5 unique ideas for Teacher Appreciation Week

Heads up! Today, March 22, is the last day to order our Get Your Cray On shirts — perfect appreciation gifts for teachers! National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11.

My mom is a teacher.

I feel proud to type that. Though she’s now retired, once a teacher, always a teacher — she carries that badge with honor, rushing to help or advocate for many causes to support the profession even though she no longer does the day-to-day work.

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Why we should encourage children to play outdoors

Hellooooo spring. We’ve missed you.

We may not be out of the cold weather woods just yet, but today, the first official day of spring, we have license to celebrate. We can start counting down to all the fun outdoor things — Spring Break, the last day of school, opening day of the local swimming pool, SUMMER. It’s just like the late actor Robin Williams said: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”

Preach.

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Honoring our Florence Nightingales during National Nurses Week

She is a “ministering angel” without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow’s face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.

— The Times, London

This ministering angel was Florence Nightingale, and the story told is of her tireless efforts to improve unsanitary conditions and reduce the death rate for the wounded during the Crimean War in the mid-1800s. National Nurses Week — May 6-12 — was inspired by her legacy and ends on her birthday (May 12, 1820), and recognizes the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

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Great (and fun, and rewarding) awareness activities to support your cause

The committee you tasked with finding the right cause for your business has finished its discovery process — and your team finally has a fundraising purpose. High five! Now it’s time to set some goals and activities to help further your company’s mission of helping others.

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Earth-friendly practices you can incorporate in your workplace

As April 22 approaches each year, you may find yourself thinking a little more about the ways you can give back to the place that provides a safe haven to you every day.

Being environmentally conscious not only on Earth Day, but every other day in between, will go a long way in having a cleaner, more sustainable world for future generations.

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4 ways to make staff meetings productive and enjoyable

Let’s be honest. No one really looks forward to staff meetings.

Whether you’re having them once a day, once a week or once a month, we have a tendency to lose focus when we get employees together. Sidebar conversations can overrule, debates can go on a lot longer than expected, and we can get lost in the weeds discussing ideas.

With a little planning and discussion with your staff, you can make those meetings more focused, productive and maybe even fun. Here are a few ideas for getting started:

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Listen while you work: Podcasts for long days at the desk

Podcasts are a great alternative to music if you’re looking for something to listen to at work or during your commute that is interesting, inspiring or simply entertaining.

If you’re unfamiliar or have never listened to one before, podcasts are digital audio files made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, and typically available as a series. You can subscribe to them and receive updates when a new episode is available. There are thousands of podcasts out there about a wide variety of topics, and when you find one you love, it can become just as addictive as your favorite TV series.

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Shining a light on autism

It’s a condition that affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. That’s 1 in 42 boys, and 1 in 189 girls.

One-third of these children are nonverbal.

One-third have an intellectual disability.

And an estimated 50,000 teens with this condition become adults each year, losing important school-based services that help them thrive.

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Ways to make your workspace more productive

A key element in having a more productive work day is your workspace. Are you comfortable? Are you inspired? If you’re sitting at a cubicle with nothing but your computer to look at, then those eight hours a day probably move by pretty slow. Likewise, if your desk is not positioned appropriately, then any discomfort you’re feeling in your back, neck or shoulders could keep you from being able to focus.

If you have flexibility to spruce up your workspace, here are some ideas for making it a place where you feel efficient, focused and comfortable.

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