FINAL COUNTDOWN: Don’t miss your chance to join us at the Education Event of the Year and get our FREE Print & Digital Versions of our Teacher Planner ($99.98 Value).

  • 00Days
  • 00Hours
  • 00Minutes
  • 00Seconds

4 Reasons Why Affirming Students is the Most Important Goal for Back-to-School [#134]

Click below to listen to 4 Reasons Why Affirming Students is the Most Important Goal for Back-to-School

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify | Watch on YouTube

Key Themes from 4 Reasons Why Affirming Students is the Most Important Goal for Back-to-School

  • A deeper look into the 4 goals: affirming, training, teaching, assessing
  • Why affirming is so important in the first weeks of school.
  • How to implement affirming, even before your students arrive.
  • Teacher-approved tip for learning how to pronounce your students’ names correctly

Meet Heidi and Emily from The Teacher Approved podcast

Do you ever feel like there’s just not enough time to be the kind of teacher you know you could be? Co-hosts (and sisters!) Heidi and Emily of Second Story Window are here to help you elevate what matters and simplify the rest. Join them as they share research-based and teacher-approved strategies to make your teaching more efficient and more effective than ever before. Count on the Teacher Approved podcast for a weekly serving of bite-sized professional development that you can apply in your classroom today.

What is ATTA BOY? And how it can help you with affirming students

After planning all summer and getting things ready, we know you are eager to start teaching the curriculum when the first day of school finally arrives. And while it’s great to review concepts from last year, that’s not the most important aspect at the beginning of school. You’ve heard us use the acronym ATTA BOY to describe your back-to-school goals, but in today’s episode, we’re sharing why affirming students is your most important goal for back-to-school.

Once we thought about it, we realized that affirming students in the beginning is key to success with the other three goals of training, teaching, and assessing. Building connections with students and creating a safe space for them to learn and grow, impacts their learning, engagement, and behavior. Additionally, we give ideas on how to effectively implement affirming students in your classroom.

It’s normal to want to jump right into learning content right at the beginning, but your students’ learning will be more effective if you start with the affirming goal. So while you’re still planning this summer, don’t forget to include some plans on ways for affirming students.

Resources mentioned:

Connect with Heidi & Emily:

Connect with Kelsey:

Read the transcript from 4 Reasons Why Affirming Students is the Most Important Goal for Back-to-School:

[00:00:00] Welcome to episode number 134 of educate and rejuvenate the podcast for reasons why affirming students is the most important goal for back to school with the teacher approved podcast. I am so excited for today’s episode where I’m collaborating with the teacher approved podcast, my friends, Heidi, and Emily, to share one of their top episodes over here with all of you.

I can not wait for you to hear this. Let’s go.

Welcome to educate and rejuvenate the podcast to help you revitalize your teaching, renew your spirit, and reignite your passion for life. I’m your host, Kelsey Sorensen, a former teacher, current homeschool mom, published author, and certified life coach. Whether you are a teacher in a traditional classroom homeschool from your kitchen table, Or anywhere in between.

I am on a mission to help you not only survive as an educator, but thrive. Get ready to uplevel your skills with incredible insights from guest experts and discover the missing piece, [00:01:00] rejuvenating yourself. Are you ready to both educate and rejuvenate? Let’s go.

Okay, welcome back to the podcast. I hope you’re having a great summer so far. And maybe you’ve heard by now, but I am back this summer for the third year in a row to be doing double episodes with you. So we’ll have an episode every Tuesday and an episode every Friday. Now my friend, Emily. From the dynamic duo at second story window and hosts of the teacher pool podcast, which is Emily Stephenson and Heidi van natter. They are sisters.

They are amazing. And they host the co-host, the teacher poo podcast together, which is so fun because it’s two of them talking. Together. It’s like, you’re having a coffee chat with some of your best friends. It’s amazing. Today what we’re doing, Emily reached out to me to collaborate in this way.

She’s like, Hey, what if we do a podcast swap? I hadn’t done this for a while, but that’s where. She wanted their episodes goes on my podcast and then one of my top episodes goes on their [00:02:00] podcast. And so for their podcast, I picked the episode from a while back. Called this simple mindset trick that just might change. Like blow your mind or change your life or something like that.

And it’s really where I talk about the very basics of the self coaching model. If you haven’t listened to that episode, feel free to hop over their podcast and listen to it or find it on. Or find it on the educate and rejuvenate feed here either way. But today I’m really excited that they picked this one because I feel like we haven’t talked a lot about affirming students and what that even means and how to create a safe and welcoming environment in your classroom.

I mean, that’s really what I try to cultivate here on the podcast is for us as the grownups, the educators, to have a safe and welcoming place to be ourselves. But we want to also cultivate that for our students as well. So. Really, really excited for you to hear all about this from Heidi and Emily today. But before we dive into that, this is one of the two ways that Emily and Heidi invited me to collaborate with them this summer.

I am also part of their back-to-school audio summit called the summer teacher [00:03:00] talks. Now, what that is is it’s kind of like a summit, but it’s all via podcast. It’s an audio summit where you can just sign up for it. It’s free. And you’ll each month, June, July, and August, you’ll get 16 tips from a bunch of different, incredible, amazing people.

Now I have two of the tips in there, but there are 16 per month. So there are so many, but I did record an exclusive tip for June and for August. Now, if you’re listening later, you’ll be able to get the, previous months when you opt in.

So there’s so many great tips. They did such a good job putting like what you need in June, what you need in July, what you need in August. So in June, They have, sessions such as create your summer burnout recovery plan.

So you can beat the burnout cycle once and for all, um, yes, we need that. Right. We have designer summer. We have ways to simplify planning and boost organization. So you can start the year off on the right track. And we have four strategies to avoid decision fatigue, how to actually get stuff done for [00:04:00] school this summer. Five ways teachers can use Canva in the classroom, like super interesting.

And then in July we have ones like systemize for work-life balance, delegate, automate, and eliminate. We have three tips for beginning teachers to set themselves up for a year of success. Three ways to introduce math games in your classroom. The secret trick to eliminating recess, headaches. I mean so much good stuff. August, how to embed a social, emotional learning in your classroom from day one.

How to kick your school year in a trauma informed. How to kick off your school year in a trauma-informed way that will last all year long. How to move beyond teaching grammar methods and help students apply grammar skills into writing through the use of mentor sentences, as well as contextual writing practice so much good stuff.

Your four steps for improving holy behavior. Who doesn’t need that. How to make tidy time part of your daily routine, like so many tips and I’ll be sharing tips also about sub planning. Anybody’s surprised about that. And then another exciting one that we’ll get to [00:05:00] here when you opt in, we’ll let it be a surprise. You’re definitely going to want to sign up. It’s free. If you want to upgrade to the all access pass, they do have an awesome one.

It’s not too expensive where you’ll get like $200 worth of products and everything. So it’ll be super fun. I would love for you to join me. There’s a Facebook group. I’ll be in there. It’ll be a really fun time. Like you said, it’s free. So go to the link in the show notes to sign up.

I won’t be mentioning this again, most likely on the podcast because we have a lot going on with our educate and rejuvenate event and our rebrand and everything. So don’t think that you’re going to get another reminder for me in your feed. So make sure to go. And sign up for the audio summit right now. We would love to see you there. Okay.

Let’s get to today’s episode with Heidi and Emily. And then if you love what you hear from them, make sure to go over to the teacher approved podcast and subscribe because they are just awesome. They’re great friends of mine. They just have, they’re such a wealth of knowledge. They’re so fun. I love everything about them.

So make sure that you check out their podcast too. [00:06:00]

Speaker 2: Hey there! Thanks for joining us today. In today’s episode, we’re discussing why affirming should be your number one goal at back to school and sharing a teacher approved tip for learning students names.

Speaker: We start our episodes with a morning message just like we used to do at morning meeting in our classrooms.

This week’s morning message is, What is a misconception about teaching that you had before becoming a teacher? Emily, what misconceptions did you have to lose? Oh,

Speaker 2: so many! Well, I definitely thought that there would be so much time for all the fun ideas that you see out there for your classroom, you know?

The school day seemed so long to me that surely you’d have tons of time for all that fun stuff. But it turns out that every minute of your day is jam packed with content that you need to teach. Plus I highly overestimated how much energy I’d have for pulling off those amazing ideas. Oh, no joke. Like the energy factor is just like off the

Speaker: charts.

[00:07:00] Yeah. How about you, Heidi? Uh, I think my biggest misconception, well, maybe not the biggest, but one of the biggest was, I just thought that like, Anything I did, the kids would just be like, Oh, this is amazing. I’m learning so much. I think it was too much watching of Anna Green Gable when she’s watching like Miss Stacy.

Yeah. She’s just like, Oh, look, my lovely teacher. Oh, she’s teaching us poetry. And now we’re walking in the woods. And it’s like, you wanted a second grade. Oh, captain, my captain. We would not sit on our desk. Cause

Speaker 2: that’s highly unsafe. Of course. Oh, well. Well, we have some awesome responses from our community to this question.

Natalie said that you would ever say anything just once.

Speaker: Oh, man.

Speaker 2: Christine said, I didn’t know I would be teaching grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. how to help kids learn. Oh, yeah. The adult education aspect. Yeah. Stacey said that I’d make enough money to have a house, a car, and pay my school loans.[00:08:00]

Oh, ouch. That’s a sad one, but it’s true. Realistic. Roberta said, I thought it was just eight to four.

Speaker: Oh, that might’ve been the first one. I had to look.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And Teresa’s goes right along with that. Cause she said that my brain would turn off when I drove out of the parking lot, worrying about this or that prep and planning, extracurricular, et cetera.

It’s 24 7. It doesn’t matter. And Wendy said that summers were off. Hilarious. You’re just not paid for all the work you’re going to do in the summer. Janet said that if I was kind, the kids would love me and behave nicely in class. But it’s truly that does help. Yeah. I think

Speaker: it

Speaker 2: does help. It does. Kathy said that I could get everything I planned taught.

Oh, yeah. And Maggie said that the way you decorated your room was all you needed to worry about for the first day. Which is exactly the sort of thing we’re going to be talking about in the upcoming episodes because we all know there is a lot more than that you need to worry about. But when you’re a new teacher, you kind of don’t know that.

I definitely spent a lot of [00:09:00] time, my very limited time this summer before my first year. Working on classroom decorations for my camping theme. Oh, I think, I think we all did that because that was like the one thing you could control. We’d love to have you join the conversation over in our Teacher Approved Facebook group or on Instagram at Second Story Window and that is with a two.

One thing we’ve learned over the years is that before you start planning anything for the classroom, you need to begin with the end in mind.

Speaker: Yeah, we are much more effective as teachers if we choose activities with an outcome in mind rather than just choosing something because it looks fun. Even if that is sometimes fun.

Speaker 2: As we get ready to dive into more back to school related topics here on the podcast this summer, we knew we needed to start with the foundation, your goals. So today we are talking about the four most important back to school goals and the reasons why we think affirming should be the most important.

Speaker: But don’t [00:10:00] worry if you are deep in the mode of I don’t want to talk about school yet. These goals I think are abstract enough to give you something to think about while you relax at the pool without making you feel like you’ve got

Speaker 2: to immediately tackle your whole to do list. Yes. But if you are itching to dive into that to do list, these four goals will give you the framework to identify what’s most important to you and how you can get started working on that.

Heidi, why don’t you tell us how you identified these goals as the key to back to school success? I would be

Speaker: happy to. So, Like, with most great ideas in life, these goals are the result of shower thoughts.

Speaker 2: Somehow, when you’re in the shower, suddenly all the mysteries of the world become clear. Yeah, that was

Speaker: definitely the case here.

I was washing my hair, mulling over how to be intentional with my first week of school plans. Yeah, as you do in the showers, of course, as you do, what else did you think about? And there are so many fun back to school [00:11:00] ideas out there, but like, obviously I couldn’t do them all. So I wanted a way to be certain that I was really focusing on what truly mattered most.

Obviously I needed to be teaching and there are all of the assessments to give, setting up procedures and routines are also a huge part of starting the year. But it, it kind of felt like there was a missing piece in my plans. So after a little more thought, I guess, like while I was rinsing out the shampoo, I realized that I needed to include relationship building or connection.

Speaker 2: Ding! Lightbulb moment! And

Speaker: that felt like I had four really solid goals. So I wanted an easy way to remember them because, you know, I don’t have any paper in the shower. So, the beginning of the year already has that acronym of B. O. I. BOY, right? So I started playing around with that, and I quickly realized that if I changed connecting to affirming, I had attaboy.

And I think affirming is a [00:12:00] better word for it anyway. So my four goals became affirming, training, teaching, and assessing. At the beginning of the year.

Speaker 2: Attaboy! So good! If you’re wondering the kind of stuff we get excited about, it’s acronyms and lists. Well, what else do you need?

Speaker: I knew that almost any activity that I could choose to start the school year would naturally fall into one of those categories.

They’re pretty broad categories. So instead of choosing an activity and then trying to see what goal it supported, I wanted to flip that. I wanted to plan with a purpose, so I looked at the blank spaces in my schedule and decided which Atta Boy goal fit my students needs most at that time, and then I would choose an activity in support of that goal.

Speaker 2: Yes, so we’re beginning with the end in mind. Let’s look at those goals a little deeper. So the first A in Atta is Affirming. Affirming is creating a space that’s safe and welcoming [00:13:00] and nurtures a feeling of community. And obviously we’re going to talk more about that in just a minute, but what’s up next in the acronym?

Speaker: So then we have the first T, which stands for training. Training means having a clear picture of how the class should run and a plan to explicitly teach how things should be done. This also means dedicating a significant amount of time at the beginning of the year to train kids on procedures and routines, everyone’s favorite.

Speaker 2: The second T is the actual teaching that needs to happen. At the beginning of the year, teaching is more about reviewing content from the previous year and easing into the year’s curriculum content.

Speaker: And we are also teaching when we start to introduce the academic routines like number of the day that we will be using all year.

Speaker 2: Yeah, totally. And the last A is for assessing. Assessing looks like making informal observational assessments of academic and social strengths and struggles. It means monitoring how well students are able to meet expectations. And of [00:14:00] course there’s some formal assessment that has to happen at the beginning of the year too.

Speaker: I didn’t always have the goals in this order. My first instinct was to lead off with assessing and teaching. Even after so many first days of school, I’m still just itching to get things up and running. I just want to start diving into my units and making headway with the curriculum. Yeah,

Speaker 2: I think we can

Speaker: all relate to that feeling.

But really having all of those first days of school also helped remind me that academics are not the most important part of starting the year. As vital as training, teaching, and assessing are, they will not be as effective as they could be. If I neglect the relationship building that comes with affirming.

Speaker 2: Yeah, it goes back to that old saying, your students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Speaker: Yeah, and that’s why I rearranged the letters so that affirming

Speaker 2: is leading the pack. Ugh, excellent change. So, today we’re going to talk about what affirming is, why it’s so [00:15:00] important, and how to implement it at the start of the school year.

Speaker: So what do we mean when we say affirming? We touched on that a little bit a few minutes ago. But for our back to school purposes, affirming means intentionally creating a peaceful classroom that’s safe and welcoming to students. It’s looking for opportunities to give students ownership and choice. It’s striving to recognize each student as a unique individual who contributes to our classroom community in valuable ways.

And of course, it’s also providing time for fun and community building activities.

Speaker 2: Okay, Heidi, so why is affirming so important?

Speaker: Well, there are a few very compelling reasons to make it your main priority. First of all, affirming builds connection. When we focus on affirming our students, we are investing in a relationship with each student and teaching them the skills to build relationships with each other.

And that’s, that’s really

Speaker 2: powerful. Yeah. Another reason affirming is so important is that it helps you create a safe [00:16:00] space for your students. We want our classrooms to feel like a haven from whatever else is going on in their lives. A place where they feel completely safe and accepted just as they are.

Focusing on affirming our students is how we create that safe space. And, you know, we

Speaker: know that the clock is ticking. That pressure is real. Only 140 or so math lessons stand between you and that end of your testing.

Speaker 2: Yikes! But when that pressure starts to creep in, remind yourself that creating a sense of belonging isn’t just about a feeling.

It actually has a direct impact on learning. And that’s the next reason why affirming is so important. When students feel accepted and included, it improves their academic performance. Mind blown, right?

Speaker: Kids who feel valued are willing to keep trying when things get hard. They learn to see themselves as capable and they are more willing to contribute

Speaker 2: to the classroom.

And there’s yet another reason why we think you should focus on affirming at the beginning of the year, and [00:17:00] that is increased engagement. When students feel like they’re valued members of the class, they’re more willing to participate and put in effort in their work, which leads to greater achievement and understanding.

Speaker: And students who feel included in an affirming classroom community are more likely to behave positively. They’re more willing to follow the rules, and they understand how to work through problems.

Speaker 2: Yeah, and our favorite tool for managing behavior problems is to prevent the problems from occurring in the first place.

And taking time to build connections is the foundation to that success.

Speaker: Yeah, students who are engaged are way less likely to be creating classroom management problems.

Speaker 2: Overall, creating an affirming classroom promotes academic growth, emotional well being, and social development. And it makes teaching easier and more enjoyable by increasing student engagement and minimizing potential behavior problems.

Speaker: So, have we convinced you yet? Affirming is definitely the most important goal for back to school. So, [00:18:00] how do we make it happen? It might surprise you to learn that affirming is actually one of the few things you can do for your students before they even arrive at school.

Speaker 2: That is so crazy, but you’re totally right.

If you have enough time between getting your class list and the first day of school, you really can start the affirming with some kind of home contact before school starts.

Speaker: I actually taught with a coworker who made home visits to each of her students before school started. Like, it was epic, but I was not that dedicated.

Well, also, we’re introverts, so that sounds really hard. Oh my gosh. But I mailed a letter to each student, and it was a printed letter. It wasn’t even handwritten. But, for a kid to get a letter in the mail, even if it’s a form letter, is

Speaker 2: still exciting. Yeah, a couple of my kids have had letters come from their teachers during the summer, and one even had a teacher that came to our house, actually, before school started.

And that really did impress me and made my child so excited to start school. And with [00:19:00] technology,

Speaker: there’s so much you can do now. You could do a welcome to our class Zoom call, or upload a video tour of the new classroom to a private YouTube account.

Speaker 2: My kids teachers have done that one too. We’d get to watch a video of their teacher and get a peek at what’s waiting for them when they arrive.

It’s a great way to help calm any new school year anxiety. And it’s especially exciting for kids if they see their name somewhere in the room already. Yeah, names are

Speaker: so important, I don’t think we can underestimate that. I think for simplicity’s sake, a lot of teachers use student numbers to label things, and that’s fine.

But each student’s name should be visible somewhere in the room, even if that’s just on the door.

Speaker 2: Yes, names should be on the door, or at the very least, just outside the door. That could be a cute door decoration or just a list of names posted next to the room number. That way it’s immediately clear to your students that they’re in the right place and there’s a spot saved just for them.

Honestly, even as an adult, I have frequently gone [00:20:00] to some event where And paused outside thinking, wait, is this where I’m supposed to be? You know that feeling? Oh, I do that all the time. We want those kids to arrive and know immediately, this is my classroom. There is a place for me here.

Speaker: I always try to do a memorable door display, even though decorating my classroom, wasn’t my favorite task or my strength, let’s be honest.

But my second grade classroom was not near the first grade classrooms. And so my new kiddos would sometimes get turned around trying to navigate the school. So I really wanted a bold doorway to serve as a landmark to any of my lost little lambs.

Speaker 2: Beyond home connection during the summer and displaying student names, there are a lot of activities that you’re probably already doing that support the goal of affirming.

For example, any Get to Know You activities help kids see that they are a significant part of their new community. And when you give kids a tour of the

Speaker: classroom or of the school, you’re showing kids that they belong here. Assigning class jobs, creating a class [00:21:00] cheer, making an effort to learn kids names, all communicates that we are in this together and it wouldn’t be the same without you.

Speaker 2: Yes, and we want them all to have the sense of how important they are to our community. We also want to help kids develop relationships with each other. So providing partner and small group activities at the start of the year For helps them start to get to know each other. It also gives you the chance to set clear expectations about cooperating and listening from the get go.

Speaker: It’s always nice to have the chance to teach kids how to effectively work together with something low stakes before you want them working together on an academic activity. And we want that groundwork laid from the start that says, in this classroom, we work together and treat each other with respect.

So Emily, what else can we do to focus on affirming?

Speaker 2: We’re not going to dive into it today, but morning meeting is one of our favorite tools for affirming students and building that classroom community. We’ve got some episodes about this that you can [00:22:00] check out and we’ll link those in the show notes.

Also, just don’t forget that having fun together is also a great way to affirm students. And if your principal pushes back, point out that you’ve got science on your side. Social activities like talking and laughing trigger the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps us bond with others.

Positive social bonds are what foster a sense of psychological safety.

Speaker: And it’s when students feel psychologically safe that they are more likely to actively participate in discussions, ask questions, push through challenging assignments, and communicate properly.

Speaker 2: I hope these days most principals wouldn’t even question time spent on this at the beginning of the year, but it’s good to be prepared if you aren’t so lucky in the admin department.

That’s rough.

Speaker: Another aspect of affirming is clearly setting expectations. And that might not be the most obvious choice, but understanding what’s expected of you is what allows you to

Speaker 2: feel safe in a new place. [00:23:00] Sometimes I think teachers are reluctant to jump into discussing rules and procedures because they don’t want to bring down the vibe, so to speak.

Speaker: But really, the opposite is true. Being up front with our expectations actually makes kids feel safer. They don’t have to worry that they’re making a

Speaker 2: mistake. I’ve actually become, like, really passionate about this, that this is actually one of the nicest things you can do for your students, is to make it clear up front.

Because much like I’ve had that experience of feeling unsure if I was in the right place, I also know what it feels like to feel uneasy somewhere because I don’t know what to expect. It’s a gift to your students to let them know from the start exactly what they can expect in your classroom. Plus, if

Speaker: you are clear about your expectations from the get go, they don’t have to wonder what kind of teacher they have.

One of the things that I always taught early on was how to walk in the hallway. And by early on, I mean like the morning of the first day. Yeah. And this served a lot of purposes. It got the kids up and moving [00:24:00] after sitting for a while. It taught the procedures, but I think it also gave them a good insight into their teacher.

So I had a huge pet peeve about classes walking past my room and causing a distraction. So I refuse to let my students be the ones distracting other classes.

Speaker 2: Yeah, and this is straight out of the Fred Jones book, Tools for Teaching, which I think is out of print, but it’s very much worth tracking down.

It’s our favorite book to give to new teachers. He recommends that when your class isn’t meeting your expectations of hallway behavior, you stop, turn them around, and have them walk back and try again.

Speaker: So that is just what I did. On the first day, I made sure my students got several experiences turning around and trying again.

I did this partly because I wanted them to know that I was serious about holding them to a high standard, but I also wanted them to know that I was okay with mistakes. I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t flustered. I was just always completely calm. I wasn’t [00:25:00] blaming them. I just wanted them to know, Hey, you’re going to mess up sometimes.

That’s okay. We can

Speaker 2: fix it together. Showing your students what they can expect from your classroom and from you as a teacher really is a great way to affirm your students to make them feel more comfortable.

Speaker: So as you start planning your new school year, even if that’s just like in the back of your brain at the pool, use the Atta Boy framework to help you be intentional.

Speaker 2: Start by thinking about the outcome you want in that particular area, then consider what part of the Atta Boy framework might best apply to the situation. Affirming, training, teaching, and assessing. for listening. Then with one of those areas in mind, decide how best to specifically meet your goal. And don’t

Speaker: underestimate the importance of affirming.

Not only is it essential to creating a positive classroom climate, but it does make your other goals of training, teaching, and assessing more effective too.

Speaker 2: We’d love to hear your ideas for building an affirming classroom community. Come join the conversation in our teacher [00:26:00] approved Facebook group or connect with us at Instagram at secondstorywindow and that’s with a two.

Now, let’s talk about this week’s Teacher Approved Tip. Each week we leave you with a small, actionable tip that you can apply in your classroom today. This week’s Teacher Approved Tip is learn how to pronounce your students names correctly. Heidi, tell us more about this. So names are just

Speaker: so important to who we are as students.

People, they’re one of the first positions we have, they matter a lot. And I think it’s pretty common that we have at least one new student on our class list who has a name that might be unfamiliar to us. And that is a call to make the effort to learn how to say that name correctly. So Jasmine Bradshaw at FirstNameBasis on Instagram shared five ways to sensitively learn to say a name that’s unfamiliar to you.

And I just thought that these tips were so good, I thought we should pass

Speaker 2: them along. So tip number one is to ask them to repeat it. You could say something [00:27:00] like, I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you repeat your name for me? Tip two is to ask for some guidance by saying something like, Could you pronounce your name for me?

Tip three is to ask,

Speaker: What would you like to be called? And that can be useful for even names that are already familiar to you. So you might have an Elizabeth on your class list and you don’t know if she prefers Elizabeth. I taught an Elizabeth who was straight up an Elizabeth.

Speaker 2: Or maybe she likes to be Lizzie or Beth.

Oh, I’ve got one in my neighborhood that’s Elizabeth, but she goes by Libby. Oh, yeah. And I would not have guessed that. And that brings us to tip four. Don’t give someone a nickname they didn’t ask for. Sometimes we might do that out of affection, like calling Nate, Nate the Great. Looking at you, Ted.

Sometimes it’s less affectionate, like, I can’t pronounce Vincenzo, so I’m going to just call you Vince. Either way, the expectation is that they have to be okay with whatever you decide to call them, and that is just rude to place that burden on them.

Speaker: And tip five is to make sure they know that [00:28:00] you are willing to make an effort.

Sometimes a student might give you a nickname to call them, and if you think that they might be doing that because they don’t want to cause a problem, they don’t want to make a scene, it’s okay to ask something like, Are you sure? I’m happy to learn your name. I want to call you what you want to be called.

And I have had that happen several times with students, so be on the guard for that.

Speaker 2: We all want to be respectful, so those tips are useful for any time we meet someone and not just for the students in our class. If you want more tips like that, on Instagram you can check out firstname. basis or listen to the First Name Basis podcast and we’ll link to her in the show notes.

She is a great resource.

Speaker: To wrap up the show, we are sharing what we’re giving extra credit to this week. Emily, what

Speaker 2: gets your extra credit? Well, I’m giving extra credit to the Teacher Approved Facebook group. Yay! We have assembled the coolest bunch of teachers that are so supportive, helpful, creative, and funny.

They always make me laugh. Every time someone asks a question in the group, I get so excited to see what ideas our group members [00:29:00] will have for them. It’s just a happy place to be. So if you’re not in the Teacher Approved Facebook group yet, please come join us. We’d love to have you. Yes, we’ve been waiting for you.

We have a spot saved just for you, but

Speaker: sorry, we didn’t put your name on. Heidi, what, what gets your extra credit? Okay, well, this is a hard topic. Okay. We’re doing a wild swing. Uh, my extra credit goes to Nampon. Okay. Yep. Big swing, which is basically what it sounds like, but for your nose, I can’t even make fun of you for this.


Speaker 2: I’m the one

Speaker: that gave me the idea. So like, About a year and a half ago, I had like an epic nosebleed, the kind where it’s like, I probably should go to the hospital level. No, seriously. Like she’s not exaggerating.

Speaker 2: I really was like, Oh my gosh. Like, I think maybe I need to the hospital.

Speaker: I called Emily over.

Anyway, I survived spoiler alert. And Emily did mention that she had seen this product. So I ordered some and thankfully I have not had a need for it until the allergies got the better of me a few weeks [00:30:00] ago. Now, it does not look like how you would imagine based on the name. I think we’re all relieved there.

It is a white foam oblong and actually kind of looks like one of those fun dip candy sticks. And you just put it in your nose and pinch it in place. Easy peasy. But unlike toilet paper or other products that you might use, it doesn’t stick to the wound. So When you take it out, you’re not causing more problems.

Speaker 2: Whoever needs to hear it, you probably really appreciate it. Everyone else, we sincerely apologize.

Speaker: It also has like special clotting agent to stop the bleeding. I just used the one so far, but it really did work as advertised. Stop the bleeding really fast. The only problem I found was needing two hands to get the package open.

Well, one of my hands was trying to pinch my nose. So that was tricky. I have to see if

Speaker 2: you can come up with a good method for that.

Speaker: So if you were like a sports mom and your kids are getting blood noses all the time, or. I could see these being really useful in the [00:31:00] classroom. I would definitely get an okay from the principal first, because you don’t want to get in trouble for administering medication, even if it is just a foam stick.

Yeah. Always double check. That’s it for today’s episode. Be intentional about planning lots of time for affirming at the start of the school year. And don’t forget our teacher proof tip. to learn how to correctly pronounce your students names.

We hope you enjoyed this episode that originally aired on our podcast, the Teacher Approved Podcast with Heidi and Emily. We wanted to share an episode that we knew the Educate and Rejuvenate listeners would love, and this one just jumped right out to us. We hope you get inspired to make affirming a top priority for your back to school preparation.

If you want to spend more time with us, and of course you do, you can find us at the Teacher Approved Podcast, where we help teachers elevate what matters and simplify the rest with easy to implement tips [00:32:00] and practical takeaways. We would love to have you join us there and connect with us in the Teacher Approved Facebook group.

You’re also invited to join us this summer for Teacher Summer Talks. A free audio summer for elementary teachers, where we are joining up with over 20 other veteran teachers to share bite sized actionable tips that you can listen to on the go or by the pool. Grab your headphones and come save your seat with the link in the show notes.

Thanks again for listening.

If you enjoyed this episode, please hit subscribe so you don’t miss the next one. And if you’re hungry for more, be sure to check out the book that I wrote. It’s called Educate and Rejuvenate, a three step guide to revitalize your teaching, renew your spirit and reignite your passion for teaching. for life.

It is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2024. This book takes all the life coaching skills we [00:33:00] talk about here on the podcast and put some together in one easy to understand guide. Plus, when you preorder, you’ll receive a PDF workbook and additional resources to deepen your understanding and application of the concepts we’ve covered on the book and on this podcast.


You won’t find these resources anywhere else. Visit the link in the show notes to join the waitlist and be the first to know when the book becomes available for pre order. Let’s continue this journey of growth and rejuvenation together until next time.

More about Educate & Rejuvenate: The Podcast

Being an educator is beyond a full-time job. Whether you’re a teacher or a homeschool parent, the everyday to-do list is endless. Between lesson planning, grading, meetings, and actually teaching, it probably feels impossible to show up for your students without dropping the ball in other areas of your life.

Educate & Rejuvenate: The Podcast is the show that will bring you the teacher tips, practical strategies, and inspiration that you need to relieve the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day. Your host, Kelsey Sorenson, is a former teacher and substitute turned homeschool mom. Tune in weekly to hear Kelsey and her guests cheer you on and help you thrive as a wife, teacher, and mommy. Because with a little support and community, you can do it all. For access to every single Wife Teacher Mommy resource, join the club at

One Response

  1. Loved this podcast. Just a lot of reminders about affirming students from the very beginning of the new school year. Even though I am a roving teacher/sub at my elementary school, I have tried to learn as many kids names as I can and I am going on my 6th year subbing, after bein a certified teacher/educator for many years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Educate & Rejuvenate is the virtual teacher conference that you can not miss! Find out more about our summer and winter events. 

Inside Wife Teacher Mommy Club, you will get access to our Pre-K to 6th grade resource library and teacher-life coaching to achieve more of a work life balance.

kelsey sorenson

Hey there, new teacher bestie! I’m Kelsey, and I created Wife Teacher Mommy just for YOU! I blog about teaching and create elementary school and homeschooling resources to make your life easier. Be sure to sign up for my FREE email newsletter!

Then, follow me on Instagram and join the Facebook community to stay connected. I can’t wait to connect with you!

Oh, and don’t forget to listen and subscribe to Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast. 

Let's Connect

Sign Up for Free Sub Plans!

Grab your FREE sub plans and you’ll be subscribed to get news about upcoming events, blog & podcast updates, subscriber deals, and more via email. You also agree to our privacy policy.

Mindset Masterclass

Join us for this FREE webinar to help you deal with feelings of overwhelm and bring balance to your life!


This site uses cookies.  Read our privacy policy to find out more.