Episode 29: Engaging Transformations: Inspiring Students and Teachers To Get Started with Kayla Dessert

 
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The best teachers recognize that they have the power to inspire others by transforming the space—and even the people—around them. Some, like Kayla Dessert of SweetestTeacher.com, realized this from a young age and demonstrates how she is able to naturally connect, pique curiosity, and initiate do-able challenges in order to promote learning and personal development.

In this week’s episode, Danielle and Nicole talk to Kayla, a 6th grade teacher who has an innate talent for finding ways to motivate those around her. She explains how coming from a family of teachers helped inspire her—and how seeing her mother and grandmother put on some of her own “classroom transformations” years before it became trendy helped Kayla internalize what truly excites students.  From starting a summer camp of her own while still a kid herself to teaching 3rd grade and eventually making the move to 6th grade teacher, Kayla has found ways to make lessons engaging for learners of all ages.  Drawing upon her students own interests, pop culture, her coaching background, and current events, Kayla makes every day of school exciting and impactful for those she reaches.  Kayla tackles the misconceptions surrounding the time, money, and effort that transformations need take place and instead outlines the 3 steps you actually need to take in order to help students and teachers alike leverage small wins and build momentum towards their larger goals.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

Why working with “big kids” doesn’t need to be intimidating-- or less engaging How a brain break activity sparked confidence to make a bigger classroom transformation The lies we tell ourselves about transformations--and how they don’t need to be overwhelming  Tips for getting to know your students (and how routines can help them find time to share and feel a part of a process that feels natural) The 3 step approach to classroom transformations that work: identify student interests, select standards/content, and bridge the gap

Links:

Kayla's Instagram: 

https://www.instagram.com/sweetestteacher/

Kayla's Blog: 

https://www.sweetestteacher.com/

Kayla's TpT Store: 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Sweetest-Teacher-Mrs-Dessert

On setting healthy boundaries Episode 22: https://www.edverything.com/podcast/2019/time-tasks-trauma-troubleshooting-common-teacher-stressors-with-amanda-murtaugh-lmhp

On going to bed early and creating a morning routine that works Episode 9: https://www.edverything.com/podcast/2019/healthy-routines


PS - When we asked our listeners to best define their first year of teaching in only a few words, one of our favorite responses was “tomorrow is a new day!”