Mimio Educator

Kelly Bielefeld

Kelly Bielefeld is currently a Curriculum Director in Clearwater, Kansas and an adjunct professor at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. Prior to this he spent 13 years as an elementary and middle school principal. He holds a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education from Kansas State University, and master's degree in Educational Leadership & Administration from Wichita State University. As a principal, he has worked in rural, urban, and suburban schools along with having experience in both parochial and public school setting.
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Recent Posts

Part 2: Trauma Informed 101

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Oct 18, 2018

Trauma Responsive: Best Practices for All Students 

In the first part of our trauma-informed series, we defined the term and discussed best practices for working with students in trauma. For many educators, after we read the research supporting trauma-informed practices, we are quickly convinced that we need to act. The data strongly supports intervening early for students and with a therapeutic approach (instead of a punitive one). 

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Instructional Leadership From the Top

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Oct 16, 2018

Teaching and learning is the core of what we do in education. As teachers, we know that day in and day out, that is our main charge: student learning. All too often, our day-to-day goals are sidetracked for whatever reason. Some of these reasons are unavoidable, but some come from the driving vision of the district. The support for student learning that flows from the district vision, and is supported by the district-level administrators, helps to keep distractions to a minimum. The people at the top must keep “the main thing the main thing” to keep the focus on learning.

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Topics: Administrator Resources

The Education Pendulum

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Oct 11, 2018

For those teachers who have been in the field of education for a while, we often feel that the pendulum in the larger world of education is swinging back and forth all the time. For a few years we will head in one direction, and then for the next few years we will head back in another direction.

Why do they feel this way? There are a number of reasons for it—some are simple, while others are more complex. Here are a few: 

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Topics: tips for teachers

Part 1: Trauma Informed 101

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Oct 10, 2018

 

In the world of education, the term “trauma informed” has caught on over the past few years. It is a term used by many to define an approach to students—particularly in how we discipline them. If you have heard the term but don’t feel as though you completely understand it, this information may be helpful to you.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Spooky Tech Integration Ideas

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Fri, Oct 5, 2018

The perfect witch’s brew is full of different elements: an eye of newt, a feather from an eagle, a drop of raven tears—there is a mix of just about everything! A great lesson plan is kind of the same way. There is a dash of engagement, at teaspoon of technology, and a heaping cup of cognitive thinking to make the perfect education “stew.” 

In order to harness that excitement of the Halloween season and increase engagement with our students, teachers should consider developing themed lessons around fun Halloween ideas. Teachers should also consider how they can integrate technology to make the lesson even more fun. Finally, using a theme and technology is great, but high-level thinking makes lessons the best they can be. 

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Topics: Lessons, tips for teachers

Who Is Your Eduhero?

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Sep 25, 2018

The term “eduhero” has become popular over the past few years, but what exactly does it mean? I would define it as someone who is a “voice” in education. It could be a teacher who tweets pictures of their classroom, a prominent education author, a Pinterest teacher star, or a Teachers-Pay-Teachers whiz. The common thread between all eduheros is that they use social media to promote what they do in the classroom. The Twitter hashtag #eduhero is another way to tag teachers who are doing great things.

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Topics: tips for teachers

Supporting Parents: Research-Based Programs to Support Parents' Growth

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Saying that parenting is hard is a complete understatement. It is tiring, draining, challenging—and did I mention tiring? It’s also the most rewarding thing that I have ever done, and is worth all the late nights, smelly messes, and stressful car rides. 

I am very blessed when it comes to parenting. My wife and I work well together when it comes to our kids. As we were growing up, we both had great examples of what good parenting looks like. We have enough resources to take care of the needs of our kids, and sometimes we can even provide them with an extra experience in life that we didn’t have when we were kids ourselves.

But even with all of those advantages, parenting is still really stressful and hard for us at times. Removing any of those other supports—two parents in the home, good upbringing ourselves, or a lack of resources—would result in making it even harder.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

The Seven Dwarfs of the Classroom

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Sep 18, 2018

 

Every classroom has its handful of personalities that make it memorable and distinct—this makes teaching both fun and frustrating at the same time. All of these students add flavor to the classroom, but at times, they may need help or encouragement to mature in one area or another.

As we emphasize a growth mindset in the classroom, we can help to support them in this. A student who lacks leadership skills may need to be encouraged to voice their opinion, or a student who is overly competitive may need help to learn how to be a good sport when losing.

Here is an approach to our students that we work with every day that helps us to relate to a few of these “stereotypical” types of kids. Keep in mind that this isn’t intended to make fun of any student, but to acknowledge that we all have areas of growth. We don’t want to just “be annoyed” by excessive sneezing, grouchiness, or shyness—these can be warning signs of other issues that we should keep an eye on. Most of the time though, these small quirks from our students become endearing over time.

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Topics: tips for teachers, Classroom Management

SEL Curriculum Options for Student Success

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Sep 13, 2018

In the years that have followed the No Child Left Behind era, schools, teachers, and administrators have learned that a hyperfocus on reading and math doesn’t produce the best outcomes for students. We all knew that our students were so much more than a test, and now that we don’t have our entire system centered around these scores, we can refocus on what truly matters.

Many schools are discovering that students with strong social emotional skills, especially in early childhood, have better outcomes and healthier lives over peers who do not. This probably doesn’t surprise most of us. Being able to cooperate, compromise, empathize, and negotiate are skills that help all of us be successful—much more so than a score on a test.

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Topics: SEL, tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

Where Do Teachers Go to Learn?

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Thu, Sep 6, 2018

In a recent conversation I had with teachers, we were asked to name one thing we had learned recently—these could be very basic tasks or skills, or even “life lessons” that were reflected upon. Once we all had something in mind, the next question was the critical one: How did we go about learning this? The answers ranged from experience to failure, YouTube to books, and colleagues in person to colleagues on Twitter. Of the eight of us in the room, we had eight different avenues for new learning.

This is the norm both in education and in life. We don’t wait around until the next training opportunity, just like we don’t wait around until 8:00 for Cheers to come on the television like we used to. Our world is more “on demand” than ever before, and learning is no exception. 

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Topics: Professional Development for Teachers, tips for teachers, Administrator Resources

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