Reflecting On This Experience

My First Thoughts

At the beginning of this process, once we were made aware of the objectives for the course, I was honestly confused as to how this assignment connected. It was a bit overwhelming at first and I did not know yet what each post would be, so I remained open-minded. I started out with the blog format because I am someone who would prefer to write. I also thought that it would be the easiest option, but really if you put your all into it, it is not the easiest. I decided to stick with the blog format so that I could learn more about the creative aspects that you can implement into a blog.

My Experience

Throughout the process, I began to see more of a connection between the assignment and the class objectives. I took what I know and applied it, which is the big idea of this class. As a pre-service teacher, I need to start learning how to apply my knowledge more and more. My favorite blog post was when we took an observation we made in the field, asked a question about it, and then research it. I liked this because it is important to make meaningful observations in the classroom. Although the assignment was changed up a lot with getting sent home during this huge pandemic, I do think we still learned another essential lesson; this essential lesson is to adapt. Being able to adapt as a teacher is extremely important and so this experience helped me grow in my ability to adapt.


Teaching and Modeling Self Care

“Give yourself the same care & attention that you give to others and watch yourself bloom.”


Hello! If you are new here, my name is Leah. I am an Early Childhood Education major with a minor in STEM. Something you should also know about me is that I am huge into health and wellness; I actually help run a health and wellness organization for women at Millersville University. As a pre-service teacher and as a wellness person, I find self-care to be crucial.

What is self-care?

There are many different definitions, but according to the International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) self-care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure, etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.” 

Based on the above definition some examples of self-care can be:

  1. Taking a bath
  2. Putting a facemask on
  3. Exercising
  4. Eating a snack that makes you happy
  5. Yoga/Meditation
  6. Journaling

Self Care: What It Really Is | Susannah Winters | TEDxHiltonHeadWomen

Self Care breaks the myth that self care is a wine party, Netflix binge, or pedicure social. Self care is what’s needed for your well-being and should always…

Why is self-care important?

Lifestyle diseases such as heart attack and stroke, cancer, and respiratory diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It is most common in the United States. The leading cause of all of this is not taking care of your body. Stress plays a huge factor in causing lifestyle diseases, so it is important to take care of yourself.

Why is this especially relevant to teachers? As teachers, we are leaders and role models for the future of our society. If we model healthy behaviors, those we teach will adopt those behaviors. Teaching children to adopt healthy behaviors will benefit their future and their health.

Self-care Ideas for Children

  1. Do zoom workouts! There are youtube channels that have kid-friendly workouts.

2. Meditation! There are plenty of meditation activities on GoNoodle.

3. Lessons on healthy eating

4. Journal Activities

These are just a few of the awesome self-care activities that you could do with children!

But don’t forget… always take care of yourself first!

Right now, it is very difficult for everyone with such a terrible pandemic happening. As teachers, it can be extremely difficult to not have a classroom full of our favorite kids, but we must make the best of it. Self-care is especially important right now during a time of stress. Stay healthy and put yourself first so that you can be the best version of yourself for the children.

Work on you, for you. 


International Self Care Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from




Keeping Children Happy and Active During the Pandemic

As many of us know, during this pandemic our motivation is dwindling. It is easy to fall into the habit of late mornings, late nights, laying down all day, binging Netflix shows, and eating endless snacks. For many of the parents, suddenly spending 24/7 with their children can be difficult. Children are becoming antsy and unhappy. There are many STEM activities that can help your child and even you!

Get Outside

I know, the daily walks are getting a little boring. There are many other activities you could do outside. You could do coding unplugged outside. In order to make it complicated, you could put various items on the ground (sort of like an obstacle). Then, have your daughter(s) or son(s) create a code for you to get through the obstacle without knowing anything over! As a STEM minor, I think coding activities are the most fun and they teach kids to be great problem solvers.

Another fun activity is gardening! You could plant plants with your children outside and then teach them about the life cycle and how to keep a plant alive. The plus is there are plenty of diagrams online or videos that can help with the teaching. Here is an example of a diagram you could use:

Indoor fun!

You could have your children build bridges and see how much it can hold. There is an activity I found that uses popsicle sticks, but you can use many different materials you may have laying around the house. Toothpicks, cotton swabs, pencils, paper, marshmallows, and tape are all useful materials.

You could have them research their favorite thing whether it be a type of animal, car, plants, or a movie even. They can search the web for interesting facts, how they work, etc. Then, they can create a fun poster about it and put it on their wall in their room!

Ever wonder what it feels like to be a polar bear? Well, your kids can find out with just a bowl of ice water, a sandwich bag, and some Crisco. Put some Crisco in a sandwich bag and then have your child submerge their hand completely into the Crisco and then they can place it into the water. The Crisco will keep their hand warm just how the fur on a polar bear keeps them warm.


While these are only a few fun activities to do at home there are many more STEM activities on the internet. These activities can keep your children active physically and cognitively. They will learn critical thinking skills, collaboration, problem solving, creativity, and much more!

Fun resources for more ideas


How do I accommodate a child with autism? (R2P Post 2)

The Observation

In my field placement, there lies the cutest little boy. He smiles, laughs, and does charming things like open the door for adults and says thank you all the time. On my very first day, I was told that this boy was just diagnosed with Autism. Automatically, I saw this as a great learning experience. Well, on my second day in the field, he has a huge fit; he was screaming on the floor and throwing his whole body into a fit.

My cooperative teachers got up, looked at me and said, “Come watch.”

How did my co-op handle the meltdown?

I followed my co-op over to the boy. I was eager to learn. She sat down in front of him and said, “I understand that you are upset, I am sorry that you are upset, but you still have to follow my rules just like everyone else,”.  Then, she pulled out a ring that had a bunch of cards on them with pictures and text. Each card has a different activity that the boy could do. Some of the options were, playing with a toy of choice, listening to a song, watching a video, and drawing a picture. When my co-op finally got to the option to draw a picture, he perked up and nodded his head excitedly.

This made me think to myself… What are the best ways I can support a child with autism? 

Collaborative Teams

Building a collaborative school-level team and student-focused team is crucial. By creating a school-level team you are able to create a model of interventions that the school can use to provide consistency across the school, but to also provide the best care to all children with autism. When a school notices that a specific child with autism needs more support the school team can create a student-focused team to support the individual. Overall, there is just more support for the individuals with autism.


Another important aspect is that not all general education teachers may have the background or the knowledge on how to best support a child with Autism. I know for myself, before watching my co-op support the boy in my classroom, I would not have known how to handle that situation. So, effective coaching provided by the school on how to implement goals, interventions, and plans can help with making teachers more comfortable. 

Selection of Intervention Model

Selecting the strategies that will work for you and your school is important. Plus, it is important to select a model in order to provide consistency. In order to select an intervention model, you need to consider what goals you want to have for the student and then select one or more intervention models to meet those goals. 

Overall, I have learned that it just takes research, knowledge of the student, and careful planning to give a student with Autism the proper support.



Anderson, C. M. 1. canderson@mayinstitute. or., Smith, T., & Iovannone, R. (2018). Building Capacity to Support Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Modular Approach to Intervention. Education & Treatment of Children41(1), 107–138.




My Educational Gurus

Who inspires you? We all have someone who inspires us, pushes us, and helps to shape our paths. Many of us chose to study education because of the many positive and negative experiences that we may have had in school. Whether it be a teacher who pushed you in ways you had not been pushed before or a teacher who made you feel so terrified to go to school, someone motivated you. Those experiences motivated me to go into education, but it is the philosophers and professors that truly shaped my path.

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow” – John Dewey

This quote from John Dewey has motivated me through much of my studies in becoming a teacher. He has shocked me and surprised me in his impact on education. From strong teacher to student relationships to project-based learning, his beliefs touch it all.

Student-Teacher Relationships

In my experiences in the field, when a student respects the teacher or likes the teacher they are more likely to show interest in the classroom. For example, in a previous classroom, I had a student who had behavioral issues and because of his respect for my cooperating teacher, she was the only teacher with the ability to bring out small moments of sheer interest in whatever the class was doing at the time.

Project-Based Learning (PBL)

John Dewey believed in an education where children learn by doing, and they learn how to think critically to prepare them for real-life situations, trades, and democracy. Project-based learning encourages this belief. Most of the classrooms we sat in for a majority of our education were spent with lectures, worksheets, and very little hands-on or discussion-based activities. It is said that, after 24 hours, on average students only remember 5% of what was lectured (Himmele, 2017, p. 7). More discussion, hands-on structured classes are more effective in learning.


Motivation is another aspect of teaching that has intrigued me. How can I motivate my students the best? Dr. Hanicke from the foundation block motivated me to look at the psychology of education more. Dr. Hanicke taught me the critical role that motivation plays on a child’s learning. According to Trif and Petrovan (2011), motivating students is a key component of classroom management and in order to acquire efficiency in all learning activity teachers have to keep motivation in mind (p. 292). I want my students to want to learn, which has motivated me and inspired me to constantly do my best in all aspects.


My professors in my STEM classes are the ones who push me and share new insights with me every week. I love STEM, but I fear it because it challenges me. I am very passionate about the importance of STEM integration in education, but STEM can be very scary. Dr. Warner once said in class that fear is the driving factor in decision making, which is why many teachers do not go out of their comfort zone. STEM can be scary and so can school administrators. With that being said, I am thankful I have professors who push me to try new things for the sake of my future students.

My Classroom

So, what does this all mean? Role models can help us become better teachers. They will help us learn what kind of teachers we want to be. My classroom will be driven by John Dewey, Rita Pierson, Dr. Primus, Dr. Hanicke, and many more. We need to have a wide array of educational viewpoints, philosophies, pedagogies, and teaching methods thrown at us so that we can be inspired and then inspire our students as well. Inspiration drives us and motivates us.

Check out the video that has motivated me the most!


Himmele Pérsida, & Himmele, W. (2017). Total participation techniques: making every student an active learner. Alexandria, VA, USA: ASCD.

Trif, L., & Petrovan, R. Ş. (2011). Student Motivation, Component of Classroom Management. Journal Plus Education / Educatia Plus7(2), 292–298.