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Hilary Smith

Hilary Smith

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Posted by on in Classroom Management

girl meditating hologram1

Today, more than ever, our students are experiencing significant amounts of stress at school and home. Whether it is extracurricular activities, classwork, after school jobs, family life, or peer interactions, our boys and girls are loaded down with responsibilities and stress. Sometimes, it’s difficult for kids and teens to dissipate stress which can obviously interfere with their learning and wellbeing in and out of the classroom. Even on those days where it seems impossible to squeeze in one more obligation or standard into our lessons, it’s imperative we teach students stress relievers to help them function and find joy in learning. No matter what level you teach, all students need to find effective ways to manage stress. 

Please scroll through the following list of top school stress relievers for students that are relatively simple, appropriate, and adaptable to any grade level: 

Get Moving.  

A healthy way for students to beat stress is to get plenty of exercise. In our classrooms, we can adjust our schedules to include regular movement. This can be as simple as doing stretches and yoga in opening, scheduling enough recess time, taking “brain breaks” with action songs or stretches, implementing a “walking club” before school, or asking administration to build sufficient physical education into daily schedules. In addition, we can encourage students to walk or ride their bikes to school.

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Tagged in: academic optimism

Posted by on in Teens and Tweens

kids around a computer

Recently, among friends at dinner, we were discussing our childhoods and we all fondly recalled the hours spent playing outdoors, building indoor forts, and dressing up with grandma’s hand-me-downs from the previous decades. As our walk down memory lane progressed, it dawned on us that our own kids are missing out on these iconic rights of childhood. No longer do our boys and girls play outside with the neighbor kids or start pick up games of ball or hide-n-seek. No, our children spend a majority of their days glued in front of a screen of some kind.

Sure, it might vary from televisions, gaming systems, smartphones, tablets, computers, and more, but the results are all the same: inactivity. To put this into clearer perspective, everyday our children spend close to an average of 9 hours consuming media in some form or another! That number is mind boggling, especially when we consider that many of us adults spend less time at work in a day than our kids do scrolling and tapping the hours away. This statistic, while eye opening, clearly shows us that kids need a digital detox.  

Too Much of a Good Thing? The Case for a Digital Detox

If our children are over-dependent on technology and fixated on screens, they are missing out on very important face-to-face interactions with the adults and peers in their lives. This also reduces the amount of time spent playing and interacting with their surroundings. Limiting these interactions hinders the emotional, cognitive, and social development of a child. This impacts a child’s ability to learn, form relationships, and even learn how to read emotional cues. 

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Posted by on in Education Resources


When it comes to rewarding children for good behavior or a job well done, educators need to be mindful, since going overboard can actually lead to serious problems down the road. 

Positive affirmation can encourage your students to work hard, and it can be good incentive in this digital age where things like smartphones, tablets, video games, and social media all compete for the attention of the youth. In light of these realities, rewards definitely have a place. 

Even so, there is evidence that rewards, particularly as it relates to food, can potentially have unintended negative consequences that could follow children well past their early years. 

Fortunately, there is a way to strike a balance so that you can keep your students motivated both to do well and to be on their best behavior. 

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Posted by on in Teens and Tweens

teens and tech

The innovative age of technology continues to inspire youth, both teenagers and children. This technology, however, may be causing serious health problems across young generations as well.

And teenagers are embracing technology more than any other age demographic. According to statistics portal Statista, smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 24 spend over 90 hours per month on apps. Some would even argue technology has become an addiction among teenagers and children.

It may even be shrinking the brains of youth. Astudy published in academic journal PLoS ONE (2011) found that Internet addiction might result in brain alterations and chronic mental dysfunction.

Could innovative devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets beharming the health of teenagers and children? From text neck to hearing loss, technology may not be so innovative after all. 

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