The Effects of the Pandemic on Students

Many studies suggest that children lost about 35% of a normal school year’s worth of learning during the pandemic.  One can imagine how that impacts both the students and the teachers.  So many teachers are reporting that they are frustrated and have feelings of overwhelm. 

A study by the National Institute of Mental Health looked at how kids living through the pandemic and the shutdowns were affected both psychologically and biologically. The results weren’t surprising that these adolescents suffered significant stress and uncertainty and that the overall mental health of these students was greatly impacted. 

Teachers are in a vulnerable spot – not only do they have students who are not up to the normal standards academically, but they are facing students who are full of anxiety and stress.  There are some programs available to help teachers, such as task forces who evaluate “anxiety screenings” for ages 8 to 18, as well as “depression screenings” for ages 12 to 18.  In addition, there are training programs to help teachers and staff to help students in distress.  Classroom WISE (Well-Being Information and Strategies for Educators) is one such free resource library that is available.

Another useful tool is to add mindfulness and deep breathing to your routine inside and outside the classroom.  Research indicates that these exercises can greatly reduce stress and anxiety. 

College Credit Connection also offers courses that address classroom management, information on ADD, and the brain.  Some of these courses are as follows:

Classroom Management: Managing Challenging Behavior

Classroom Management: Building Effective Relationships

Lost at School: Kids with Behavioral Challenges

Healing ADD

Healing Anxiety and Depression

Understanding The Brain and Behavior

and many more.

Browse through the course offerings to find more. The added bonus is that you can gain college credit for these professional development courses!



Top Ten Online CCC Courses

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 11.30.58 AM

Which of our courses are the most popular, and why do students love them? See for yourself! We have compiled our list and have highlighted what teachers and professionals have to say about them.

  1. EDUX 7816 Reading Strategies: Developing Skilled Readers

Format: Independent Book Study

The best aspect of this course was finding some new strategies that can help some of my students that are severely behind in reading. This is my 2nd year working with a lot of the same students and the year before I used many strategies and didn’t see much growth, but using some of these new strategies, I am already seeing some growth (even though very tiny for some) and that just fills my teacher heart with joy to see any growth with my students.


  1. EDUX 7819 The Growth Mindset Coach: Empowering Students to Achieve

Format: Independent Book Study

The topic of growth vs. fixed mindset is very relevant to my current classroom situation, as I have students who display a wide range of abilities and levels of motivation and I must reach each one. Understanding the difference between fixed and growth mindsets I am now able to recognize these traits in my students and will adjust my teaching towards each accordingly.


  1. EDUX 7605 Classroom Management: Effective Strategies

Format: Independent Research Study

I was able to select a topic that I was interested in, learn more about it, and center my learning and activities around it. I think the reflection piece of this course was particularly relevant to applying the texts I read to my teaching and applying the material to my own classroom routines and procedure. I have been able to reflect on what works and what does not work. I will research further areas of interest to achieve personal and professional goals. I will guide my students and encourage them to approach learning in the same way.


  1. EDUX 7803 Secrets of Successful Students

Format: Independent Book Study

I have taken many professional development classes that required work that was not beneficial to me. I feel that the structured response questions provoke deep thought about the book and help me consider how the concepts can be applied to benefit my specific classroom and teaching strategies. I enjoy the way CCC formats their book studies and I plan on taking several more courses.


  1. EDUX 7325 Neuroscience & the Classroom: Making Connections

Format: Online Video

As a school-based speech language pathologist (SLP), it is a struggle to find courses that are both applicable and effective for me to grow my skills as an SLP educator. I was able to read articles and explore additional resources that were applicable to speech language therapy and my role in the schools. In addition, unlike a traditional teacher, my schedule has crunch times and times that are more flexible and open due to how individualized education plan meetings and testing is completed for special education. The format of this course allowed me the flexibility to complete greater portions of it when I had more time to do so.


  1. EDUX 7080 Teaching Reading K-2 Workshop

Format: Online Video

I greatly benefitted from learning about different centers and reading routines to implement in my classroom and the benefit of having predictable routines in reading that kids can expect daily. It also provided insight on how to differentiate instruction for all of my students, such as using flexible grouping in the classroom. I learned a lot about how my classroom should be set up to best benefit students in their learning so that they are able to use the entire class a resource. Everything about my organization and instruction should be intentional and purposeful and the video series gave me different criteria and ideas to follow or use when doing so.


  1. EDUX 7402 Healing ADD

Format: Online Video

I wanted to become more aware of the symptoms and treatments of ADD. I gained important information about how to help my struggling students. I think this course should be a course every teacher takes in his or her credential course. Teachers do not have the strategies or skills to help students with ADD in their first years.


  1. EDUX 7355 Reading & Writing in the Disciplines

Format: Online Video

I was pleasantly surprised that a course I had assumed to be irrelevant to me as an elementary level math teacher proved to be a pivotal point in my instructional strategies. This course definitely exceeded my expectations and helped me meet needs I had not even seen before I explored this video series.


  1. EDUX 7545 Educational Methods and Strategies

Format: Post Professional Development

I appreciated being able to use the time that was already given to training to further my own understanding and gain credits with the course. The course requires you to think deeply about what you learned and experienced which usually would not happen after a training the materials often end up on a bookshelf in the classroom until needed again. The course requires a lot of reflection on successes and findings gained through training and professional development.


  1. EDUX 7160 The Learning Classroom: Theory into Practice

Format: Online Video

I enjoyed the self-paced nature and the effective presentation of the material. I appreciated the purposeful assignments as well, which is another reason this course comes highly recommended for other educators. We appreciate the value of being a life-long learner, but also are very busy people with personal lives as well and do not have time or the desire to complete meaningless assignments. Every assignment, article and video for this course was purposeful and well-intended.


How many of our Top Ten have you taken? Enroll in one of these or take one of our many other affordable, quality professional development courses today!

Cheers to our Teachers!

KUDOS to teachers, professors, school administrators, staff,

and IT personnel!

During this unsettling time with the COVID-19 quarantine, our teachers and professors have shown such amazing flexibility, skills, and talent! Teachers are pioneering through this imposed “distance-learning” in an incredible way.  Our educators have flipped over to online/remote learning in 4-7 days!  IT staff have been working around the clock to get this set up.  Administrators and staff are supporting the fast-paced changes in a remarkable way. Congratulations! YOU ARE AMAZING!

One mother sent a picture and description of her son on his first day of an online “distant learning” gathering. (Thanks to Jen and Frank.) The whole class was so excited about seeing their teacher and their classmates.

Screen Shot 2020-03-22 at 2.49.22 PM

In Fontana, CA, this young man was able to meet with a few of his teachers and about 30 of his classmates. The Principal and his Assistant Principle also joined in for a few minutes. The excitement of the students was palpable. They were so excited to connect with their teachers and peers.

At College Credit Connection (CCC), the Coordinators quickly converted their Face-to-Face classes to online/hybrid classes. After teachers get their distance learning programs set up, and if they have a bit more time on their (freshly washed) hands, it might be a good time to take some extra professional development classes. CCC has opened up the cap for credits per semester from 15 to 18 credits. Online learning is a great way to gain additional professional development units. In the last two months, CCC has added 22 new courses to the over 400 courses available.

Congratulations to all the teachers, professors, administrators, staff, IT personnel, as well as to the parents and students! You are making a difference in this difficult time.

Read on for some recommendations on how to deal with the stress of this time.

Screen Shot 2020-03-22 at 2.53.15 PM

Great ways to manage stress during the COVID-19 quarantine.

It is incredibly important for everyone, especially those who are working so hard under such unusual circumstances, to practice physical and emotional self-care. Teachers, professors, administrators, staff, and IT personnel are stepping up to the plate with incredible skill. But all these changes can cause undue stress and anxiety. Stress and fatigue are big factors in stripping one’s immune system, so we all need to practice extra tender self-care. The following are 10 tips to help you get through this stressful and unusual time:

  1. Sleep. Rest helps restore one’s body and mind, thus neutralizing the damaging effects of stress. Take care to get adequate sleep. Turn off your phone, computer, and television an hour before you are going to bed. Quiet your mind (see #7 below) before bed, and you will likely sleep better.
  2. Hydrate. Drink a lot of water. There are reports that if you drink water every 15 minutes, the chances of any virus entering your lungs is drastically reduced. Also, hydration helps flush out toxins. Our brains and organs need water and will function at a higher level when hydrated.
  3. Hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time. Avoid touching your face. Wipe down surfaces. Fill a spray bottle with a bit of rubbing alcohol and water, and use a light mist to spray your clothing, money, mail, and/or anything that has been touched by others.
  4. Exercise. Movement is vital for maintaining healthy circulation. The lymph system is crucial to support our immune responses, and it requires movement. Also, exercise can help ward off depression.
  5. Social distancing. Avoid going out if possible. Try to maintain a distance of at least six feet. But do NOT avoid connecting with people! Skype, FaceTime, Zoom … CONNECT! It is so important for us not to isolate during this time. Call someone you haven’t spoken with in a while – reach out to seniors and those who may be alone. You’ll feel better and they will too! Try to call or video conference if possible, as it is so much more connecting than texting or emailing. But, whatever the method, do something to connect with others.
  6. Outside time. Step outside for at least 15 minutes a day, particularly if you can do it when the sun is shining. Sunlight has anti-microbial effects and stimulates balance in the pineal gland, which supports immunity. Sunlight also provides a rich source of Vitamin D3, which has shown to be effective for the immune system, bone health, and emotional health. Ever notice how you feel better after taking a walk in the sun?!
  7. Quiet time. Many studies indicate the benefit of meditation and/or prayer for a person’s physical and emotional health. You don’t have to “do it right” – just do it! Take a few minutes throughout the day just to clear your mind. Connect with what is meaningful for you. Practice some yoga, chi gong, tai chi, take a bath, light a candle, take a quiet walk, or just sit for a bit doing nothing! Take the time to nourish a connection to what matters to you. Quiet your mind from all the worries and stresses, and you will have a better chance of feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
  8. Nutrition. Try your best to eat healthy. Your body and brain need good nutrients to operate at a high level. Supplement with high quality vitamins and minerals. A few recommendations for health and immunity are Vitamin D3, Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin C.
  9. Reduce stress. Listen to some music, read a book, take a walk. Keep your cool. It is important to take precautions and act wisely, but panic is never helpful. Breathe deeply and allow calmness to enter. Count to 10 before you speak in anger. If you feel panic or anxiety coming on, take deep breaths, then tune into the following (saying them out loud if possible): focus on 4 things around you that you can see; focus on 3 things you can touch; focus on 2 things that you can smell; and focus on 1 thing that you can taste. This helps to ground a person and often times helps to dispel panic. Stop and smell an orange, a flower, some food, a pet, or anything that will bring your focus outside of yourself.
  10. Be kind. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. Reflect on things for which you are grateful. Upon waking and before bed: list 3 things for which you are grateful. Try it – it can make a difference on your outlook. Reflect on love and beauty in self, others, and the world. Be gentle with yourself.
(Compiled from a variety of sources.)

This is also a great time to take an online class and potentially move forward in your salary advancement steps. Check out the classes that College Credit Connection has to offer.

What special things are you doing for self -care right now?  Comment below!



Coordinate in Order to Collaborate

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 10.39.04 PM

So often as teachers we forget to implement what we know to be true into other areas of our lives. For instance, we know that research shows cooperative learning improves student achievement. But how often do we seek out cooperative learning opportunities for ourselves? While some schools implement Professional Learning Communities, we can consider additional ways to learn with our peers.

Most of us belonged to study groups in college, but do we still look for ways to interact with fellow educators to discuss research articles, books, or videos? Fellow teachers often share excellent advice when we are struggling and can help explain strategies and techniques. We share a common goal of helping students regardless of grade level, school, or district.

Administrators will definitely want to take note of the benefits of providing time for collaboration. It has been shown to increase retention rates of teachers and their satisfaction. When teachers feel support and a shared sense of responsibility, the result is often a higher performing school.

A study done in Pennsylvania showed 6 benefits of teacher collaboration. One example was that teachers were more likely to try something new in their classroom because they felt supported. Teachers became one another’s best resources. As teachers developed, student effort increased.

Teachers should not operate independently!  We need our peers to be a sounding board, to give feedback, and to reflect together. Teachers benefit from this, and the students do, too!

College Credit Connection has developed the Group Facilitator Program to encourage our students to take a professional development course with others and enjoy the benefits of both the flexibility and shared learning. The goal of the Group Facilitator Program is to enhance CCC’s online professional development courses by allowing students to enjoy both the benefits of our self-paced format and cooperative learning! Meet as often as you’d like (face-to-face, virtually, email, Facebook group, etc.) to discuss what you are learning, share ideas of how to apply the content, collaborate on lesson plans and assessments, and reflect.

Have a great story about collaborating with your peers? Share it below!

A Welcome Classroom: Supporting English Language Learners

Screen Shot 2020-01-30 at 5.18.39 PM

We strive to teach to each child’s heart, strength, passion, and interest. Our aim is to meet them where they are and help them progress to the next level. So, how do we best help those who enter our classrooms at a level of English lower than their peers?

The last issue of Educational Leadership addresses the many of the challenges of teaching English Language Learners and offers many strategies. I especially appreciate that many of the authors see the benefits of how honing your teaching practice to help meet the needs of English Language Learners often will help the rest of the students in your classroom. The diversity of our students enriches our classrooms!

For some great tips, check out this article by Jennifer Gonzalez. Even the most trained and seasoned teacher might find some of her suggestions helpful. Jennifer explains a bit of the development of second language acquisition and what you should expect as your students develop their academic and conversational language skills.

As our population of English Language Learners grows, it is more crucial than ever that teachers and staff support all of our students. Learning (and thinking!) takes time. All our students will benefit when we speak slowly and give students time to think after we pose questions.

Students are best served when their teachers are aware of what they already know and can build on that prior knowledge. Using visuals and kinesthetic activities will help students to solidify their understanding. Having students work together and collaborate is another great strategy.

College Credit Connection offers many great courses to help educators meet the needs of English Language Learners. Here are a few of our highly recommended graduate-level professional development classes:




How do you help create a welcome classroom to support English Language Learners? Leave a comment below!