As a Mother, As an Educator: Why American Education Week Matters
Communities around the country are helping the National Education Association (NEA) celebrate American Education Week from November 16-22. This week honors the work of educators, parents, support professionals and community members to help students achieve their potential. As a mom and a former teacher, the week reminds me that students are most successful when parents and schools work together to meet the needs of students.
As a mom, I know that the conversations that we have at the dinner table spill over to the school day – at recess and in the lunchroom. As a teacher, I remember my students interjecting “what their parents said” into conversations about stories we were reading. Conversations that could, according to findings from a recent national online tracking survey – relate to alcohol and underage drinking. The survey revealed that just over four out of five parents with children between the ages of 6 and 17 have spoken to them about alcohol nearly four times in the past six months, on average.
Responsibility.org helps teachers bridge those moments by providing them with the resources and tools to be active partners in the lives of their students.
Here are just a few of the resources from Responsibility.org that teachers can use:
Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix
Developed alongside a team of educators, researchers and practitioners specializing in middle school- aged students, Ask Listen Learn provides kids ages 9-14 and their parents with information about the dangers of underage drinking. Although the initiative offers interactive games for children and a wide range of resources for parents from conversation starters to tips, several materials – like Scholastic magazine articles and teacher guides – are geared specifically towards educators to extend the conversation about underage drinking into the classroom. Educators are frequently asked about resources that parents can use at home with their children – from games to websites that are appropriate. Teachers can feel confident they are making a responsible suggestion when referring parents and students to http://asklistenlearn.org/.
Not in Our House
Not in Our House: A Nationwide Initiative on Underage Drinking and Social Hosting is a program focusing on underage drinking and social host liability that can help you take action today. Although the program is geared towards parents, there are educational components that include coaches and teachers. The in-depth teacher guide provides a tool for classroom instruction around this important topic within the framework of teachable communication objectives.
Social media channels
From Facebook to Twitter and Pinterest, Responsibility.org encourages conversations about trending topics, current events and healthy living. Getting involved in the conversation is easy, and I find that keeping tabs on social media channels helps me stay up to date on anything that I “should” know. Educators will appreciate helpful webinars, timely infographics and posters designed to provide even more information throughout the year.
Although it is impossible to be all-knowing, being an educator and role model comes with the responsibility of knowing the facts. Responsibility.org provides everything teachers and educational staff need to know – the law, the statistics and the resources to empower students towards long term success inside and outside of the classroom.
Elena Sonnino blogs at LiveDoGrow.com and is a blog ambassador for the #TalkEarly program. Read more from Elena here.
*The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) or any Responsibility.org member.*