“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” —Henry Brooks Adams
For some teachers, students, and parents, the beginning of the school year is the hardest time of year. Students need to adapt to the increased structure and new expectations, and parents and teachers need to establish ground rules and encourage positive behavior from the start.
And if you’re an educator, you face an additional challenge: Wondering whether you’ll make a difference. Test scores and improved patterns of behavior can provide tangible evidence of progress, but what about the kids whose grades stay the same or falter? Or the kids whose behavior suddenly changes? And what about those for whom no matter what we do, it doesn’t seem to make a difference?
As you begin the new school year, I invite you to challenge yourself to constantly be aware of how you as an individual can make a difference—tangible or not—in the life of a child.
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Think about someone who inspired you when you were a student. What did that person say or do that helped you through a difficult time? Was there a small action that had a profound, long-lasting effect on you? Adapt that action as appropriate, apply it to the kids you work with, and see what a positive difference you can make!
Here are eight online resources that can help you, as well as parents and students, adapt to the new school year and meet the challenges ahead with skills and confidence:
- Applying PBIS to Decrease Bullying—Read Global Professional Instructor Gary Weber’s tips on using a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) to identify the probable function of bullying behavior and develop a prevention and intervention plan.
- Back to School Tips—View Pathfinders for Autism’s strategies for helping kids adapt to the school-year routine.
- Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents—Get useful techniques from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) to help parents and kids adjust.
- Bullying: How Parents Can Fight Back—Access School Family’s tips on what parents can do when kids are bullied.
- Positive Connections: CPI and Positive Behavior Support—Watch our webinar on effective strategies and interventions that promote positive change in schools.
- Principals Set Goals for New School Year—Visit EducationWorld's page that's packed with tips for setting goals and ensuring a successful school year.
- 65+ Awesome Apps for Autism!—Check out this collection of apps geared for teachers and for individuals on the autism spectrum. Topics include communication, learning, self-calming, and more.
- Top 10 Positive Behavior Support (PBIS) Online Resources—Get more resources for supporting positive student behavior.
Please comment below and let others know about your successes and challenges with the new school year. Share your resources and experiences!