can also be a group activity.)  Continue until nobody has any eggs left.

Close out the activity by asking participants which egg was the most challenging, and which was their favorite. In a formal setting the latter could be done with a coloring activity and/or augmented by having participants create their own egg with a feeling and a scenario.

If you want to be really goofy about it, I would absolutely give every single egg a ridiculous egg-themed name, whether on the paper slip or in marker on the outside. If I didn’t have to reuse mine, the sharpie would be coming out to label Eggbert, Eggwina, Shelldon, Shelly, etc… On a serious note, adding a name adds an additional supportive, scripted conversation piece — “It’s okay, Fry, I feel that way sometimes, too.  Once time…” “That’s awesome, Scrambella!  I…”

Filed under education social work feelings feeling identification psychology counseling easter teaching therapy

15,655 notes


According to People magazineOklahoma teens Katie Hill and Arin Andrews, who are transgender and were in a relationship with each other during their transitions, will share their stories in two memoirs to be published Sept. 30, 2014, by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. The book covers, revealed today, are above.

Katie Hill told People"I don’t want this book to just appeal to transgender people or their allies. I want people to understand that there really is no such thing as normal."

(via christina-in-alaska)

Filed under ya lit mental health lgbtq education gender trans*

94 notes



Heads up, #education





There a few teacher Facebook groups that follow the #education tag, apparently. We saw one about a year ago where all the promoted posts were re-posted onto that group. This week I came across another after seeing a post shared a few times where it eventually made its…

FYI y’all

Don’t forget that you still have the right to demand work be removed! 

Facebook’s legal terms clearly state in Section 5 parts 1 & 2 that they have the right to remove any content that infringes on someone else’s rights- Posting screenshots of someone else’s work may seem like a gray area… but Facebook tends to lean on the side of caution in that regard.

Any original writing is protected by copyright law. Period. 

WeAreTeachers needs to learn some boundaries. 

Preach, msleah.  File under: things that are not cool.


I sent a fanmail to the account asking that they ask permission before screenshooting, with the explanation that some tumblr writers don’t have already nor do they want that size of readership.  Extending that courtesy would be easier than reporting the posts for copyright infringement. 

Jbizz, I don’t know if you gave the okay for your post to be on there but they’ve got a screenshot and linkback on March 7.

Itsssnix, March 5.

I don’t know wjrabosky, but there’s a repost that includes photos of their students in it, January 21, which I feel needs a shout out just in case they don’t want them on facebook even if faces aren’t showing.

Filed under jbizzle itsssnix wjrabosky education weareteachers inappropriate means of sharing information

80 notes





Do you regret that they have found you?
Naaaahhhhh. After 62K+ people it was bound to happen.
I actually had one student tell me my blog wasn’t that…

If you’d regret your students finding your tumblr, YOU SHOULDN’T BE POSTING THINGS ON THE INTERNET.

I’m looking at you, young teachers or teachers in training who post pictures of themselves drinking and/or drunk posting. It’s a really quick way of losing your job/never getting one.

::goes back through posts and privates all pictures and personal posts::

But then gets pissed about the double standard we have about teachers. Teacher aren’t human. Teachers do it for the kids so we bank on the kindness of their heart rather than supporting them. We expect the school marm from 100 years ago and reject the colorful lives that teachers can have. That’s not fair.

Yes, I’ll go back and private, but I’m doing nothing illegal. My job shouldn’t depend on my personal blog. WHICH, AT TIMES HIGHLIGHTS EDUCATION.

Is it terrible that I’m just not afraid?
If anybody wants my job that badly… go ahead, have it.

Let the older generation judge me.

Disagree, disagree, and disagree with the bolded above.  There are many reasons why students, parents, administration could react badly to something posted, and those things that are posted that could be reacted to are not confined to drunk-posting.  I believe that things are far more complicated than that.

Teachers and other youth-involved workers, but especially teachers, can be skewered and admonished for having opinions, for enjoying movies or tv shows that have content someone objects to, for being friends with someone who engages in activities that someone may view as unteacherly, for having or getting tattoos or piercings, for being in the same photo over a quiet dinner as an alcoholic beverage, for being remotely political, for being gender-variant or having a same-sex partner, for any number of things.  Just because a student or parent or administrator would react badly to something doesn’t mean that person has no business posting it on the internet.

I propose a modified warning: if you’d regret your students finding your tumblr, make sure it is absolutely untraceable back to you.

To tell a person that they aren’t allowed to have a personal life in public because they are in a certain is, I think, unfair to that person and demeaning of them as an individual with tastes and thoughts and opinions and beliefs.

Filed under education

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The Parent is Part of the…Equation.

Strengths-based.  Positive.  We try not to say “problem.”

But right no w part of the issue is a parent who is so passive they are actually veering more toward apathetic. It’s beyond not putting their foot down in terms of discipline — they don’t follow through with processes to get the household basic needs and assistance even when they have help for all but the last piece of the process, they have no desire to be involved with the school but at the same time will not say no to suggestions of going to parent-geared activities or connecting with seeing grades on the computer.  They just won’t say yes either.

Their entire demeanor could be reduced to a shrug, but they voice wanting to keep everyone together with strong feelings…sometimes. They say they feel they have no support system when other providers described to us how they have offered and given numerous supports in numerous circumstances.

Maybe part of this is learned helplessness.  Maybe part is depression, though we aren’t privy to the parent’s diagnoses — and maybe I should mention the possibility of need my team mate.  But what can we do to help this parent develop assertiveness when the parent is barely present while they’re there?

(If more information is needed, I can talk privately to give some more detail while still maintaining privacy of information.)

Anyone familiar with this challenge either in the school or therapy setting and have any suggestions?

Filed under social work therapy family therapy education assistance please advice needed assertiveness mental health family functioning family systems

14 notes

Give and Take

In the last few weeks I’ve been told by kids, parents, or other professionals that it is my fault that a crisis is happening (parent), that my presence is what’s making a kid act up (professional), that I should be shot in the face (child); have been called unnecessary, useless, f*ggot, p*ssy, b*tch, motherf*cker, and “that girl”; have been swung at by a few different sets of small fists; and have had communication continuously ignored by a handful of people with whom we’re supposed to be working in tandem.

I have also been complimented by my supervisor, an admissions counselor, coworkers,and parents; given stickers to appreciative colleagues for themselves, not kids, and seen them hang onto them for days; have seen people overjoyedly become a permanent family, adults hug their kids and kids hug their adults; become a human chair by sitting down on a preschool circle rug for more than a minute; and watched removed and unresponsive kids get so excited over playing jenga with people that they move into jokes, laughter, and silliness.

I am very, very tired.  But I love my job.

Filed under therapy social work education mental health

74 notes


I think that if you work professionally with the public, it’s sort of important to live where you work, or at least to have some kind of similar living situation and lifestyle.

If you for with a population you refuse to live with, you’re saying something to them, and I guarantee they’re hearing…

EDIT: I mentally missed the ‘similar living situation and lifestyle’ so the following is relevant specifically to location.  But I will say that there is something to be said for scraping an empty barrel while trying to support others in their growth. Having worked in programs that pay at the poverty level to instill value and appreciation of those living in poverty, I can tell you that it is incredibly difficult to be able to give all of yourself to so many people with complex needs while also not having poor nutrition or a lack of security around housing or the ability to pay bills.

To location: My issue with this is that for some people there is a very serious privacy and safety concern.  Because of my current position being mobile, I am always in a community where I also work.  And kids and parents alike will ask incredibly personal questions or note if they saw me in the community, ask what I was doing there, etc.  This may seem innocuous.  But I’m constantly nervous about someone catching me on a date, to the point that for a long time I stopped even looking for a partner.

A very good teacher-turned-friend of mine had to move because she lived in her district, and some of the kids knew which house was hers.  And when she had trouble with a difficult student, the student threw rocks through her windows.

She didn’t want to move, but she and her husband wanted to have children and her husband was terrified.

If you teach in a small enough area and work with troubled kids, living where you work can be dangerous.  If your kids have parents with any opinions whatsoever, you could be lambasted for anything from what you wear in the supermarket to ever having a drink at a bar.

At the beginning of my experience with youth work I lived in what a few students on a field trip drive called (a colleague and I joked that we could see our house from the overpass), jaws open, “the ghetto.”  It was a very close community in the HUD complex I lived in, and children would wait at my car if they needed a bandaid because they knew I kept some in the trunk.  Because I used to keep them in the apartment, and kids would come up to my door.  They weren’t my students. But I worked with a kid in the next district over who spit in my face during afterschool, and if he’d known where I lived he would have gladly broken a window in my car. 

Did I refuse to live where I worked because of a class issue or for the sake of comfort?  No.  I did it for my own safety, because I have always tended to bond with some really difficult kids in difficult situations with a lot of feelings and very few tools.

Filed under education

3 notes

I swear I’m not a big-hearted robot.

It occurs to me that I post personal life stuff specifically to another blog, but that many other folks in the #education and related communities multitask — so you end up hearing about babies, pets, spouses, cooking, utilities, transportation, adventuring, etc.

So, because I’m trying to stay awake long enough to get some progress notes done, the ask box is open to questions of the random sort for anyone who’s been following and wondering if I’m actually a human being and not a conglomeration of therapeutic androids (or who have been following long enough to know better and just feel like poking at me).

EDIT:  Looks like the way the schedule just stacked up that this will be the case for the rest of the week.  Ask away. I’ll have some piles to work with.

Filed under education social work personal life ask box is open counseling therapy

4 notes

Sometimes what we need is what we give the kids.

I was exhausted and nearly on a tear this morning — when it comes to my kids, hospitals can be involved, cops can be involved, unexpected relocation can be involved, reporting, etc. — and shook my fists (via text) at a friend.  Who in turn via text gave me a fist bump.

Can I tell you how much that unwound me?  Probably not without sounding ridiculous.

But if someone just took a long look at the professionals and gave THEM a fistbump or a high five every now and then, I can’t help but think everyone would feel the slightest bit better.

Filed under education therapy kids social work stress go high five someone I miss fist bumps I miss the kids that gave me fist bumps because they thought high fives were lame