Breakfast Club Blog

Are You Focusing Too Much on What Is and Not Enough on What Could Be?

As a leader, no matter how many decisions you make or actions you take, nothing matters as much as your ability to bring people with different experiences and interests together in a common purpose that gives them a clear sense of direction and drives them toward excellence. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in your organization for some time, there’s a reason you’ve been given the opportunity to be in your position at this time in your life — and it’s likely to be more importa...Read More

Enhancing SEO in the After School Space

The purpose of student engagement and outreach (SEO) is to provide holistic student-centered programs and services that enhance student life. Creating lasting memories through community engagement, connection building, and creative exploration is what after school is all about! Strong attendance with engaged students are signs of a successful after school program. It means that your program is inclusive, interesting, and valuable for children and parents alike. On the other hand, a lack of solid...Read More

C.A.L.M.M Classroom Break – 5 Simple Chair Poses to Calm The Chaos

Educators, you know that moment when the energy in your classroom feels like utter chaos and you imagine yourself running out of the room and never looking back?! We’ve all had those moments when our students are distracted, dysregulated, and disconnected and it feels as if whatever you say is going in one ear and out the other. Most likely this is actually the case. When children’s nervous systems are dysregulated, their pre-frontal cortex can tend to be offline. The prefrontal cortex is implic...Read More

Creating A Space To Learn: 3 Essential Steps

The foundation of learning happens in spaces where youth feel safe, seen, and respected. Unfortunately, all learning environments are not developed with this in mind. The structural evolution of today’s K-12 classrooms has made little progress over the years. As youth practitioners and educators, we have the opportunity every day to support a more equitable learning environment by laying the groundwork, before youth enter our doors. It is an incredible responsibility for one person. Therefore, w...Read More

What Is So Special About After School?

After 20+ years of working in after school, I have learned that there are many things that make after school special. Some might be apparent, but others might be less obvious. One go-to resource for me is information from the Afterschool Alliance, This is Afterschool, which reminds us of all of the benefits of after school. They sum it up in a few words. “Decades of research prove afterschool helps kids attend school more often, get better grades, and build foundational skills, like communicatio...Read More

Staff Meetings: Lackluster To Brilliant

When was the last time you left a staff meeting thinking, “Wow, that was a great staff meeting!” Are those crickets I hear? Believe it or not, just the other day I left the office thinking just that. How you ask? This is how… Staff participated. Staff dictated the pace of the meeting. Staff cared. Here are the things that make our staff meetings successful. Strategic & planned ahead: The staff meeting was planned with a goal that the team could accomplish – something small and at...Read More

5 Books I Wish I Read In School

One of my biggest problems with education today is the lack of practical knowledge, meaningful skill-building, and experiential learning in favor of what is easy to measure. These five books would have really moved the needle for me. The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey Why This book would have solved all my underconfidence, self-doubt, and overthinking in class, sports, and relationships. Not to mention all of the benefits it has provided me in business (even though I only finished i...Read More

SEL and Leadership? Let’s Get Loud!

SEL, SEL, SEL… social-emotional learning! Kids need it! All kids, not only marginalized youth– for some reason people think that (duh)! But all kids need it… rich, poor, students of color, white kids, urban, rural, and suburban kids, indigenous, affluent, English Learners, deprived traumatized kids, special needs, and seemingly normal kids (whatever that is). There’s this HUGE push for educators to implement social-emotional learning into classrooms and in expanding learning organiza...Read More

Getting Your Students to Fall in Love with Physical Activity

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day celebrates love, and it doesn’t always have to be romantic. Love boils down to a passion for something (or someone!), and so we can celebrate the holiday by sharing the love for physical activity with students in your expanded learning program. When you feel passionate about something, it shows. Your enthusiasm, energy, and enjoyment are palpable, visible as the expression on your face, gestures with your hands, and the sound of your voice. When you talk about...Read More

3 Ways To Living A Purpose Driven Life

I did not understand how in-depth it was to “living a purpose driven” life, or even what it meant. I remember reading books that talked about living a “purpose driven life,” but I did not think it pertained to me. I’m not a religious person. But I know now, later in my life, that being connected with my spiritual self keeps me in line with my purpose in life. I remember going to a retreat the first time I heard this. Micheal Bernard Beck, from the movie The Secret, ...Read More

The Beginning Of Wisdom: Part One

Editor’s Note: This blog was first posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, and is being reposted with permission from The Leadership Program. As we are in the middle of another January, many of us are also already likely facing a reckoning of the status of our new year’s resolutions. Already, they may be sputtering; they may even still be stuck at the start. Resolutions are tricky because they are so often tied up in an accounting of our perception of our success or failure, basically as huma...Read More

Working With The SIFE English Learner Student

Have a new student?  Are they a Student with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE)? New students enroll all the time. Generally, there is an uptick in enrollments around the semester change (just after winter holidays/New Year) or other major holidays. I have received new EL (English Learner) students just after Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year, and Easter/Spring breaks. There are many reasons for this, but no matter what, that new EL student is standing in your classroom/after-school progra...Read More