White Privilege in the Classroom: How to Teach Racial Equality as a White Teacher

White Privilege in the Classroom: How to Teach Racial Equality as a White Teacher


Unless you've pulled a Rip Van Winkle, you're probably acutely aware of the heightened state of racial inequality brought to light in the past few months. If you're a white teacher (and statistics show that 79% of teachers in 2017-2018 were white), you may be wondering how you can teach black history and discuss current events in your classroom with any sense of authority.

Short answer? You can't! As a white teacher, you do not know how your black students or students of color are feeling. You haven't been in their shoes. You haven't experienced their struggles and inequalities intimately. You cannot fathom the fear and injustice they face in their daily lives.
If you're a white teacher (and statistics show that 79% of teachers in 2017-2018 were white), you may be wondering how you can teach black history and discuss current events in your classroom with any sense of authority. #teachingblackhistory #teachingracialequality #race #racialinequality #blacklivesmatter #blm #teachinghistory

But, while you can't speak from a position of authority, you can amplify black voices that are eloquently handling the conversations that you are not uniquely qualified to address. You can share resources, you can educate yourself, and you can avoid shying away from uncomfortable topics in the classroom, thus empowering your students of color and helping your entire class to understand history through a black-colored lens.

5 Tips for Teaching Anti-Racism as a White Teacher

1. Educate yourself! In light of recent events, we've all been exposed to history with which we were unfamiliar. Especially as a white teacher, familiarize yourself with books, movies, and other resources that address racism in America. Even if you already consider yourself anti-racist, find another resource. Browse another black-created memoir. Digest another movie about racism to better understand the experiences of those suffering right now.

2. Remember that anti-racism is not political rhetoric. Taking a stand against racism does not mean endorsing either political party. Being anti-racism is about tackling adversities and disparities faced by people of color. As a teacher, you should be willing to shut down any racist rhetoric without moral hesitation. Don't forget - if your classroom is not a safe space for your students of color, then why are you teaching?

3. Do not tip toe around race. While you should always use correct terminology and arm yourself with accurate historical facts, don't shy away from teaching about racism, people of color, and uncomfortable topics. Even though they're just that - uncomfortable - avoiding racism discussions in the classroom can make your students of color feel ashamed, less-than, and persecuted. This can also enable your inwardly racist students by validating their feelings that we should only discuss race in whispers. Talk loudly and proudly about people of color!

4. Avoid color blindness. Yes, of course we want our students to love one another regardless of race. However, the reality is that saying we are all the same, or that we are alike regardless of racial differences, undermines the struggles that people of color have faced. Instead, empower students of all races to recognize differences while treating everyone with respect.

5. Amplify black voices. As a white teacher, you are not uniquely qualified to talk on the topic of racial inequality. But, there are countless resources available in the wonderful world of the Internet that can both inform you as a teacher, and uplift black voices and creations to share with your students. Refrain from comparing the experiences of POC to those of yourself (unless you're highlighting white privilege) and instead, empower those who have actually walked the walk. By amplifying black voices in your classroom, you will also relay to your students that they too have a voice and you're willing to empower and support them as well.

By amplifying black voices in your classroom, you will also relay to your students that they too have a voice and you're willing to empower and support them as well. #empowerstudents #teachhistory #teachsocialstudies #blackhistory #blacklivesmatter #blm #justiceforbreonnataylor #justiceforgeorgefloyd
One of my previous students stands with the team of organizers that led the March on Frankfort, KY for #blacklivesmatter to demand justice for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. This was one of my proudest moments as a teacher!

Anti-Racism Resources & Media 

Books to Read

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo ✦ How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi ✦ The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander ✦ Divided Sisters by Midge Wilson and Kathy Russell ✦ The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison ✦ Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston ✦ They Can't Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery ✦ I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou ✦ Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts ✦ Locking Up Our Own by James Forman ✦ The Miner's Canary by Lani Guiner and Gerald Torres ✦ The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

Podcasts and Recordings to Listen To

1619 (New York Times) ✦ About Race ✦ Code Switch (NPR) ✦ Intersectionality Matters! hosted by KimberlĂ© Crenshaw ✦ Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast ✦ Pod for the Cause (Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights) ✦ Pod Save the People (Crooked Media) ✦ Seeing White ✦ Parenting Forward Podcast Episode 'Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt' ✦ Fare of the Free Child Podcast

Social Media Accounts to Follow (Instagram Tags)

Antiracism Center (@AntiracismCtr) ✦ Black Women's Blueprint (@blackwomensbp) ✦ Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) ✦ Colorlines (@Colorlines) ✦ Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org) ✦ The Conscious Kid (@consciouskidlib @theconsciouskid) ✦ RAICES (@raicestexas) ✦ SisterSong (@SisterStrong_WOC) ✦ United We Dream (@UnitedWeDream)

Extensive Website Resources for Educating Yourself on Anti-Racism

A Detailed List of Anti-Racism Resources by Wake-Up Call
Black Life Matters: Anti-Racism Resources for Social Workers and Therapists by Social Work Career
Anti-racism Resources for White Allies (Google doc)
Anti-racism resources for white people (Google doc)

Don't shy away from difficult conversations; instead, teach your students how to respectfully dive into the tough stuff. Teach with love, with respect, and with empowerment. Teach history, and help your students change the world so we can avoid repeating it again. #teachhistory #civilrightsmovement #racialequality #mlk #martinlutherkingjr #teachequality
Though you may be inclined to breeze over current events in your classroom, I encourage you to educate yourself and familiarize yourself with black struggles instead. Amplify black voices, empower your black students, and teach history as you were trained to do! Don't shy away from difficult conversations; instead, teach your students how to respectfully dive into the tough stuff. Teach with love, with respect, and with empowerment. Teach history, and help your students change the world so we can avoid repeating it again.

I'd normally wish you happy teaching, but in light of the pain felt by our black friends, students, and coworkers, I'll instead wish you Compassionate Teaching!

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Brittany Cloyd
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5 Tips for First Year Teachers: How to Make Your First Year Amazing

5 Tips for First Year Teachers: How to Make Your First Year Amazing


As a first year teacher, you may be feeling a plethora of negative emotions: scared, nervous, anxious, inferior, or even unprepared. But you shouldn't! Your education and training have prepared you for this! Remind yourself that you are competent, knowledgeable, and ready.
As a first year teacher, you may be feeling a plethora of negative emotions: scared, nervous, anxious, inferior, or even unprepared. But you shouldn't! Your education and training have prepared you for this! Remind yourself that you are competent, knowledgeable, and ready. #newteacher #firstyearteacher #teachernerves #teacheranxiety #teaching #socialstudies #teachingscholarship
If you need a little more to set your mind at ease, check out these 5 tips for first year teachers. By implementing these tips, you're sure to make your first year in the classroom amazing and memorable!

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY! #moneyforteachers #freeschoolsupplies #classroommakeover #firstyearteacher

5 Tips for First Year Teachers

1. PREPARE FOR SUCCESS

Stress is the bane of our existence. Instead of leaving everything until the last minute and setting ourselves up for stress and failure, why not take a different approach? By knocking things off your to-do list early, you will reduce your stress and your results will be much more successful! Don't wait until the week before school to start planning. Start now and get ahead. Check out this post on planning through the summer for more tips and tricks!

 
2. MAKE NEW FRIENDS

Use this chance to network with teacher groups, fellow teacher friends, and other community members who can aid in your teaching experience. Take advice from experienced teachers, find camaraderie and stress relief with fellow newbies, and form beneficial relationships with those who can further the experience you provide for your students! Partnering with those in your community can not only provide you with a support system but can also increase the opportunities your students will have. Need someone for career day? Need donations from businesses to implement a fun project? These partnerships are crucial in furthering the learning opportunities your students face.

 
3. KEEP LEARNING

Having just graduated, you may not be due for Professional Development yet, but if there's any skill we want to instill in our students, it's to never stop learning! So, why should you? Take online courses to further your skills, find local professional development opportunities, or dive into a highly-recommended book. Staying up-to-date and relevant will not only help you as a teacher, but it will help you pad your resume for any interviews you may have on your five-year plan.

 
4. SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

Part of being prepared is setting clear, achievable, and measurable expectations for yourself and your students. Make a vision board or write down your goals, and share them with those new friends you made in step 2 for some accountability. Measure your goals and reward yourself for even the smallest successes. Then, take this practice into your classroom on day one by offering your students clear-cut expectations and rules. By being forthcoming with your expectations from the beginning of the year, students will better understand how to succeed in your classroom, and you will avoid sticky situations where unclear expectations led to problematic behaviors.

 
5. USE YOUR RESOURCES

This world of education is HUGE. Especially in the digital age, there are millions of resources at your fingertips! Don't be afraid to browse online resources and sites like TeachersPayTeachers for guides, lesson plans, activity sheets, tests and study guides, and even full unit preparations! By finding resources that are ready to implement in your classroom, you can shave off much of the behind-the-scenes work that may be causing you stress. Find resources from teachers and creators with great track records and find a multitude of resources that are modifiable for just about any classroom. There is even a wealth of freebie resources out there that can set you up for success without costing you a dine!


As you enter your first year as a classroom teacher, proceed with confidence! You are educated, you are prepared, and you are competent! You will change lives in your classroom, and following these 5 tips for first year teachers will set you, and your students, up for success! If ever you doubt your teaching skills, return to these 5 basic tips to jump-start your success.  #teachertips #secondaryteacher #socialstudiesteacher #tipsforteachers #newteachersAs you enter your first year as a classroom teacher, proceed with confidence! You are educated, you are prepared, and you are competent! You will change lives in your classroom, and following these 5 tips for first year teachers will set you, and your students, up for success! If ever you doubt your teaching skills, return to these 5 basic tips to jump-start your success. 

Happy Teaching!

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Brittany Cloyd
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The Well-Managed Classroom: Tips & Tricks for Classroom Management

The Well-Managed Classroom: Tips & Tricks for Classroom Management


While you are making the most of your summer break and planning ahead to next school year, it may also be beneficial to consider classroom management. As with all things planning, nailing down your classroom management goals and techniques early will ensure success and ease. Thinking about classroom management on the first day of school is unfortunately too late. Set your secondary classroom up for success with highly-achievable classroom management goals for the upcoming school year.
Classroom Management is an integrated approach to create a successful learning environment; it does not stand alone.  Classroom Management is not just behavior tracking and consequences.  Classroom Management is interactive and interpersonal.  Classroom Management is not one-size-fits-all, but it’s easily modified to fit your needs and the needs of your students. #classroommanagement #secondaryteaching #classroomexpectations
First, let’s talk a bit about what classroom management is... and isn’t. There’s a fleshed out blog post on Classroom Management if you’d like more tricks and tips!

Classroom Management is an integrated approach to create a successful learning environment; it does not stand alone.
Classroom Management is not just behavior tracking and consequences.
Classroom Management is interactive and interpersonal.
Classroom Management is not one-size-fits-all, but it’s easily modified to fit your needs and the needs of your students.

When does Classroom Management begin?

Now! Planning and effectively communicating your desires for your classroom to your students has to happen before the school year starts. You must be ready to go on day one. In fact, Meet and Greets are a great way to establish classroom management from the very second you meet your students on the first day of school.

Planning and effectively communicating your desires for your classroom to your students has to happen before the school year starts. You must be ready to go on day one. #firstdayofschool #newteachers #toolsforteachers #icebreakers
This totally editable (and totally *FREE*) First Day Scavenger Hunt is also a great ice breaker to set the school year off on the right foot. While this exercise is fun and light-hearted with a good amount of humor, it also helps you to effectively and clearly communicate classroom expectations right off the bat with questions like “What do I need to bring to class everyday?”

To be ready to implement your plan on day one, you have to start planning now. I know, I know. Your ideal summer, especially when recovering from the non-traditional end to the 2020 school year, is not spent researching effective classroom management strategies and how to implement them in your classroom. But, setting yourself (and your students!) up for success on day one starts with your commitment to a productive and inclusive classroom environment on the very first day of school.

How do I get started?

First, let’s revisit the idea that classroom management is an integrated approach to learning. It isn’t just seating charts, behavior contracts, or poster-sized classroom rules plastered to the wall. Classroom management is exhaustive, multi-faceted, and modifiable.

Classroom management can begin with a simple idea - one that is a buzz word of the current times and one you’ve likely studied in your classes and/or continued education. Growth Mindset.

Using a Growth Mindset Focus Guide will establish your expectations on day one, while helping students to understand their potential and set goals for the upcoming school year. #growth #growthmindset #expectationsforstudents #teacherexpectations #positivelearningGrowth mindset is the idea that students can develop their skills and knowledge. Using a growth mindset in your classroom reduces stagnation and burnout, helps students to find learning styles and techniques that work for them, and creates a positive and encouraging learning environment that makes students want to dive deeper.

Using a Growth Mindset Focus Guide will establish your expectations on day one, while helping students to understand their potential and set goals for the upcoming school year.

What about behavior?

Having students sign a Behavior Contract ensures that you have fully communicated your classroom expectations and that they agree to your guidelines. #teacherprintables #behaviorcontract #teacherforms #newteachers
Behavior is a key component of classroom management. If you don’t set measurable expectations or establish your classroom rules, students will not have a tool by which they can measure their success. It leads to a murky, unsure classroom environment where students are walking on eggshells instead of learning. This isn’t a productive learning environment for teachers or students.


Instead, make your expectations clear from day one. Having students sign a Behavior Contract ensures that you have fully communicated your classroom expectations and that they agree to your guidelines. This leaves the opportunity for students to seek clarification or explanation, eliminating that murky tread-with-caution disaster.

You can also get the Behavior Contract in Spanish!


What’s next?

Checking in with your students regularly not only provides vital feedback to your teaching style and classroom management success, but it also empowers students to express their opinions and speak freely.  #studentfeedback #feedback #feedbackforteachers #evolve #grow #teachAfter you have set clear expectations for classroom behavior and encouraged students with a Growth Mindset, you should use measurable tools to continually check your progress. Make sure the wheels are still spinning in the right direction... double check that the common goals are still within reach.

Checking in with your students regularly not only provides vital feedback to your teaching style and classroom management success, but it also empowers students to express their opinions and speak freely. If students realize they are part of the vehicle of learning, they are more likely to invest into their education. No one wants to be a bystander. Using tools like the Student Study Survey will ensure students are being heard!

Using the tools for success to help you implement a foolproof classroom management plan now will reduce much stress later! #classroommanagement #managingyourclassroom #classroomorganization #classroomexpectations #teachermanagement
I assure you that, while a nice, relaxing summer under the sun with a beverage of your choosing in hand sounds miraculous, being prepared for day one of the upcoming school year will feel EVEN BETTER if you get it done now. Planning for next school year has so many different facets, including this critical piece on classroom management, and putting this off until the night before school starts will only create more stress for you and your students! Using the tools for success to help you implement a foolproof classroom management plan now will reduce much stress later!

Happy Teaching!
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Brittany Cloyd
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Making Use of Summer Break: Planning through the Summer

Making Use of Summer Break: Planning through the Summer


Though this school year ended non-traditionally for most schools in America, and even around the world, you may already be stressing about next year. In fact, you may be stressing more this summer than you normally would as plans for next school year are up in the air! This stress is normal, but it's also avoidable!
By dedicating this summer to planning next school year, you'll not only reduce your stress, but you'll also improve your teaching confidence, provide an organized and efficient plan year for your students, and begin the school year on the right foot! #planningthroughthesummer #lessonplanning #lessonplansforteachers #tpt #tptforteachers

We talked previously about playing catch-up in the classroom. Some teachers may be planners through and through while others procrastinate down to the night before Back to School! Even if you aren't one to plan ahead, you can probably imagine the stress relief if you are able to escape the constant game of catch-up. By dedicating this summer to planning next school year, you'll not only reduce your stress, but you'll also improve your teaching confidence, provide an organized and efficient plan year for your students, and begin the school year on the right foot!

There is no need to start from scratch. By using ready-made resources, planning tools, and teacher guides, you can easily plan through your summer and set yourself (and your students!) up for success next year, no matter what curve balls the world may throw at you!

Where do I begin?

Curriculum Mapping! You may be an experienced teacher - seasoned, even - but planning may still leave you at a loss. No clue how to pace your curriculum? Start with a Scope and Sequence which will help you lay out the entire year's plan and allow you to ensure you check all the boxes this upcoming year.
You may be an experienced teacher - seasoned, even - but planning may still leave you at a loss. No clue how to pace your curriculum? Start with a Scope and Sequence which will help you lay out the entire year's plan and allow you to ensure you check all the boxes this upcoming year.  #scopeandsequence #curriculummap #newteachers #howtolessonplan #lessonplanning
For World Geography courses, check out the *free* World Geography Complete Course Scope and Sequence Curriculum Map.

If you're teaching World History, try the *free* World History Complete Course Scope and Sequence Curriculum Map.

What's next?

Once you've set your Scope and Sequence and have a handle on the year's curriculum, download the comprehensive Back to School Classroom Organization & Management BUNDLE to ensure a successful start to the school year! #classroommanagement #teacherresources #newteachers #experiencedteachers #teachertoolsClassroom Management! Once you've set your Scope and Sequence and have a handle on the year's curriculum, download the comprehensive Back to School Classroom Organization & Management BUNDLE to ensure a successful start to the school year!

This 80+ page bundle includes seating charts, organizational tools and posters, lesson organization, classroom management tools, first day activities, student organizers, teacher portfolio guides, and more! This resource covers dozens of individual products and a multitude of categories that will help you prepare for the first day back.

Lesson Planning! Check out this *free* Daily Lesson & Unit Plan Templates for Middle School or High School for lesson planning temples that are easy to use and will walk you through step-by-step. It is available in PDF or Google Drive format.

Advanced Placement (AP) Preparation! If you're teaching an AP course, also take advantage of this Editable AP Introduction Syllabus & Summer Assignments Packet. It's never too early to start prepping for your AP courses and this packet will set you up for success throughout the summer and into the school year.

Want to dive deeper?

Everything at your Fingertips! The ultimate guidebook, A Lesson Plan for Teachers, New or Old (Experienced, that is!) is a great resource for new and existing teachers. With advice, anecdotes, and tools to use in your high-expectations classroom, this read is a quick resource to set your mind at ease.

By starting your planning during the summer and developing a foolproof plan for next school year, you will prevent a lot of stress and sleepless nights in the fall! #teacherplanning #summerbreak #curriculummap #classroommanagement
Though you are well-deserving of a break, a successful classroom won't run itself. By starting your planning during the summer and developing a foolproof plan for next school year, you will prevent a lot of stress and sleepless nights in the fall! By preparing for the school year now, you'll set yourself, and your students, up for success, and you will have the skills, confidence, and plans to run a thoroughly-managed classroom next year.

Happy Teaching!
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Michele Luck
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Fun & Engaging Lessons for At Home Learning

Fun & Engaging Lessons for At Home Learning


Now that many of us parents and grandparents are unexpectedly fulfilling the role of homeschool teacher due to school closures, we may be unsure where to find solid resources for teaching American geography. Non-traditional instruction only fills part of a child's day and we need to go above and beyond the assignment list to ensure the successes of our advancing students. While you probably didn't plan to home school your child this year, there are many resources to help you take hold of the reigns and propel your child's Social Studies education.
Homeschooling and Distance Learning can be a great challenge if you don't have the right resources for your students. Instead of assigning textbook reading or endless online searches, let your kids have fun with engaging activities as they practice skills and learn key content in American History, Geography, and more!
Even without a degree in education, you can find the resources and lessons to effectively teach your elementary school, middle school, or high school child from home. With a little patience and preparation, your homeschooling efforts will pay off with a well-educated kiddo (and hopefully only a few gray hairs!).

There are so many great resources online, but finding resources that are accurate, simple, and engaging can be overwhelming. Finding resources that offer consistency can also be a challenge.

This United States Primary Source Analysis Bundle can provide a comprehensive collection of American History documents and images for secondary students to analyze, practicing Social Studies skills while reviewing content.

When you home school, it is best to start with the foundation and build upward. Your students can provide valuable feedback during the process.  Look for resources that address basic skills. Consider Mapping Lessons that cover key content while also teaching students how to examine and create maps to show what they know. This Mapping the World activity is a fun one I use in the first days of school to set my students up with that valuable foundation.

Homeschooling and Distance Learning can be a great challenge if you don't have the right resources for your students. Instead of assigning textbook reading or endless online searches, let your kids have fun with engaging activities as they practice skills and learn key content in American History, Geography, and more!

Homeschooling with Task Cards

Homeschooling and Distance Learning can be a great challenge if you don't have the right resources for your students. Instead of assigning textbook reading or endless online searches, let your kids have fun with engaging activities as they practice skills and learn key content in American History, Geography, and more!Task cards are a great way to meet your kids where they are. Task cards have many different uses and applications, including engaging hands-on learning, assessment, skills reinforcement (especially great for geography skills reinforcement!), practice, and content introduction.

This American Geography Task Card Set includes 200 cards that can be used as a scavenger hunt activity, mapping practice, research prompts, and fun, engaging games! Task Cards are great for making rotating centers (which get students UP and MOVING!). Task Cards also work well with groups and teams, so if your child has siblings or friends who they can Skype or Zoom, they can work in digital pairs!

Reinforce skills with a printed map so students can mark the places they discover as they learn. Or, use an online resource like Sheppard Software to practice states (or countries, regions, etc.) with a timer.

American History Resources

In addition to task cards, this History Headline News Activity is great for upper elementary students and can help pull kids from excessive current media engagement. This activity allows them to visit this day in a historical context and report on their findings.  The fun and diverse topics will keep them wanting to learn more.

Also, homeschool students can engage with current events with a Current Events Timeline Activity.  The skill of timelining is vital to reinforce the cause and effect of history, but is also a great way to let learner's hands participate in visual and content reinforcement.

Find more Social Studies resources for your homeschool classroom here.

Homeschooling and Distance Learning can be a great challenge if you don't have the right resources for your students. Instead of assigning textbook reading or endless online searches, let your kids have fun with engaging activities as they practice skills and learn key content in American History, Geography, and more!

Teaching for Non-Teachers

Though the information at hand may be overwhelming for parents who are not used to teaching, there is a wealth of information available to help you put on your teacher hat and take charge in your homeschool classroom. Above all, keeping your child engaged throughout the school break is key. Though this time is confusing, scary, and stressful for all, maintaining a routine for your kids is vital for their mental and educational well-being.

You can read more about how to spark a historical interest in your child with this blog post on Creating an Interest in History. You can also find tips on how to teach inquiry to your children, and how to appropriately and accurately use primary sources in the home school classroom, in this blog post.

Happy Homeschooling!

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Brittany Cloyd
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Brain Breaks for Teachers: Work Smarter, Not Harder During the COVID-19 Quarantine

Brain Breaks for Teachers: Work Smarter, Not Harder During the COVID-19 Quarantine


Many teachers were probably burning the midnight oil before the United States went into quarantine from the Novel Coronavirus. With teaching responsibilities moved to digital platforms, student (and parent) questions coming in all day long, and perhaps even your own children at home to coach through online schooling, you may be feeling more than a little stressed.
With teaching responsibilities moved to digital platforms, student (and parent) questions coming in all day long, and perhaps even your own children at home to coach through online schooling, you may be feeling more than a little stressed. Brain breaks are the key to staying sane during the quarantine. #brainbreaks #quarantine #teachingfromhome

It is very important to still take Brain Breaks just as you would in the classroom! Even though many of you are working from home, it isn't much of a vacation. You still work the same hours (sometimes even longer!). You still have to be available and on demand for the better part of your day. You have to field difficult topics and questions without verbally speaking. You may even be trying to fit in your own child's instruction amidst your regular teaching. Brain breaks are the key to staying sane during the quarantine.

All of the brain breaks designed for the classroom can take place at home too. In fact, many of them will become even easier inside your own four walls! Especially with the stress surrounding the current state of our nation, you should certainly allow yourself a few minutes to check out from the chaos.

 To start, try the basic tips from the blog post on Self-Care, Put on Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care in the First Month of School (and the rest of the year, too!).

1. Try chair yoga! Stretch into a few poses in your office chair or roll a towel out on your living room floor for an even more engaging practice. Don't skip Savasana! The body can benefit the most from a few minutes of peace and quiet. Check out 15 Yoga Poses to Shed the Teacher Tension and Stretch Through Chronic Desk-Job Pain.

2. Enjoy desk drinks & sneak-able snacks! But wait... you're at home, so there's no need to sneak! Allow yourself a favorite coffee drink or sweet dessert when tensions rise. Veg out on your favorite treat in between email replies or student outreach.

3. Break for books! Now more than ever, it's important to unplug from the social media storm. You should stay apprised of current news but not allow yourself to be sucked into the endless scroll. Check out to a fantasy land for a few minutes each day.

From the comfort of your own home, you can take even more brain breaks! You don't have to wait for the bell or your planning period.

For more brain breaks, try some of the following:

  • Dance break! Turn on your favorite jam and wiggle to the beat. Many National dance studios are even streaming free ballet classes on Facebook.
  • Play period music. For a brain break with an educational twist, keep your focus with music from certain periods of history. 
  • Color or draw. I'm sure your art teacher colleagues will tell you - you're never too old for art! 
  • Crosswords, mazes, or word searches. The best brain breaks are those that allow you a few minutes of mindless distraction. Keep your brain spry by solving puzzle clues in between assignments. Try these End of the Year World History Puzzles or these End of the Year Modern America Activities!  
  • Travel! From the comfort of your own couch, of course. No need to risk exposure when you can see the world from your living room. Browse Google maps for your dream destinations or take virtual field trips at worldwide aquariums, zoos, or theaters.
  • Browse a world famous museum. Also from the comfort of your own couch, travel through popular museums and view art installments, historical exhibits, and more! 
  • Go sky high! Search your favorite roller coasters in POV mode on Youtube for an exciting adventure.
  • Dig for gold. Try online scavenger hunts for more fun, especially those to keep you thinking historically! 
Travel! From the comfort of your own couch, of course. No need to risk exposure when you can see the world from your living room. Browse Google maps for your dream destinations or take virtual field trips at worldwide aquariums, zoos, or theaters. #digitalfieldtrip #googletravel #digitaltravel #travelfromyourcouch
These aren't just teacher brain breaks, either! These activities would also be great for kiddos of any age. Most importantly, no matter how old you are, prioritize your mental health and sanity in any way you can. Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear, reminds Kentucky citizens of this vital fact and reiterates that social distancing is not isolation. 
Beshear says, "Isolation is not what we're asking for and it's not healthy. Kids ought to continue to have a schedule and so should adults. You should continue to get outside. It doesn't mean that you close down your life and you hunker down in your home."
Treat your brain, body, and sanity with love and compassion throughout this difficult time! Take all the brain breaks you can, and try to stay positive throughout this state of emergency. Best wishes! #teachingsanity #brainbreaksforteachers #teachertips
Treat your brain, body, and sanity with love and compassion throughout this difficult time! Take all the brain breaks you can, and try to stay positive throughout this state of emergency. Best wishes!

Happy Teaching, from wherever you may be teaching,
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Brittany Cloyd
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