START Program for Teachers

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This summer, we are opening up the mic, and letting you hear from teachers, parents, students, and influencers, all sharing how they are experiencing stress and anxiety that is driven by unhealthy tech use--voices like the educators featured in this article. Voices like Blue Valley High School teacher Kathryn Sanfle, who shared with us:

"As a high school teacher, phones and my attempt to put boundaries on them are part of my life all day every day. The students are addicted. Most can’t go 10 minutes without checking their texts and social media. They are often allowed to keep them in their backpacks, but that doesn’t usually work for long for most of them, as they don’t have the self control to truly leave them alone for an entire class period. The amount of times I have heard “I’m texting my mom” when they are clearly sending Snapchats borders on maddening. The best shot we have at helping them academic/social/emotional success is if teachers and parents can send the same message: it’s important to develop healthy phone boundaries.”

Teachers like Kathryn are on the front lines of the mental health epidemic, seeing some of the harshest sides of our kids’ digital reality—and at START, we think she’s spot on: how powerful would it be if parents and teachers could speak the same language when it comes to adopting healthy screen habits?

That’s why we’re here.

Our START Program began just for parents in elementary schools, but now serves faith communities, businesses (because business leaders share this is not just a parent-child issue, but something that has side effects at work) and as a continuing education program for health professionals (who share this is the biggest issue facing the kids and families they serve). And now, this fall, based on requests from multiple school administrators, START is releasing a program specifically for teachers and administrators. We believe that the more our community can speak the same language about healthy new tech-use norms, the deeper our impact—and the healthier our kids—will be. We are currently booking our fall programming, where we are excited to train more parents, teachers, business leaders, and health professionals with ways we can champion healthy tech use as a community, and help the next generation stay captivated by life, not screens.

To learn more about booking one of our START Programs, email Katie at kmullen@westartnow.org.

Krista Boan