Posts written by Chase Fordtran

Resource Connection: Fun and Educational Resources for Teachers

January 13, 2021

STAY INFORMED ABOUT COVID-19: MORE INFO During these uncertain times, many teachers and their families will be cooped up indoors for extended periods of time. Whether you need FREE educational resources for your virtual classrooms or just fun and informative things to watch or read while on the couch, the below resources’ list (updated weekly) […]

Face Masks vs Face Shields: A commentary on their use during COVID-19

October 27, 2020

By: Kandi Grimes

During this unusual time of the COVID-19 pandemic, states, cities, districts, and schools faced questions about how and when schools would return to in-person instruction in the Fall of 2020. Online learning, hybrid learning (a combination of online and in-person), or complete on-campus instruction have been implemented in many states to answer these questions.  Concerns surrounding the risks of opening schools loomed over those participating in the process. Precautions were taken and, as noted in various articles on the subject, “schools are not islands”, so it was very likely that when in-person school resumed, coronavirus cases would follow. Among states reporting coronavirus cases, Texas counted 700 among public school districts and charter schools as of 9/20/2020.

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives’ new paper has been published in the Journal of STEM Outreach!

September 8, 2020

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives’ (TEI) newest paper titled, “Teacher Enrichment Initiatives: Supporting Teachers who are at the Frontline of our Nation’s Future”, in the August 2020 issue of the Journal of STEM Outreach (Special Issue – Sustainability)! The abstract and link to the full paper are listed below. ABSTRACT: Teachers are charged with connecting classroom science […]

K-12 Educator Summer Acclimation

June 29, 2020

By Kandi Grimes

Yay! It is summer break! Teachers can finally go on that vacation (or staycation), right?  Well, for many educators it is also time for work. Unfortunately, those lesson plans aren’t going to write themselves. In addition to preparing for the fall, teachers may be required to attend virtual professional development sessions. 

Stories from the Virtual Classroom: K-12 Educators Navigate Teaching Through Zoom

April 20, 2020

By Chase Fordtran

Since schools started closing all across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 educators have had to quickly adapt to teaching through virtual platforms. Most school districts have their teachers using the Zoom video conferencing app and Google Classrooms. Teachers already face challenges teaching their students in a traditional classroom setting, so teaching through a virtual platform has added a whole new layer of obstacles.

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) Published in the Journal of STEM Outreach!

September 4, 2019

Exciting news! The TEI staff and our wonderful support teachers have been published in the Journal of STEM Outreach. The paper is titled: “Engaging the Community through Science Nights: An Elementary School Case Study.” Abstract: Parental involvement increases K-12 student interest in STEM careers; however, when parents lack confidence in STEM content, or language and […]

TEI Kicks Off its 2019 Summer of Science

June 24, 2019

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) kicked off its 9th annual Summer Intensive (aka Summer of Science) on June 17th. The Summer of Science is host to the Teacher Enrichment Leadership Academy (TELA) leadership members. The TELA teacher leaders are selected through a rigorous application and interview process which allows the TEI staff to select the most qualified local educators to take part in the program. The TELA leadership also helps to facilitate yearly teacher professional development workshops, Science Nights, and the Annual Spring Conference. The Summer Intensive program allows the TELA leaders, with guidance from the TELA program director, Rosemary Riggs and TEI staff, to enhance TEI programs’ resources including but not limited to curriculum development and a wide variety of teacher professional development materials. Long story short, TEI has some of the most passionate educators in their TELA leadership!

Dr. Abigail Baird

Speakers Series: Dr. Abigail Baird (The Teen Brain)

June 3, 2019

Parents and guardians know it is hard to watch your child be in a risky situation. Dr. Abigail Baird, who researches the brain and behavioral basis of adolescent development, gave an impassioned and humorous talk Tuesday, May 9th as part of the Mind Science Foundation Distinguished Speakers Series. In her talk, Dr. Baird explained that while it is difficult for parents to watch their kids struggle or even fail in attempting new skills, the struggle is instrumental for children to learn and ultimately succeed. This valuable lesson can also be applied in the classroom, as learned by the teachers who attended the Speaker Series event. Tickets for area teachers were generously donated to Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) by the Mind Science Foundation.

Focus on the Now: The Benefits of Mindfulness in the Classroom

May 22, 2019

By Chase Fordtran

At some point, every school teacher has struggled to get a classroom full of rowdy students to settle down, calm their minds, and focus. Or has had to march a misbehaving student to the principal’s office. But is there an easier way to refocus a room full of students or a better alternative to sending a student to detention? There may be thanks to mindfulness meditation.

7 Tips to Help Teachers Reduce Stress

April 16, 2019

We know that most teachers are overloaded with STAAR testing, grading, and other classroom related activities. So, we put together a go-to list of 7 helpful tips for reducing stress. Check them out below:

Quick Meditation
Meditation doesn’t have to take up long periods of time or require a special room. Just 2-5 minutes a day of deep breathing and closing your eyes can have a big impact on your stress level and health. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.” So, on one your “breaks” or those 15 minutes you use to shove lunch in your face, try closing your classroom door, popping in some earplugs, and closing your eyes or perhaps use one of the many guided meditation apps now available on your smartphone.