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Notes from the Backpack: A PTA Podcast
25 minutes | May 18, 2022
Improving Student Wellness
Our nation is facing an adolescent mental health crisis. Teens are struggling in the classroom and at home. Our guest, Instructional Support Specialist and Social Emotional Learning Lead, Leona Fowler, shares her experiences navigating these challenges and what approaches can equip our kids with the coping skills they need. She discusses how mindfulness and other social emotional learning techniques can improve student wellness at school and at home. Resources: Explore Educators for Excellence’s new report, https://e4e.org/news/survey-americas-educators/voices-classroom-2022-survey-americas-educators (Voices from the Classroom 2022: A Survey of America’s Educators), for additional insights on student wellness from educators Visit https://www.pta.org/home/programs/Healthy-Lifestyles/mental-health (PTA.org/HealthyMinds) to explore more resources related to student mental health and social emotional wellness Discover virtual learning materials brought to you by Phi Delta Kappa at the https://www.nspdkacademy.org/ (NSPDK E-Learning Academy) Follow Leona Fowler on social media at https://twitter.com/mizbosslady82 (@MizBossLady82 )
26 minutes | May 11, 2022
Addressing Learning Loss
Since the pandemic began, the phrase “learning loss” has become a frequently used term in the education field. What kind of “learning loss” are teachers actually seeing in their classrooms and how are they working to address it? Angela Burley, sixth grade social studies teacher and a 2021-2022 Teach Plus Texas Policy Fellow, joins the show to share her perspective on the issue. Resources: Read Angela Burley’s piece in the Dallas Examiner, “https://dallasexaminer.com/students-cant-help-being-absent-because-of-covid-we-need-to-help-them-not-label-them-chronically-absent/ (Students can’t help being absent because of COVID. We need to help them, not label them chronically absent).” Read another teacher’s perspective on the issue in the ASCD blog article, “https://www.ascd.org/blogs/why-learning-loss-is-so-complicated-and-how-to-address-it-constructively (Why ‘Learning Loss’ Is So Complicated (and How to Address It Constructively)).” From the Archives: Listen to “https://www.pta.org/the-center-for-family-engagement/podcast/notes-from-the-backpack/how-is-your-kid-really-doing-in-school (How is Your Kid Really Doing in School?)” featuring Learning Heroes’ Bibb Hubbard.
25 minutes | May 4, 2022
The Teacher Burnout Crisis
In the last few years, teachers have faced unprecedented challenges that have left a lot of them feeling burnt out. Experienced educator and activist, Sofia Gonzalez, shares her thoughts on teacher burnout and how systemic changes could make teaching a more sustainable profession. Read the National Education Association’s article, “https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/getting-serious-about-teacher-burnout#:~:text=Burnout%20is%20often%20a%20more,high%20standards%20of%20the%20profession. (Getting Serious about Teacher Burnout)” Read the Brookings Institution’s article, “https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2022/02/08/how-much-do-teachers-struggle-with-stress-and-burnout/ (How much do teachers struggle with stress and burnout)?” Visit http://pta.org/thankateacher (PTA.org/ThankATeacher) for teacher appreciation resources Follow Sofia Gonzalez on social media at https://twitter.com/mrsg_p214?lang=en (@MrsG_P214) and learn more about her nonprofit organization, https://www.project214.net/ (Project 214)
24 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
Fostering Student Motivation
Fostering motivation is an important part of a teacher’s job. Larry Ferlazzo, veteran high school teacher and Education Week writer, shares his insights on how to motivate students. Learn what teachers most want you to know about student motivation and get tips on how to get your child to do their homework, chores and more. Resources: Check out “https://ptaourchildren.org/keep-kids-engaged-in-learning/ (4 Tips to Keep Kids Engaged in Learning)” on PTA’s Our Children online magazine Read one of Larry’s many books, including https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/building-a-community-of-self-motivated-learners-larry-ferlazzo/1133705508 (Building a Community of Self-Motivated Learners) and https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/self-driven-learning-larry-ferlazzo/1114740282 (Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies for Student Motivation) Follow Larry Ferlazzo on social media at https://twitter.com/Larryferlazzo (@LarryFerlazzo) and read more of his work on https://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/ (his blog)
25 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Parents’ Guide to College Admissions
The college admissions process was stressful enough before the pandemic, now it’s more confusing than ever. Ffiona Rees, board chair of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), joins us to answer all of your questions. Listen to discover her top tips for supporting your teen as they navigate through the college admissions process. Resources: Check out “https://ptaourchildren.org/college-planning-questions-every-family-should-ask/ (College Planning: 6 Questions Every Family Should Ask)” on PTA’s Our Children online magazine From the Archives: Listen to “https://www.pta.org/the-center-for-family-engagement/podcast/notes-from-the-backpack/how-college-ready-are-you (How College Ready Are You?)” featuring UNCF’s Sekou Biddle Explore more resources from NACAC at https://www.nacacnet.org/ (nacacnet.org) Share your ideas for next season in the https://forms.gle/qYZkW8CHR7ke123i7 (2022 Podcast Feedback Survey)
25 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
Helping Kids Understand Money
What do your kids know about money? Jen Hemphill, host of the podcast, Her Dinero Matters, shares tips from her experience as an accredited financial advisor and as a mom. Learn how to talk about money with children of all ages and how you can help them to become financially responsible. Resources: Listen Jen Hemphill’s podcast https://jenhemphill.com/her-dinero-matters-podcast/ (Her Dinero Matters) on all major podcast platforms Explore https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/money-as-you-grow/ (Money As You Grow), a resource from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to help parents and caregivers talk to kids about money Get more tips to help your child become financially responsible in “https://ptaourchildren.org/adulting-101-cooking-to-credit-cards/ (Adulting 101: From Cooking to Credit Cards)” on PTA’s Our Children online magazine
25 minutes | Feb 2, 2022
Why Aren’t There More Black Teachers?
Most people can count on one hand the number of Black teachers they had during their schooling. Our guest Sharif El-Mekki is working to change that. Sharif discusses how underrepresentation of Black teachers has repercussions for all of our children, and for Black children in particular. Resources: Visit https://www.thecenterblacked.org/ (TheCenterBlacked.org) to learn more about Sharif’s work, including opportunities for paid apprenticeships and other teaching experiences From the Archives: Listen to our https://www.pta.org/the-center-for-family-engagement/podcast/notes-from-the-backpack/interview-with-national-teacher-of-the-year (podcast episode featuring Rodney Robinson) Read “https://www.nsba.org/ASBJ/2021/February/diverse-teachers-matter (Diverse Teachers Matter),” from the National School Board Association Follow the Center for Black Educator Development and Sharif El-Mekki on social media: https://twitter.com/centerblacked (@CenterBlackEd )and https://twitter.com/selmekki (@SElMekki)
28 minutes | Jan 19, 2022
Do My Child’s Test Scores Really Matter?
Parents can often feel overwhelmed when they receive their child’s test scores. What do the scores mean and do they even matter? Dr. Andrew Ho, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, breaks down what you need to know about standardized testing so you can understand what really matters for your child’s learning and development. Resources: Review Andrew’s helpful resource, https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/andrewho/files/testquestions.pdf (Questions to Ask About Educational Tests) Read “https://ptaourchildren.org/take-the-stress-out-of-standardized-tests/ (Take The Stress Out of Standardized Tests)” on PTA’s Our Children online magazine Follow Dr. Andrew Ho on social media at https://twitter.com/andrewdeanho (@AndrewDeanHo )
27 minutes | Jan 5, 2022
Families in Transition: Lessons from the Military
Whether your child is transitioning to a new school or a new country, change can be hard. We can learn a lot from military families who experience these types of transitions more frequently than most. Dr. Keith Mispagel, superintendent of Fort Leavenworth Unified School District, talks with our hosts about helping children adjust to new environments. Resources: Learn more about Keith Mispagel and his school district at usd207.org and follow Keith on social media at https://twitter.com/kmispagel (@KMispagel ) Discover resources for military families at http://militaryfamily.org (militaryfamily.org) and https://militaryimpactedschoolsassociation.org/ (militaryimpactedschoolsassociation.org)
26 minutes | Dec 8, 2021
Cooking with Kids: Tips from Duff Goldman
Celebrity chef, Duff Goldman, joins the show to help you and your family have a blast in the kitchen. Duff shares tips for teaching your kids science while cooking and helping them develop independence and confidence using tools and appliances. The hosts also discuss his parenting style and cooking journey! Resources: Watch Duff’s https://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/duff-s-happy-fun-bake-time (Happy Fun Bake Time) with the whole family and check out Duff’s cookbook, https://www.duff.com/store/p/super-good-baking-for-kids (Super Good Baking for Kids) Read “https://ptaourchildren.org/7-tips-to-get-kids-into-cooking-at-home/ (7 Tips to Get Kids into Cooking at Home)” on PTA’s Our Children online magazine Follow Duff on social media https://twitter.com/duffgoldman (@DuffGoldman )
25 minutes | Nov 24, 2021
Our Culture is More than a Holiday with Sheetal Sheth
From people who mispronounce your child’s name to teachers who expect them to explain your family’s holiday traditions to the class, your child may be struggling with the pressure to represent an entire culture. Actress and author Sheetal Sheth joins the show to discuss how families can help kids embrace their identities and explains how she shared her own identity and experience as a mother in her children’s books Always Anjali and Bravo Anjali. Resources: Read https://bookshop.org/books/always-anjali/9781684019687 (Always Anjali) and the sequel, https://bookshop.org/books/bravo-anjali/9781737055013 (Bravo Anjali), with your kids Follow Sheetal on social media https://twitter.com/sheetalsheth (@SheetalSheth) Listen to https://www.pta.org/the-center-for-family-engagement/podcast/notes-from-the-backpack/talking-race-kidlit (Talking Race & KidLit with Kwame Alexander) to learn more about diversifying your children’s library
28 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
Raising Kids Who Change the World featuring Marley Dias & Dr. Janice Johnson Dias
Help your child channel their frustrations into social action! This week, our hosts chatted with author and founder of 1000 Black Girl Books, Marley Dias, and her mom, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, who is an educator and author as well. They share how you can help your child develop their entrepreneurial spirit and enhance their problem solving skills—all while making the world a better place! Resources: Learn more about the https://www.marleydias.com/1000blackgirlbooks/ (1000 Black Girl Books Campaign) and how you can get involved Watch Marley in the Netflix series, https://www.netflix.com/title/81303906 (Bookmarks) Follow Marley on social media https://www.instagram.com/iammarleydias (@IAmMarleyDias) and read her bookhttps://bookshop.org/books/marley-dias-gets-it-done-and-so-can-you/9781338136890 ( Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You) Follow Dr. Janice on social media https://www.instagram.com/drjanicejohnson (@DrJaniceJohnsonDias) and read her book https://bookshop.org/books/parent-like-it-matters-how-to-raise-joyful-change-making-girls/9781984819628 (Parent Like It Matters: How to Raise Joyful, Changemaking Girls)
27 minutes | Oct 27, 2021
Supporting Students of Color
How can schools do a better job affirming children’s racial identities? Dr. Shawn Jones, psychologist and professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University, joined the podcast to offer guidance on creating schools that better serve students of color. He shares how families can help by talking openly and honestly about their own experiences with race. He also offers suggestions for how white families can be part of the effort to create more affirming schools for students of color. For more advice on talking to your children about race, listen to our podcast episode https://www.pta.org/the-center-for-family-engagement/podcast/notes-from-the-backpack/raising-kids-who-embrace-race (Raising Kids Who Embrace Race) Learn more from Dr. Shawn Jones in Embrace Race’s webinar, “https://www.embracerace.org/resources/managing-racial-stress-and-teaching-kids-to-do-the-same (Managing Racial Stress and Teaching Kids to Do the Same)” Read “https://ptaourchildren.org/how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-racism/ (How To Talk To Your Child About Racism)” on PTA’s Our Children online magazine Follow Dr. Shawn Jones on social media https://twitter.com/SCTJones (@SCTJones) and his podcast Our Mental Health Minute https://twitter.com/OurMHM (@OurMHM)
25 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Social Media & Cyberbullying 101
From the cyberbullying risks to dangerous social media challenges, many parents feel terrified when their child enters the world of social media. How can families have proactive discussions about navigating the online world responsibly? Dr. Sameer Hinduja, director of the Cyberbullying Research Center joins the show to share practical tips and respond to some of your most commonly asked questions! Visit http://cyberbullying.org (cyberbullying.org) for lots of helpful resources for parents, educators and students! Learn more about our guest—and reach out to him directly with your own questions—at http://www.hinduja.org (hinduja.org). You can also follow him on social media https://twitter.com/hinduja (@Hinduja) Explore the https://www.commonsense.org/education/SEL (SEL in Digital Life Resource Center) from Common Sense Media Have a conversation with your children about technology using tips from https://thesmarttalk.org/ (TheSmartTalk.org) Thanks to NortonLifeLock, a longtime Proud National PTA Sponsor, for supporting this episode.
25 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
What is Social and Emotional Learning Anyway?
What life skills does your child need to thrive? There’s a lot of learning happening in schools that goes beyond academics. Karen Van Ausdal joined our hosts to talk about Social and Emotional Learning. She shares what Social and Emotional Learning looks like, why it’s important and how families can support. Resources: Explore CASEL’s helpful tools including the https://casel.org/reopening-with-sel/ (SEL Roadmap), https://schoolguide.casel.org/ (the CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL) and the https://schoolguide.casel.org/resource/sel-discussion-series-for-parents-and-caregivers-english/ (SEL Discussion Series for Parents and Caregivers) (also available in https://schoolguide.casel.org/resource/sel-discussion-series-for-parents-and-caregivers-spanish/ (Spanish)) Don’t miss CASEL’s videos, https://casel.org/what-is-sel/ (What is SEL) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgErDZ2pXZc (Schoolwide SEL: Authentic Family Partnerships) Follow CASEL on social media https://twitter.com/caselorg (@CASELOrg ) Read “https://ptaourchildren.org/teaching-social-and-emotional-skills-at-home/ (Teaching Social and Emotional Skills at Home)” in PTA’s Our Children online magazine Check out even more SEL resources at PTA.org/socialemotional
21 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
Back to School with the CDC
As we enter our second Back-to-School season filled with COVID-19 safety precautions, it’s vital that you stay informed. We invited a special guest, Captain Erin Sauber-Schatz, community guidance subject matter expert for CDC's COVID-19 Response, to share the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Resources: Watch National PTA’s https://t.co/fYJd3ZHtyK (Back to Class Virtual Town Hall) hosted in partnership with the CDC. Read through the CDC’s https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-guidance.html (Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools), their https://www.cdc.gov/parents/children/back-to-school.html (Back to School Reminders) and information about https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/school-testing.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcovid19-school-testing%2Findex.html (School Testing for COVID-19) . Listen to the CDC’s five-minute podcast episode https://tools.cdc.gov/medialibrary/index.aspx#/media/id/424704 (Transitioning Back to School or Early Child Education) Explore the CDC’s https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/stress-coping/parental-resources/adolescence/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2F (COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit) available in English & Spanish Follow the CDC on social media at https://twitter.com/CDCgov (@CDCgov)
26 minutes | May 12, 2021
Are You Practicing Parent Self-Care?
Did your last power struggle with your child leave you feeling burnt out? What if we shifted our mindset around parenting, and stopped trying to make our kids happy all the time? Dr. Shefali, a clinical psychologist and author, whose work has been endorsed by Oprah, joins our hosts to discuss parent self-care. She shares her own parenting experiences and philosophy and offers advice on letting go and learning to live in the now. Resources: Read https://ptaourchildren.org/self-care-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/ (Self Care in the Time of Coronavirus) in Our Children, PTA’s online magazine Get a copy of http://getsuperpowered.com (Superpowered: Transforming Anxiety into Courage, Confidence and Resilience) for your child (ages 8-15) Learn more about our expert guest at http://www.drshefali.com (drshefali.com)
24 minutes | May 12, 2021
How Can We Normalize Talking about Mental Health?
Let’s start talking about mental health! For too long, we’ve stigmatized mental health issues and it’s time to have open conversations with our friends and family. We talked to mental health advocate, Allison Raskin, about her personal journey and work to destigmatize these topics. She offers advice for normalizing discussions of mental health in your family and community! Resources: Follow Allison’s mental health social media channel https://www.instagram.com/emotionalsupportlady/?hl=en (@EmotionalSupportLady) and join her https://l.instagram.com/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fpatreon.com%2Femotionalsupportlady%2F&e=ATNCw1--We1UxoSToUTsPrS67IEKs0kPPqBuYRBX2xfYSlNIP_agjyV-MkgBpZVOBkPHuoxrd4dX4zdbUMaYnw&s=1 (Patreon community). Visit NAMI’s https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Pledge-to-Be-StigmaFree (webpage )to learn more about mental health stigma and pledge to be StigmaFree. For more information about OCD, visit the https://iocdf.org/ (International OCD Foundation website).
26 minutes | May 12, 2021
How Can I Help My Teen Manage Stress?
Is your teenager so stressed you worry they’re on the brink of burning out? Teens are still facing the typical pressures of navigating friendships, relationships, college admissions and now a pandemic. Our hosts spoke with adolescent psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. John Duffy, about how families can support their teens during this challenging time. He offers advice and shares how parents can distinguish between typical teenage stress and when it is time to seek help. Resources: Explore relevant resources from Active Minds including their https://www.activeminds.org/about-mental-health/stress-or-anxiety/ (Stress vs. Anxiety) page and their tips for https://www.activeminds.org/about-mental-health/managing-anxiety/ (Managing Your Anxiety). Get more information about anxiety in Child Mind Institute’s article, “https://childmind.org/article/what-are-the-different-kinds-of-anxiety/ (What Are the Different Kinds of Anxiety?)” Learn more about our expert guest at http://www.drjohnduffy.com (drjohnduffy.com) and get a copy of his latest book https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781642500493 (Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety).
28 minutes | May 12, 2021
How Can We Prioritize Wellness at School?
How can we prepare to meet every child’s needs as they return to school? We spoke with National School Psychologist of the Year, Chandrai Jackson-Saunders to learn how schools can set children up for success and how families can help by focusing on the whole child. She offers concrete strategies school communities should implement to meet the variety of needs children will have in the wake of the pandemic. Resources: The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has lots of resources available about the https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/covid-19-resource-center/return-to-school (return to school), as well as https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/covid-19-resource-center/family-and-educator-resources (family resources) designed to help families like yours! Get even more https://childmind.org/backtoschool/ (back to school resources) from our partners at Child Mind Institute. As your children return to school, if you’re wondering whether they are just a bit behind or may be struggling with a learning difference, check out Understood.org’s http://www.understood.org/take-note/ (Take Note tools). Learn more about our expert guest at http://www.cjsaunders.org (cjsaunders.org).
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