‘Being Proactive in Digital Citizenship’ by Sue Thotz at Common Sense Education

Imagine this: It’s Monday morning. Over the weekend, one of your students, Gabe, challenged his classmates to post sexual images as a dare. Ana responded by posting an image of a faceless nude female to a group chat of 5 kids. The parent of a recipient in the group chat is calling the office looking for a response. What are you going to say?

I often use scenarios like this in workshops I facilitate for teachers demonstrating the need to proactively plan and implement a positive digital culture instead of just being reactive. Educators commonly respond to this scenario by stating they would talk to the students, call the families, involve counselors, and/or notify administrators. Some say they would involve law enforcement. When asked how long it will take to contain the drama and repair the impact of the student actions, nearly all raise eyebrows and shake their heads. 

Continue reading ‘Being Proactive in Digital Citizenship’ by Sue Thotz at Common Sense Education

‘Hope On The Slope: Messages of Hope in the North Slope Borough Schools’ by Ronald Brower, Sharene Ahmaogak, Lisa Peterson and Lori Roth

As Alaskans know, living in remote areas under harsh winter conditions can be challenging. Add in the fears, restrictions and isolation of a pandemic, and life can be downright overwhelming. In response to those shared challenges, staff at North Slope Borough School District (NSBSD) started a ‘Messages of Hope’ campaign asking students to draw and share what hope means to them.

One of the ‘Walls of Hope’ at NSBSD schools that was created during the ‘Message of Hope’ campaign

Continue reading ‘Hope On The Slope: Messages of Hope in the North Slope Borough Schools’ by Ronald Brower, Sharene Ahmaogak, Lisa Peterson and Lori Roth

‘Puppet Play To Support SEL During COVID’ by KPBSD School Counselor Christy Jordan

Last Spring, a third grade teacher asked me to join her Zoom class to introduce myself as the new Elementary School Counselor for Fall and to share a story to address anxiety. We were at the start of the Covid crisis, adjusting to remote learning amidst a worldwide pandemic.

Christy Jordan’s collection of puppets, including the anxious turtle Bartholmew.

I unpacked my puppets and introduced the class to a shy anxious turtle named Bartholomew. I told them Bartholmew moved to Seward over Spring Break, right when Covid hit, and now I can’t get him to come out of his shell. I asked them to help by sharing what they like to do when they feel scared, worried or shy. One by one kids raised their hands and told me different coping strategies that worked for them. As the students spoke, Bartholmew slowly poked his head out, and I thanked the kids for making him feel less alone. Continue reading ‘Puppet Play To Support SEL During COVID’ by KPBSD School Counselor Christy Jordan

‘What Works: Relating To and Respecting Parents’ by Nikki Fisher

Teacher Nikki Fisher’s remote teaching set up

I teach 4th and 5th grade in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, all subjects, and math for 4th through 8th grade. I am finding that being in daily contact with parents and being completely transparent with them about my own life is what is working for me. Continue reading ‘What Works: Relating To and Respecting Parents’ by Nikki Fisher

‘Local Author Seeks ‘I’m Sorry Story’ Read Alouds with Alaskan Teachers & Classes’ by Melody McAllister

Last February my first children’s story, the I’m Sorry Story was released by EduMatch Publishing. It’s a story that follows a young man, Ryan, and his journey of discovering how to take responsibility for his actions and making things right with others when he’s wrong. I wrote it my fifth year of teaching fifth grade while pregnant with my oldest child, who is now 11. When I first wrote this story, it was to create conversation around the importance of a sincere apology without lecturing my students.  Continue reading ‘Local Author Seeks ‘I’m Sorry Story’ Read Alouds with Alaskan Teachers & Classes’ by Melody McAllister