Breakfast Club Blog

The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is a curated space where bloggers from around the world contribute content on a continual basis about a variety of topics relevant to in and out-of-school time. The BOOST Breakfast Club blog is at the heart of an ongoing dialogue where expanded learning and education professionals share their personal thoughts and stories from the in and out-of-school time field. They also tell us what they ate for breakfast!

The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is Brain Food for In and Out-of-School Time Leaders!

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A Case For That Softer Side Of Leadership

When we talk about leadership, and the skills needed to be an effective leader (which is a different conversation than what it means to effectively manage a team or project), we’ve only recently started to give proper space and focus around Emotional Intelligence and some of the “softer” skills that go into impactful and transformative leadership. But, what exactly is the softer side? Well, it’s the human side. More to the point: it’s the human-connecting-to-another-human side. There are a lot o...Read More

Intentional Self-Awareness In Leadership

“If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk.” Benjamin Hooks I’ve always loved this quote, because for me it cuts straight to the core of true leadership—which has absolutely nothing to do with the title on your business card. True leadership, to me, is about impact. How much of an impact do you have on those around you? And how willing are they to follow you, wherever you may lead? This kind of leadership is not measured by daily tasks ...Read More

The Power of Positive Thought

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, life can become overwhelming. As youth workers we want the young people we work with to embrace the positive messages of the holiday season, be it gratitude and thankfulness to knowing that they are loved and cherished. While we go the extra mile at work to ensure our youth enjoy their holiday season, we may also be stressing about our personal schedules and responsibilities around the holidays. How will I find time to purchase all those presents...Read More

Social Emotional Leadership: A Game Changer

You may have heard of social and emotional learning, or SEL. Defined and predominately shaped by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL, more than two decades ago, social and emotional competencies have become an essential avenue for developing key skills in our young people. SEL is defined specifically by CASEL as “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage e...Read More

8 Tips for Breaking the Worry Cycle

Our minds are incredibly powerful. They have the ability to help us create amazing things; or, they can undermine us. The perfect example is worrying. We’ve all experienced worry — it’s a natural human phenomenon. Worry happens when we have thoughts or emotions about a potential threat or problem in the future — something going wrong or something bad happening. Worry can serve a purpose if we use it to help us identify issues that we can get prepared for. However, it can be detriment...Read More

Hi Miss Tiaaaana

Recently, I posted a picture of myself on Instagram, and to my surprise, I received likes from folks I have not seen in quite a while. One of them, a young lady who attended the middle and high school after-school program I managed five years ago, commented on the picture by saying, “Hi Miss Tiaaaana.” She shared photos of her daughter with me, and in one of our messages, told me that some other girls who attended 20 West wanted to reunite to catch up. Hearing that my old students wa...Read More

Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8 Reboot!

Keeping children at the center of our work means taking care of ourselves. Last year I wrote an article for the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog called Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8. The idea was to crowdsource ideas from a few educator friends to learn more about the daily self-care practices that help them stay resilient. For this post, I’m excited to share a reboot of that article featuring 7 more friends and their answers to the questions in CASEL’s Give 1/Get 8 worksheet. I hope their ideas inspir...Read More

4 Tips to Cultivating Leaders in Your Organization

The singular most important role of today’s leader is growing those around them. This is not just a lofty goal, but one of intentional thought and commitment. I view nurturing those around me as a benefit not only to our organization but also as a way to develop skills that will lead to success in any organization. Gasp! Yes, I believe it is my duty to shape leaders who may someday join a competing organization. So, where to begin? Leadership development is offered for many reasons. Poor company...Read More

On the Frontlines of Pandemic Education

While many schools cannot provide in-person classes, afterschool programs are delivering in-person enrichment on school campuses – and all is not quiet on the education front. The coronavirus pandemic continues to have devastating effects across the world and has become a divisive political issue in the United States. This virus has laid bare our society’s injustices, including inequity in public education. Distance learning has potential, and I hope we figure it out. In the meantime, stud...Read More

Remember to THINK

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on November 22, 2013. This year, I had an opportunity to help my sister set up her sixth grade classroom. Outside the door, she had the following poster: T: Is it True? H: Is it Helpful? I: Is it Inspiring? N: Is it Necessary? K: Is it Kind? Although educators, whether they work during in or out-of-school time hours, have many of these mantras in their classrooms, this one struck me as special. It not only encourages students to THINK, but...Read More

Processing Social Issues Through Art-Making

This piece originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on January 23, 2015. The news is often overwhelming with images of violence, objectification, and families left stunned and mourning over great loss. The need for social justice is not new. But to high school students who are just coming to understand the repetitive nature of the news…and just how nasty things in this world can be…it is new. It seems that at this tender age, high school students are beginning to identify what ...Read More

How A CEO Integrates Leadership and Sports Everyday

How do you use leadership and life skills when you are coaching your athletes at Sportika? As if we didn’t know it, sports skills, activities, and philosophies transcend into real-life applications. Some of the transferable activities that are easy to share with our student-athletes are: keeping your eye on the ball, that’s focus. The passing of a ball, that is communication. And making an assist, that is support. All of these are leadership skills. Maintaining focus Communication with tea...Read More