Archive | Educators

Dream Big!

Encouraging Your Children’s Fantasies—and Their Future! It’s something a child hears often: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A simple, even rhetorical question. But for children, this is a serious inquiry that can also be a great opportunity to share their ambitions, dreams, and creative longings. Even if the answers vary […]

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Assuming Your Professional Teaching Identity

A guide for beginning teachers The following material is adapted from Chapter 6 of Becoming a Win-Win Teacher, a book written especially for new teachers, returning teachers, and anyone needing a shot in the arm during (or after) a challenging year.  Teaching became easier when I started seeing myself as a teacher and no longer a college […]

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What I Learned When I Started Teaching

And why I write books for beginning educators This excerpt was pulled from the introduction of the final draft of Becoming a Win-Win Teacher, a book I wrote to help prepare beginning teachers enter—and STAY—in the field. The piece has been revised somewhat to refer to resources available on this website. In retrospect, I was one of the […]

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“Constructive Differencing” Notes and Highlights

How to disagree and still maintain contact The following offers additional resource material related to the conversation with Dr. Jared Scherz, (audio file/podcast) recorded on Dec. 14, 2011. The main points include: One of the most stress-producing obstacles in any relationship is the need to be right when it requires others to be wrong. Differences […]

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Special Offers on Dr. Bluestein’s Resources

A special thank you to newsletter subscribers and social media friends Each newsletter offers special prices on products offered on this site. (If you’re not already on our mailing list, just add your email address in the sign-up box on the right side at the bottom of this page.) And for a limited time, we even […]

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Presentation: Perfectionism—What’s it Costing Our Kids?

The high cost of the pressure to be perfect What’s wrong with perfectionism? Everything! Here are the causes and consequences of perfectionism—plus a few suggestions for potential “cures.” Some young people continually strive for excellence, trying to do their best, willing to make mistakes and learn from them, and take on challenges to grow their interests. Others chase perfection, […]

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Motivating the Unmotivated

Getting past defenses, disinterest, and disengagement Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein Of all the challenges teachers face, the one mentioned most consistently over the years has been, “How do I engage kids who aren’t motivated and just don’t care?” Few things are more frustrated that having your planning and enthusiasm met with groans, shrugs, or eye […]

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Bouncing Back

The art of resiliency Excerpt from “Emotional Safety: Personal and Character Development,” from chapter 15 of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools by Dr. Jane Bluestein © 2001, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. This excerpt was extracted from the manuscript for this book and may be slightly different from the actual printed copy. The entire bibliography of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools is […]

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The Saber-Tooth Curriculum Revisited—A Brief Walk in Time

Abstract Objectives and Purpose of Proposal In his 1939 book, The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, Harold Benjamin (aka J. Abner Pediwell) sketched a parable of stagnate curriculum reform. The book is a metaphorical and historical account of the development of an educational system. This paper addresses, through the “lens” of Pediwell, the critical need to examine the […]

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Stress-Producing Obstacles in Relationships

Patterns to avoid Want to reduce conflict, pain, and alienation in relationships with the important people in your life? Here are some of the patterns that make connecting difficult. (Some suggestions for resolution below.) • Needing to be in charge or in control, especially when it depends on disempowering or controlling others, or when it disregards […]

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Does Your Confidence Propel or Sabotage You?

How confidence affects our happiness There are two different kinds of confidence a person may embrace. One comes from a strong, quiet strength and the second type comes from a fear-based confidence. Quiet confidence is an inner strength that when attained doesn’t have to be talked about or placed on a résumé; it shows in a […]

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Starting Fresh

Beginning a new year. Or a new day. Note: I started this post on Feb. 8, 2014 and, like many things I started during the time I was working on the perfectionism book, lost track of it before I finished. I think the idea of coming back more than 2 years later to complete this […]

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Increasing Success for ALL Students

Strategies for changing or maintaining the students’ level of alertness and attentiveness There will be times when your students are starting to drift off or glaze over but you need their attention for a few more minutes before the bell rings. Or they come in all wound up and you need them to settle down […]

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Ways to Build Tolerance and Respect for Diversity

Practical strategies for positive change • Pay attention to peer-to-peer interactions. Increase awareness, advocacy, and a willingness to take immediate, positive action (regarding how kids treat one another). • Advocate for the underdog. Encourage kids to connect with children who seem isolated. Emphasize the value of inclusion. • Interrupt any instances of meanness, name calling, […]

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Wish List for Beginning Teachers

Interviews with new teachers reveal what they want most: • Encouragement: Feedback that builds on their strengths, not just cautions to “do better” or “try harder.” • Fairness: Not being placed in the toughest schools, given the most challenging students, or being the first asked to make last-minute room or grade level changes • Honesty: […]

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Fear, Stress, and Learning

Obstacles to the learning process Excerpt from “Learning and the Brain,” chapter 4 of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools by Dr. Jane Bluestein © 2001, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. This excerpt was extracted from the manuscript for this book and may be slightly different from the actual printed copy. The entire bibliography of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools is available on […]

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The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Background and ESSA Context The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA—now also coined as the “Every Student Succeeds Act”—ESSA) was passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 10, 2015. It will be phased in over the next two years, and will not be fully in place until the 2017-18 school year when […]

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Presentation: The Perfection Deception

Why trying to be perfect is sabotaging our relationships, making us sick, and holding our happiness hostage Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein Perfectionism may sound like a good thing, but it’s entirely different from the more realistic and achievable healthy pursuit of excellence. Working diligently toward improvement, learning, and growth is also far less destructive (and […]

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