Teaching 101: The Dos and Don’ts of Changing Schools

Changing schools can be a significant event in the career of a teacher. Whether it’s for personal growth, relocation, or seeking new challenges, transitioning to a new school requires careful consideration and planning. In this article, we’ll discuss several dos and don’ts to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Do: Research the New School

Before you make a move, do your homework on the new school. Look into its culture, policies, student demographics, and the curriculum they follow. Understanding these elements in advance can help you adjust more quickly to your new environment.

Do: Connect with Your New Colleagues

Building relationships with your new colleagues can provide you with a support system and valuable insights into the school’s dynamics. Reach out and introduce yourself, and be proactive about participating in professional development opportunities.

Do: Communicate with Parents Early On

Parents are key partners in education. Introduce yourself through a welcome letter or an email, and express your commitment to their child’s education. Open lines of communication early to build trust and rapport.

Do: Familiarize Yourself with New Policies

Every school has its unique set of rules and policies. Make it a priority to understand these fully to avoid any unintended missteps and demonstrate your professionalism.

Do: Reflect on Your Teaching Practices

Use the change as an opportunity to reflect on what teaching methods have been effective for you in the past, what hasn’t worked as well, and what new strategies you can implement in the different environment of your new school.

Don’t: Resist Change

Avoid approaching your new role with an inflexible mindset. Be open to learning from new experiences and willing to adapt your teaching style if necessary.

Don’t: Overlook Student Needs

While adjusting yourself to the new setting is important, ensure that prioritizing student needs remains at the forefront of your practice.

Don’t: Burn Bridges at Your Former School

Leaving on good terms is vital. Maintain professional relationships with colleagues from your former school as they continue to be a part of your broader educational network.

Don’t: Criticize Your Previous School or Students

Remain positive about your past experiences when discussing them with new colleagues or parents. Criticism can reflect poorly on your professionalism.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can navigate the complexities associated with changing schools effectively. Remember that every transition presents opportunities for growth — embrace it with confidence!

Guided Meditation (Mindful Breathing) Script for Kids

Welcome to our journey of mindful breathing, designed especially for you, the young explorers! Let’s discover how we can use our breath to help us feel calm and focused.

Finding Your Space

First, find a cozy spot where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Make sure it is a quiet place where you feel safe and happy. Are you there? Great!

Creating Your Bubble of Peace

Close your eyes gently and imagine that you are inside a bubble. This is your bubble of peace. Nothing can bother you here. It’s a magical place where you are relaxed and safe.

Becoming Aware of Your Breath

Now, bring your attention to your breath without trying to change it. Notice how the air feels cool as it enters through your nose and warm as it flows out. Can you feel it? It’s like a little breeze just for you.

Counting Your Breath

We are going to count our breaths together. When you breathe in, count “one” in your head and as you breathe out, count “two.” Keep going until we reach the number ten.

The Balloon Belly

Place one hand on your belly. Can you feel it rise and fall with each breath? Pretend your belly is a balloon that inflates with each inhale and deflates with each exhale. What color is your balloon?

The Pause between Breaths

Notice the short pause after you inhale and before you exhale. It’s like the quiet moment at the top of a swing before it swoops back down.

Listening to Your Heartbeat

Try to feel your heartbeat. It may be soft and quiet, almost like it’s whispering secrets to you with every beat.

Blowing Bubbles of Thoughts Away

If any thoughts come into your mind, imagine putting them into bubbles and watch them float away from you. Pop!

Thanking Your Breath

Finally, thank your breath for being your friend and helping you feel still and quiet inside.

When you’re ready, wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes, give yourself a big stretch, and open your eyes!

Welcome back! Remember that this peaceful place is always here for you whenever you need it, just one breath away.

Remember kids, every time life feels too buzzy like busy bees or storms roll in with worries, find a moment for mindful breathing; close those bright eyes, find the calm in the breath storm, and float away on clouds of peace – because within each breath lies an adventure into tranquility!

How to Encourage and Support Independent Learning

Independent learning is a crucial skill that enables individuals to take charge of their education, allowing them to dive deep into subjects they’re passionate about and to cultivate a lifelong love of learning. As educators, parents or mentors, our goal is not only to convey knowledge but also to inspire confidence in learners to explore and absorb information on their own. Here are strategies you can implement to encourage and support independent learning:

Create a Learning-Conducive Environment:

A comfortable, well-organized environment with minimal distractions promotes concentration. Provide a quiet, tidy space with adequate lighting where learners can focus on their studies.

Set Realistic Goals:

Help learners set achievable objectives. Short-term and long-term goals give direction and provide a sense of accomplishment once achieved.

Provide the Right Tools:

Ensure that learners have access to resources such as books, online materials, and educational software. Knowing how to use these tools is just as essential; offer guidance when necessary.

Promote Time-Management Skills:

Encourage the use of planners or digital calendars. This helps students learn how to allocate time for different activities and responsibilities effectively.

Cultivate Critical Thinking:

Engage learners in questions that stimulate thoughtful discussions, requiring them to form opinions based on evidence rather than on preconceptions.

Offer Constructive Feedback:

Feedback should be focused on effort and improvement rather than solely on end results. Specific, positive criticism can motivate continuous growth.

Embrace Technology:

Integrate technology into the learning process. Educational apps, websites, and platforms can provide interactive opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Encourage Questions:

Create an atmosphere where questions are welcomed and valued. Asking questions is fundamental to independent learning as it reflects inquisitiveness and a desire to understand deeply.

Foster Decision-Making:

Allow learners the liberty to choose topics or projects that interest them. The power of choice increases engagement and instills accountability for their learning.

Model Lifelong Learning:

Be an example of a lifelong learner. Share your experiences with self-guided undertakings or express genuine excitement when acquiring new knowledge; it’s infectious!

Support Group Interaction:

Learning alongside peers can be motivating. Collaborative work encourages discussion, the sharing of ideas, and assists in social development.

Celebrate Achievements:

Recognize both big victories and small successes. Celebrating progress reinforces the value of setting personal aspirations and working towards them independently.

By embedding these practices into your approach, you create an environment ripe for cultivating independent learners who are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in an ever-changing world. Remember that supporting independent learning is not about providing all the answers; it’s about guiding students through the journey of finding solutions themselves.

12 Must-Have Books for Sharing First Nations Culture

First Nations literature offers a profound glimpse into the history, identity, and living traditions of Indigenous people. These books build bridges of understanding, and it is essential that everyone has the opportunity to access these vital stories. We’ve curated a list of 12 must-have books that are perfect for sharing and celebrating First Nations culture.

1. “The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative” by Thomas King – A masterful exploration of storytelling’s power, blending folklore, memoir, and history.

2. “Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City” by Tanya Talaga – Investigative journalism that delves into the lives and untimely deaths of seven Indigenous high school students.

3. “Birdie” by Tracey Lindberg – A novel exploring the journey of a Cree woman as she travels towards self-acceptance and healing.

4. “Monkey Beach” by Eden Robinson – A coming-of-age story about a young Haisla woman who has visions of the future and can communicate with spirits.

5. “The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America” by Thomas King – This account provides an insightful discussion of North American Indigenous history and contemporary issues.

6. “Indian Horse” by Richard Wagamese – A residential school survivor’s tale, using hockey as a means to find salvation yet facing haunting past traumas.

7. “The Marrow Thieves” by Cherie Dimaline – In a dystopian future where Indigenous people are hunted for their bone marrow, this narrative speaks to survival and resilience.

8. “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich – A riveting novel centered on a crime on an Ojibwe reservation that explores themes of justice and sacred land.

9. “Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection” Vol. 1&2 – Various Artists & Writers – A collection showcasing the diverse storytelling traditions of Indigenous creators through graphic novel form.

10. “Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden – The story of two Cree soldiers in WWI, it’s a haunting account of friendship, war, and cultural upheaval.

11. “When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry,” edited by Joy Harjo – An anthology celebrating voices from nearly 100 Indigenous poets.

12. “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer – An exploration into how combining traditional knowledge with modern science can lead to ecological understanding and stewardship.

Whether you are looking for powerful narratives, compelling historical insights or contemporary discussions on First Nations experiences, these books offer diverse perspectives that contribute richly to the tapestry of human culture. Engage with these works to celebrate and honor First Nations histories and voices while enriching your own understanding of our collective world.

For Parents Teaching Resources

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, resources for teaching children effectively at home have become invaluable. Parents, who often double as educators, seek materials that align with current pedagogical practices and cater to their children’s learning styles. The digital age has allowed for a wealth of resources to become readily accessible, making home education a more viable option than ever before.

Websites such as Khan Academy offer free tutorials in a range of subjects for all ages, while educational platforms like ABCmouse cater to younger learners with interactive activities that make learning fun and engaging. Parents can also utilize printable worksheets from sites like Super Teacher Worksheets to supplement their children’s learning with tangible resources.

For those inclined towards a more structured curriculum, Time4Learning provides comprehensive lesson plans and assessments. It accommodates various learning approaches, including those tailored for children with special needs or for whom English is a second language.

Aside from these structured resources, many educational experts advocate the importance of incorporating real-world experiences into learning. This could mean engaging children in cooking to teach them about measurements and chemistry or going on nature walks to discuss biology and the environment.

Moreover, it’s crucial for parents to stay informed about the latest educational tools and trends by joining online communities or attending webinars dedicated to homeschooling methods and practices.

Educational podcasts like ‘The Homeschool Sanity Show’ offer tips and encouragement to parents navigating the homeschooling journey. Learning apps such as Duolingo mix gamification with skill progression in language learning, providing both a motivational and educational tool.

For parents of particularly young learners, resources like ‘Teach Your Monster to Read’ can assist with literacy through interactive games that feel more like playtime than traditional study sessions.

In conclusion, an abundance of teaching resources for parents exists online and in various media formats. Customizing education to fit their child’s needs becomes not just possible but enjoyable with the proper tools and the commitment to lifelong learning. Nurturing curiosity at home, strengthening academic foundations, and fostering a love for education is achievable now more than ever with these outstanding teaching aids.

Classroom Earth Hour Activities: Engaging Students in Environmental Awareness


In today’s world, it is crucial to educate students about the importance of taking care of our planet. By participating in Earth Hour activities, students can actively contribute to environmental awareness. This article will discuss some innovative and engaging classroom activities to inspire students to become mindful of their ecological footprint.

Activity 1: Lights Out

The simplest and most impactful Earth Hour activity is turning off the lights. Encourage students to brainstorm energy-saving alternatives during this time. Discuss the importance of conservation and how small actions can lead to significant change.

Activity 2: Eco-Art Exhibition

Organize an eco-themed art exhibition where students create artwork using recycled materials. Encourage them to express their creativity while highlighting the significance of recycling. This activity sparks conversations about sustainability and the artistic potential of repurposed materials.

Activity 3: Sustainable Science Fair

Host a sustainable science fair where students explore renewable energy sources, composting, and sustainable agriculture. This hands-on approach allows students to delve deeper into environmental topics and develop critical thinking skills while presenting their findings to the school community.

Activity 4: Waste Audit Challenge

Conducting waste audits in the classroom is an effective way to raise awareness about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Divide students into teams and have them track and analyze their waste generation. This activity promotes a sense of responsibility towards waste management.

Activity 5: Nature Walk and Reflection

Arrange a nature walk in a nearby park or natural reserve. Students can observe and analyze their surroundings, documenting their findings through pictures, sketches, or written reflections. Encourage them to identify the impact of human activities on the environment and brainstorm potential solutions.


Engaging students in Earth Hour activities not only creates awareness but also empowers them to make a positive impact on the environment. By implementing these activities in the classroom, educators can inspire students to become responsible global citizens who understand the value of sustainability and take active steps towards a greener future.

11 Valentines Day Activities Your Class Will Love

Valentine’s Day is a special occasion that allows students to express their love and appreciation for one another. To make this day memorable for your class, here are 11 fun and engaging activities that your students will love:

1. Love Letter Exchange: Have each student write a sincere, anonymous love letter to a fellow classmate. On Valentine’s Day, distribute the letters and watch as the students’ faces light up with joy and surprise.

2. Friendship Bracelet Workshop: Organize a friendship bracelet-making workshop where students can create colorful bracelets for their friends. This activity promotes friendship and unity within the class.

3. Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt: Set up a scavenger hunt around the classroom or school premises with Valentine’s Day-themed clues. The students can work in pairs or small groups to solve the clues and find hidden treasures.

4. Heartfelt Art: Provide art supplies and encourage students to create heart-themed artwork. Display the masterpieces around the classroom to showcase their creativity.

5. Love-Inspired Book Club: Select a popular children’s book centered around love or friendship and host a book club discussion. Allow students to share their thoughts and insights while promoting reading comprehension.

6. Love and Kindness Jar: Introduce a love and kindness jar in the classroom. Whenever a student witnesses an act of love or kindness, they can write it down and place it in the jar. Encourage students to share their positive experiences during class discussions.

7. Classroom Poetry Slam: Organize a poetry slam session where students can express their emotions and thoughts through heartfelt poems. This activity not only promotes creativity but also helps students develop their public speaking skills.

8. Valentine’s Day Science Experiment: Conduct a simple science experiment related to Valentine’s Day. For example, you can demonstrate the effect of different temperatures on the melting of chocolate hearts or show the chemical reactions behind the colors of conversation heart candies.

9. Love-Themed Board Games: Set up a board game corner in the classroom featuring love-themed games such as “Love Letter” or “Cupid’s Arrow.” This allows students to have fun while developing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

10. Random Acts of Kindness Challenge: Challenge your students to perform random acts of kindness throughout the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Encourage them to think of creative ways to spread love and positivity in the school community.

11. Valentine’s Day Dance Party: End the day with a festive Valentine’s Day dance party. Play upbeat songs, decorate the classroom with heart-shaped balloons, and let the students have a blast dancing and celebrating their friendships.

By incorporating these 11 Valentine’s Day activities into your classroom, you are not only making the day enjoyable but also fostering a sense of love, friendship, and kindness among your students. Happy Valentine’s Day!

National Tree Day 2020 Classroom Activities for Planet Ark and Teach Starter

Teach Starter and Planet Ark are teaming up once again to celebrate National Tree Day on [date]. National Tree Day is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in hands-on activities that promote awareness and appreciation for the environment. This year, the theme for National Tree Day is [theme].

Teach Starter, an educational resource website, has curated a range of classroom activities specifically designed for National Tree Day. These activities aim to foster a sense of environmental responsibility among students while providing them with fun and engaging learning experiences.

One of the activities suggested by Teach Starter is [activity 1]. This activity encourages students to [description of activity 1]. By actively participating in this activity, students can understand the importance of trees to the ecosystem and the positive impact they have on the environment.

Another exciting activity recommended by Teach Starter is [activity 2]. This activity involves [description of activity 2]. Through this activity, students can explore various aspects of nature, develop an understanding of sustainable practices, and deep dive into the role of trees in their everyday lives.

In addition to these activities, Teach Starter has compiled a list of resources, including worksheets, interactive games, and posters, to supplement the National Tree Day curriculum. These resources offer teachers the flexibility to integrate environmental education into various subjects, such as science, art, and geography.

To ensure that National Tree Day is a success, Teach Starter emphasizes the significance of preparation. Teachers are encouraged to involve students in planning, research, and even fundraising activities to support the tree planting initiatives in their local communities. This collaborative approach helps foster a sense of ownership and responsibility in students, encouraging them to become environmentally-conscious individuals.

Participating in National Tree Day offers students a chance to connect with nature, appreciate its beauty, and understand the significance of preserving our environment. Through the activities and resources provided by Teach Starter, students can develop a deep-rooted love for nature and become future custodians of the planet.

In conclusion, National Tree Day provides an ideal platform for students to engage in environmental education and take action towards a greener and more sustainable future. With Teach Starter’s activities and resources, teachers can inspire students to become advocates for the environment, creating a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

National Tree Day 2023 Classroom Activities Planet Ark And Teach Starter

Trees are essential to our planet’s health – they clean the air, provide oxygen, and offer a home to a myriad of wildlife. Recognizing their importance, National Tree Day has become a significant event in the environmental calendar. In 2023, educational initiatives by organizations like Planet Ark and Teach Starter are encouraging classrooms across the nation to connect with nature and understand the crucial role trees play in our ecosystems.

Classroom activities for National Tree Day 2023 are geared towards not only planting trees but also incorporating educational lessons that span various subjects such as science, mathematics, art, and even social studies.

One of the proposed activities includes “The Life Cycle of a Tree” where students can explore biology in a hands-on manner by planting seedlings and tracking their growth over time. The curriculum provided by Planet Ark offers detailed instructions on how to integrate this activity within school curricula while ensuring students understand the significance of what they’re doing.

Another engaging activity is the “Tree Math” worksheets provided by Teach Starter which involve calculating the age of trees based on their ring counts as well as using tree heights for measuring and proportion exercises. This can be an exciting outdoor math class that combines physical activity with learning.

For art projects, students might participate in a “Leaves & Patterns” workshop where they collect leaves from different tree species and create art pieces based on their observations of patterns in nature. This kind of activity helps develop observation skills and artistic creativity while fostering an appreciation for natural diversity.

Additionally, schools could organize a community event for National Tree Day where parents and local businesses are invited to join students in planting trees. This not only enhances community ties but also instills a sense of collective responsibility towards environmental stewardship among participants.

Incorporating these activities into classroom settings is aimed at educating and inspiring young minds about the importance of trees whilst reinforcing cross-curricular connections, making learning both fun and meaningful on National Tree Day 2023.

Preparing Students for NAPLAN A Comprehensive Guide

NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) is a crucial evaluation conducted in Australia to measure students’ performance in key areas such as reading, writing, language conventions, and numeracy. As an educator, it is vital to help students prepare for NAPLAN exams effectively. In this article, we will discuss strategies and resources to support your students’ NAPLAN preparation.

1. Familiarize Students with the Test Structure:

Ensure that students are familiar with the NAPLAN test structure, including the types of questions asked and the allocated time for each section. Familiarity breeds confidence, and students who understand what to expect are better positioned to perform well.

2. Teach Test-Taking Strategies:

Equip your students with essential test-taking strategies. Teach them how to carefully read and understand questions before answering, eliminate incorrect options, manage time effectively, and review their work. Practicing these strategies will build confidence and help improve performance.

3. Develop Strong Literacy Skills:

NAPLAN places significant emphasis on literacy skills. Encourage students to read widely and regularly, exposing them to various texts and genres. In-class discussions, reading comprehension exercises, and targeted writing tasks can enhance their literacy skills.

4. Enhance Numeracy Skills:

Building strong numeracy skills is essential for NAPLAN success. Encourage students to practice solving mathematical problems, use real-life examples to help them understand abstract concepts, and explore online math resources that align with the NAPLAN curriculum.

5. Foster Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills:

NAPLAN assesses students’ abilities to think critically and solve problems. Engage students in thought-provoking discussions, encourage them to explore different perspectives, and provide opportunities for hands-on problem-solving activities. This will develop their critical thinking abilities and help them approach NAPLAN questions effectively.

6. Utilize Available Practice Materials:

Make use of available NAPLAN practice materials to familiarize your students with the exam format. These resources can be found on educational websites like Teach Starter, which offers an extensive range of NAPLAN-specific resources for teachers and students.

7. Provide Individualized Support:

Identify students who may require additional support, such as those with learning difficulties or English language learners. Tailor instruction and provide targeted support to ensure they have equal opportunities to succeed in the NAPLAN exams.

8. Create a Positive Testing Environment:

Establish a positive and supportive atmosphere during NAPLAN preparation and exams. Encourage students to adopt positive self-talk, manage their stress, and maintain a growth mindset. Remind them that NAPLAN is one assessment among many, and the results offer opportunities for growth and improvement.

9. Communicate with Parents:

Keep parents informed about the NAPLAN process and explain how they can support their child’s preparation at home. Provide resources, practice materials, and suggestions for activities to reinforce learning outside the classroom.

By implementing these strategies and utilizing available resources, you can effectively prepare your students for NAPLAN exams. Remember, the aim is not only to achieve good results but also to develop lifelong learning skills that will benefit students beyond the NAPLAN assessment.

Disclaimer: This article is intended as a guide only and does not guarantee any specific NAPLAN results. Teachers should adapt strategies to meet the specific needs of their students.