From the category archives:

Working in Schools

July is UV Safety Month

by Howard Gerber on July 19, 2011

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July is UV Safety Month, an appropriate time as most of the nation is focused on getting outside to enjoy the sun. With new guidelines about sunscreen issued from the FDA it is more important than ever that everyone work together to make sure the public is well informed about the necessity of sun protection and exactly how to best protect themselves and their family.


Make a sunscreen display to show customers the new recommendations by the FDA. A chart format or a Q&A format are good choices because they can easily be skimmed and will force you to break the information into more manageable pieces that consumers will be more likely to understand. This is also an excellent place to move your sunscreen selection to for the month of July. Next to the display of sunscreens, provide easy to understand definitions about the claims the sunscreens make such as waterproof, water resistant, broad spectrum, and what SPF actually means. Brochures that clients can take with them with the new information could also be included with each purchase.


Nurses and doctors can devote some of their bulletin board space this month to UV Safety with a focus on their specialty. Pediatric offices can display what children and infants need, dermatology offices can discuss the warning signs of too much UV exposure, and ophthalmologists’ offices can show the dangers UV radiation poses to eyesight and how to best protect your eyes.


Although most schools close for the summer, they don’t always close completely. Summer programs, summer school, and summer training or extracurricular activities may still be in full force. Take time at the beginning of the month to show students exactly how much sunscreen should be applied and how often it should be reapplied. Physically taking the time to show them what an ounce of sunscreen looks like will be much more beneficial to students than simply discussing the new guidelines.


Many physical and occupational therapists recommend aquatic exercises to supplement therapy session, some even provide aquatic services. If you recommend patients to swim or to complete exercises in the water be sure you talk to them this month about the importance of properly using sunscreen. The FDA has said sunscreens will not be able to claim to be waterproof in the future. Make sure your patients know they need to reapply sunscreen every 40 to 80 minutes (depending on the type they use) if they are in the water or sweating.

How do you plan to make your patients more aware of the dangers of UV radiation? Do you recommend specific sunscreens or products that limit UV exposure? What do you think of the new FDA guidelines for sunscreens?

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Sleeping Students

by Howard Gerber on June 21, 2011

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Should you let your students nap? The answer may surprise you. Many teens are not getting nearly enough sleep during the school week. They are averaging a bit more than 7 hours each night while they typically need more than 9. There are several reasons for this that range from basic biology to increased demands and opportunities for stimulation. The end result, regardless of the reason, is that teens are more exhausted and they have even more difficulty in class than if they are fully alert. [continue reading…]


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Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teachers often need to think outside of the educational box when choosing learning supplies for their students. Coloring pages can be quite useful for younger students, students who are just learning English, students who have difficulty reading, or for students who need visual aids to help remember information. The following five websites provide educational coloring pages or printable worksheets that will help students excel in a variety of subjects. [continue reading…]


Twitter for Special Education Teachers

by Howard Gerber on April 18, 2011

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Twitter is a powerful tool for teachers – especially for special education teachers. In a school, there may be hundreds of classroom teachers, but only half a dozen special education teachers. This often makes it difficult to create a local support network of other professionals who are facing the same sorts of challenges each day in the classroom. [continue reading…]


Parental Reactions to ESE

by Howard Gerber on February 22, 2011

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One of the hardest things for a parent to hear is that there is something wrong with their child. Parents want to protect their children from illness, injury, and monsters under the bed. Because of this many parents may feel that their child needs protection when a school informs them that their child may have, or does have, a learning disability or delay. [continue reading…]


Using Facebook in the Classroom

by Howard Gerber on January 5, 2011

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Keeping parents apprised of their child’s academic performance has always been important for teachers. It is especially important to have close communication with parents of children who are struggling in school. New technologies are constantly being rolled out that can have a phenomenal impact on the lives of students, if applied properly. The Internet and social applications like Facebook are an excellent method of facilitating communication between parents and teachers. However, it must be done carefully in order to not violate any privacy rights of the students. [continue reading…]


The Role of Holiday Decorations in Education

by Howard Gerber on December 8, 2010

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Decorating classrooms has become somewhat expected these days. Teachers are expected to have bulletin boards that are coordinated with the season or a theme from the lesson plans. The start of the school year will often find classrooms decked out with apple trees, school buses, colorful piles of leaves, or stacks of books. Most minor holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and even Halloween are expected to play a role in the décor of a classroom. It isn’t until December arrives that people become hypersensitive to holiday decorations. [continue reading…]


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