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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Focus on Reflection for Learning

Reflection For Educators You want this! A reflective practice is learning through and from experience towards gaining new insights of self and practice (Finlay, 2008). Reflection is a systematic reviewing process for all educators which allows us to link one experience to the next, making sure students make progress. Using reflection as an intentional practice is not only great for students, but also imperative for educators because it show us how much a student is a) paying attention b) if they...Read More

Illuminating The Beauty-FULL in You

In a post called “Beautiful” in On Wings & Whimsy: Finding The Extraordinary Within The Ordinary, I remember a story wherein my then-three-year-old daughter ponders whether or not she is “beautiful.” Whether or not she is “anything.” It made me shudder, even back then, how prevalent the culture of comparison is, and how from such a young age we judge our worth against the approval or disapproval of others. And I was thinking about it again recently because I saw a funny-true meme that remind...Read More

Why It’s Valuable to Integrate Parents and Social Emotional Learning

You are raising your kids, you receive a letter/email from the school that your child is about to embark on a personal exploration journey based on self-awareness, decision making, building positive relationships, and empathy. And it’s called social and emotional learning. And you think, “Is that what education is now-a-days?” Guess what? It sure is, and if it isn’t, it should be! Okay, okay, some parents/families might think, “this is just what we need!” After all, it’s ...Read More

Are your students at risk? Here’s what to watch for.

Over the past 25 years of working with administrators and teachers around SEL, the pushback has been “I don’t have time for that” or “I don’t know what to do” or “I’m not a school counselor.”  We are living in a state of emergency, and we must be fully present for our students. No excuses. More than ever, students need to know that they are not alone in this crazy world. We must communicate unceasingly that they are seen, known, valued, and loved. Friends, it’s time to put student well-being abo...Read More

Gamifying SEL with the Mood Meter

Social and emotional learning is a set of teachable competencies or skills considered fundamental to school and life success. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as the process of how children “acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring...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

ExScaredEd: Fear & Excitement of the Unknown

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on September 5, 2017. My son Dylan just started first grade a few weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to it, he coined a new word to describe how he was feeling: ExScaredEd. A combination of excited and scared, he said that was the best way to express how he was approaching this new year. I love it. I love, love, love it. Since then, he added “ExNerveEd” to describe being excited and nervous, and “ExSKYted” to express being extra-excited. W...Read More

A Call to Action – Let’s not forget our Older Youth

This morning I had coffee and a celery-green apple-turmeric smoothie (my wife is trying to keep us healthy) for breakfast. Perhaps it did not provide the proper amount of sweetness to boost my mood, but perhaps it was just the kind of medicine I needed to say the following. We need to think about our priorities. We need to focus on older youth. The field of education, after school, and beyond is currently focused on getting young students, TK through 2nd graders, back to in-person learning ASAP....Read More

Putting the “Happy” in “Happy New Year”

Happy New Year! It’s what most of us say this time of the year, isn’t it? If you asked, “What do I mean when I say that?” what might your answer be? It’s easy to fall in step with using these common phrases without the deliberate thought behind the words. What really got me thinking about this were the reactions to a recent post of mine on Facebook: I choose to see 2020 not as the year of canceled plans, but as the year where the world stood still long enough for us to see the things we need to ...Read More

Need an Attitude Shift? Try Gratitude in 2021!

“What a year!”  That’s all we keep saying – “What a year it’s been!” And it’s true, it has been quite a year. This blog is about gratitude. I’d like to begin with some of the things that happened for me in 2020 so that I can lay out how powerful gratitude is and how gratitude has really has supported and shifted my mindset. There’s no other way to begin than with the real story. I lost my father to COVID-19 on May 8, 2020, in New York City. He was swept up in what I call the COVID Cyclone. The v...Read More

Bringing at-home STEM success into focus

STEM has left the building For a long time, advocates of STEM education have worked to bring STEM learning closer to students’ lives outside of school. This year, though, COVID has made STEM learning a part of students’ lives outside of school in ways nobody ever imagined or wanted. The pandemic has forcibly ejected STEM from the traditional in-building school environment and strewn it about in a great blurry mess spread out variably and amorphously among the home, Zoom sessions, mask-, distance...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