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What is Act 48? What Does It Mean For Teachers in PA?

As educators in Pennsylvania, you know that you need to complete a set amount of professional development credits to maintain your active status professional certification through the ubiquitous Act 48. Unfortunately, many public school teachers, even school administration employees, are unaware of what Act 48 is and how many Act 48 credits are necessary to keep their jobs.

Fortunately, we at The Teacher’s Academy (TTA) are committed to providing the materials and opportunities for educators to extend their professional development and appease the Act 48 requirements. In this article, we will give a basic overview of Act 48 requirements and provide some information on how TTA’s courses can make short work of this looming, obligatory directive by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) through online continuing education credits. Continue Reading What is Act 48? What Does It Mean For Teachers in PA?

3 Tips for Preventing Cheating on Tests

No teacher wants to believe that his or her students are cheating. Unfortunately, cheating may be more common than many educators want to believe. Now that the new school year has finally arrived, it’s the perfect time for teachers to take a stand against cheating in their classroom. Here are a few quick and easy tips you can use to reduce cheating this semester. Continue Reading 3 Tips for Preventing Cheating on Tests

5 Facts About Bullying Every Teacher Needs to Know

As a teacher, you want to make sure that every student in your classroom feels safe, included, and cared for. Unfortunately, bullying can make even the brightest student want to skip class—and bullying might be more common than you think. Read on to learn five facts from StopBullying.gov that every teacher should know. Continue Reading 5 Facts About Bullying Every Teacher Needs to Know

3 Ways to Teach Kids About Better Nutrition

A happy and productive day at school starts with a well-balanced diet at home. It’s never too early to start teaching children just how important it is to take care of their bodies. However, young children might have difficulty understanding why they can’t have cookies for breakfast. Use these three lesson ideas to help kids learn more about nutrition. Continue Reading 3 Ways to Teach Kids About Better Nutrition

5 Interesting Courses From The Teacher’s Academy

Under Pennsylvania’s Act 48, teachers are required to complete at least 180 hours of approved continuing education courses every five years to maintain their teaching license. The Teacher’s Academy offers a massive catalog of educational and engaging Act 48 approved courses. Even better, each course can be completed from the comfort of your home or office.

If you haven’t yet completed your Act 48 hours, consider checking out one of these five interesting choices available from The Teacher’s Academy. Continue Reading 5 Interesting Courses From The Teacher’s Academy

3 Essential Pieces of College Advice To Give High School Students

Getting a driver’s license, taking the SATs, heading to prom and (of course) graduation…with all that going on, high school juniors and seniors are surrounded by a ton of excitement. If you’re a high school teacher, you’ve probably already heard many of your students buzzing about which college they’ve chosen. A few students may have even come to you for advice before the summer arrives and they head off to school.

For a high schooler, the idea of moving away from home and going to school can be nerve-wracking. If you have a student who’s nervous about his or her college journey, offer these three essential pieces of advice.

  • Every other student is in the same boat. One of the scariest parts about going away to college is the idea of being in a new place with no familiar friends. Remind your student that once they’re at school, every other freshman is in the exact same boat—and many of them will be on the lookout for new friends, too.
  • Professors are there to help you. Movies and TV shows often depict college-level professors as cold and disinterested, failing students for missing a single lecture or turning in a paper 15 minutes past the deadline. As a teacher, you know that most professors aren’t scary at all—and many are excited to share their passions with new students and young minds. If you know a student who is feeling anxious over their course load, remind him or her that professors are there to help, not pass out automatic Fs. You can even suggest that the student draft an introductory letter to his or her teachers before summer ends, as a way of saying “hello” before the craziness of the year begins.
  • College can help you figure out who you are. Some students are worried that they’ve chosen the wrong major or aren’t yet positive on their career path. Remind your student that most college students will switch their majors or career paths — and that college is a time to explore passions and learn more about themselves.

Are you a high school teacher who still needs to complete their continuing education courses for Act 48? Interested in learning more about how to prepare students for college or a career? The Teacher’s Academy’s College and Career Readiness course allows you to learn more about empowering your students while also earning your continuing education credits online. To learn more or check out our other unique courses, visit The Teacher’s Academy online at https://www.theteachersacademy.com today!

3 Common Misconceptions About Students with Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that can cause developmental delays and impaired cognitive abilities. Though teaching children with Down syndrome can be a truly rewarding experience, many parents and even teachers fall prey to misunderstandings and myths about students with Down syndrome. If you have a student with Down syndrome in your classroom, understanding and acknowledging some common misconceptions about the condition can help you become a better educator—and can help your student make the most out of his or her time in your classroom.

● Misunderstanding #1: Students with Down syndrome can’t handle group work. Some teachers assume that children with Down syndrome will become frustrated or distraught at the idea of working directly alongside their neurotypical peers. However, children with Down syndrome usually show strong social skills, and can make an excellent addition to most group activities. Professional development courses for teachers in Harrisburg and throughout PA that focus on inclusivity can help you integrate more group activities into your blended classroom.

● Misunderstanding #2: Students with Down syndrome can’t follow classroom rules. Many people assume that if a child has Down syndrome, he or she should get a “free pass” when it comes to breaking classroom rules. Though some students with Down syndrome may need a little extra instruction and encouragement, high expectations within the classroom can actually help the student grow and develop better social skills. Speak directly to the student when explaining rules and use short, concise sentences for higher success rates.

● Misunderstanding #3: Students with Down syndrome need constant one-on-one attention. Though it’s true that students with Down syndrome often need a bit more instruction than other students, excessive one-on-one attention can cause the student to become overly dependent upon the instructor. Allow the student plenty of time to problem-solve on his or her own before helping—you might be surprised at the fresh perspectives and creativity children with Down syndrome are capable of all on their own.

When you complete your professional development hours in Harrisburg or anywhere else in PA through The Teacher’s Academy, you can fulfill your Act 48 requirements by learning fun and innovative strategies for creating an inclusive classroom. Give our team a call today at 800-713-1841 to learn more!

3 Examples of Tech-Based Learning Teachers Can Employ

Technology and the internet have invaded every area of life and every profession on the planet. Helping students understand how to use technology and computers to their advantage can boost their education and help make learning more fun and exciting at every age. Some ways that teachers across the country are incorporating technology into their students’ learning include: Continue Reading 3 Examples of Tech-Based Learning Teachers Can Employ

5 Tips for Teaching Young Children With Autism

Children on the autism spectrum require special teaching methods, additional guidance, and general support from their teachers to reach their full potential. If you teach a child on the autism spectrum, consider implementing one or more of these tips for a more inclusive and supportive learning experience.

  • Help other children understand that “different” does not mean “worse.” If you are teaching in an inclusive classroom, other children may not understand what autism is or why one student is being taught differently. When introducing a student with autism, stress that he or she wants the same things as all other students: to be accepted, to make friends, and to learn alongside their peers.
  • Use visual aids. Children with autism often have trouble understanding abstract concepts. Using visual aids, pictures, and models to communicate classroom rules or lessons can help children with autism more clearly understand what they are expected to do or say in certain situations.
  • Communicate clearly. Young children with autism may have trouble grasping figurative language or tasks with multiple steps. When working with a child with autism, avoid using figurative language, instead favoring short sentences with concrete terms.
  • Keep learning spaces the same. If you’ve ever been a substitute teacher in a different classroom, you probably remember how nerve-racking, anxiety-inducing, or even downright scary entering a new environment can be. Children with autism are often resistant to change, and unexpected changes in environment can amplify anxiety. Keeping your learning environment the same can help children with autism focus on their lessons instead of becoming distracted.
  • Be aware of sensory issues. Many children with autism have sensitivity issues concerning certain colors, scents, and sounds. Using neutral hues and keeping your classroom free of excessive perfumes and other odors can help keep children with autism from experiencing sensory overload.

Are you interested in learning more about teaching in an inclusive classroom? The Teacher’s Academy offers online professional development for teachers in Philadelphia that is Act 48 compliant. Our professional development for teachers in Pittsburgh can help you better serve children with special needs and those who are comfortable in a standard learning environment alike. To view our complete catalog of courses, pay us a visit online at https://www.theteachersacademy.com.

3 Easy Ways to Encourage Teamwork in the Classroom

Working together as a team is an essential skill that students of all ages can master. Teamwork allows students to grow and learn from one another’s ideas, gives introverted students the opportunity to come out of their shells, and introduces students to new perspectives and experiences that are different from their own. Educators who are looking to introduce more teamwork in their classroom are encouraged to try out one of these three easy strategies!

  • Add an incentive. Students can be more engaged with the idea of teamwork if they are incentivized to work alongside their peers. From offering stickers to young students who write and present a story with a friend to offering extra credit for team presentations, there is an endless number of ways to incentivize students to brainstorm as a team.
  • Use team projects instead of group work. Many teachers confuse and conflate the ideas of group work and teamwork. Group work is largely independent, even when students are grouped with their peers. For example, if students are all assigned a single problem but they are each required to turn in their own work or paper, this group work will not engage students with their fellow classmates. Instead, introduce an activity in which students turn in a single project that they worked together on. Students who create a group PowerPoint presentation on a history subject or a collaborative art piece receive more exposure to the thoughts and ideas of their peers.
  • Try out a blended classroom. If you are able, embrace the blended classroom strategy for a day. Blended classrooms use a series of “labs” centered around different subjects to introduce students to a number of concepts in a single day. Students at each lab work together to solve a communal problem under the leadership of the teacher, who knows each student on an individual level. If you’d like to learn more about introducing your students to the blended classroom model, The Teacher’s Academy offers a blended classroom instructional course as part of their professional development for teachers in Pittsburgh.

Teachers who want to learn more about building a dynamic classroom and who still need to complete their Act 48 hours are encouraged to check out The Teacher’s Academy’s professional development courses for teachers in Harrisburg. Our course catalog includes instruction for teachers of all grades and skill levels and can be found online at https://www.theteachersacademy.com.