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Back to School Advice for Educators

Similar to last year, the back to school season may still be embedded with uncertainties and unknowns. But, we have a big advantage in being able to learn from each other’s experiences the previous year!

We asked all types of educators (teachers, administrators, support staff, homeschoolers) to share their advice for back to school for the 2021-2022 school year.

Whatever type of educator you are, we hope you find something valuable to take with you, incorporate into your lessons, or just help you stay a little more sane!

Advice for All Educators

Be patient and forgiving with yourself and others. Create a positive environment whether in-person or remote. This will help your students bud as learners and problem-solvers. Adult anxiety tends to be the enemy of student creativity.

-Brandon Smith, Product Director, Lead Mathematician, MIND Research Institute


Right now it's important for teachers to create a learning environment that is safe and compassionate. We have to keep in mind that our kids have been through a traumatic experience and are still going through a lot emotionally. It's our jobs to be a stabilizing force and help them experience some semblance of normalcy in the ‘new normal.

-Matthew Lynch, and


What if lessons attended to both content and social/emotional needs? Think about creating lessons that are challenging enough to create interest, but not too hard that students can’t join in. When students read, write, solve and construct meaning from what was initially difficult, they feel confident and accomplished. Post-pandemic, our students need to feel that academics and emotional confidence is attainable.

-Dr. Elaine Keeley, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, MIND Research Institute



Homeschool-specific Advice

Keep your eye on the goal - what do YOU want your children to learn - rather than on doing everything in a particular program or textbook. Be selective about how you use your time.

-Cathy Duffy,

ST_Math_Free_Games_Place Value_K through_2nd_Grade
Check out Cathy Duffy's ST Math: Homeschool Review

Trust that you know your child best, and be flexible to change up your curriculum or implement new ideas if something isn't working out. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, or if you are doing 'enough' (you are). Every kid is unique and has different interests and learning styles - the beauty of homeschooling is that you get to spark that love of learning every day in your home. Enjoy these precious years!

-Sara Radginski,


A Final Pep Talk

We know teaching can be stressful at times, so remember to decompress before becoming burned out. Remember to ask for help when needed and to help others in need. And the most important of all, mistakes help us learn! Good luck this school year!


Thank you to all educators who work so hard to support our students and communities! We wish you the best this school year.

You’ve got this!

Calli Wright

About the Author

Calli Wright was the Marketing Manager at MIND Research Institute. She loves playing and designing board games, which she often talks about on twitter @CalliWrights.


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