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 views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company. Enjoy the brain food.

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

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The Platinum Rule

I wrote a blog once about the Golden Rule, and how imperative it is as a manager to respect the Golden Rule: to treat your staff members and colleagues the way you would want to be treated. Later, after talking about it at a workshop, a gentleman came up to me and said that while he liked the Golden Rule, he much preferred the “Platinum Rule”—treat others the way they want to be treated. Ohhhhh, I remember thinking… that’s so much better. Treat others not the way I would ...Read More

Don’t look at the chipped paint on the walls…

Even I have to admit, it’s easy it is to be distracted professionally by things that are relatively unimportant to our organization’s overall goals. How do we as executive and organizational leaders refocus our minds on what gives us joy in our work lives while also driving us towards our mission? This seems to be especially important as we deal with the lingering impact of the pandemic and start the process of emerging out of the collective fog that has permeated many classrooms, organizations,...Read More

From a Learning Disability to a Ph.D.: A Life-Changing Journey

As I opened an email titled “Congratulations! Your dissertation is approved.” I felt tears of happiness slowly running down my cheeks. I smiled, closed my eyes, and took a long, deep breath. It had been a long and difficult journey, but somehow, I felt that it was only a beginning – of a new era, the one where I officially had no reason to doubt myself. “I am a doctor now,” I thought to myself. “I did it, I proved them all wrong.” For as long as I can remember I was told that I wasn’t good enoug...Read More

Hanging in the BOOST Live Podcast Lounge

My drive to work definitely changed this year. With my kids Zooming from home, I was all alone on the daily commute—no need for our “Drive to School” playlist, seasonal playlist, or our Disney sing-a-long. I took the opportunity to use my car time to wisely—PODCASTS. Over the past year I delved into the stock market with Snacks Daily (okay, I did originally think the podcast was about snacks – not snack size stock tips – but hey, it’s still a good podcast). I improved my running tech...Read More

Calming Back-to-School Jitters for LGBTQ Youth

Will I make friends? What if I get lost? Will I like my teachers? What if I do something embarrassing? These are the back to school jitters we’re used to helping youth navigate. We have all kinds of strategies to help young people feel comfortable in their new classroom or after school program — putting their name on a desk or name tag, icebreakers, activities that encourage youth to get to know each other — the list is endless. But consider the young person who is unsure of his or h...Read More

Join the 2021/22 BOOST Leadership Team

The BOOST Leadership Team is critically important to the success and impact of the BOOST Conference. This amazing team provides big ideas, new connections, practical strategies while adding credibility to the planning and execution process. This comprehensive Leadership Team represents the diversity of after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time programs and includes representatives serving at all levels of the field. We are a quality conference truly planned by dedicated (and fun) a...Read More

The Challenge of Creating a Culture

Almost every day, I am a teacher, a student, or a leader. Sometimes I play one role at a time. Sometimes I play all three at once. One could say I dance in between them. I’m sure that all of us who work with youth move between these roles and watch our peers and our students do the same. The question I keep coming back to, no matter what role I am in, is how do I create a culture that I can be proud of and inspired to be a part of? And what I mean by culture in this context is the feeling ...Read More

Understanding Our Impact: How The Smallest Things Can Ignite The Most Lasting Memories

I’ve been doing a lot of trainings around Social Emotional Leadership recently, which I love so much. Tapping in to the “softer” side of our leadership seems more important now than it ever was before. In my trainings I’m known to use this quote from Douglas Conant, formerly of Campbell Soup, who says: “Even a brief interaction can change the way people think about themselves, their leaders, and the future. Each of those many connections you make has the potential to become a high point or a low...Read More

Where the Rubber Meets the Road- Planning a Successful Afterschool Activity

Building on the concept that the most productive learning comes through active involvement, the effectiveness of any program that seeks to develop skills in youth must be rich in activity. Remember, most of the students sit for almost 7.5 hours a day! They are eager to be involved in activities that allow for action and interaction. Enthusiasm is contagious and movement essential. You do not need a repertoire of several hundred activities. Such a large selection is simply not practical and, more...Read More

Let’s amplify the voice of the expanded learning workforce

When the majority of schools in 2020-21 were closed for in-person learning, who has answered the call? The expanded learning workforce. Some staff at afterschool, summer, and out-of-school-time programs provided supervision and support to children of essential workers and other vulnerable children. Others stepped up to meet families’ basic needs, including meals, technology for distance learning, and referrals to language translation and free COVID-19 testing. Some found missing students and foc...Read More

Some Things Don’t Change: Rethinking Adult Learning

When it comes to how kids and adults learn, there are similar dynamics that are very important to acknowledge and foster. I find at times, that folks get really focused on noting the differences across our various developmental stages/ages. Even though it’s important to understand these differences, it sometimes limits if/how we create learning environments that are engaging and experiential for adults. Okay, sure, we can sit through hours of a presenter talking at us and still learn and t...Read More

An Open Letter to Pandemic Educators

For educators in a pandemic, our greatest priority is not academic progress, but social and emotional well-being. You have likely spent the last year under intense pressure trying to do anything you can to make a difference. Have your efforts closed the achievement gap? Should they be expected to? No, of course not. In everything you do, you have shown kids that they belong, that someone cares for them, that they are worth all your effort, and that you want them to be safe. That is the primary m...Read More