Randy N: [00:00:01] Hello and welcome to RealCast™, a production of realexperiencesatlife.com. I’m Randy Nelson. Today’s guest is Rebecca Main. Rebecca is a secondary health and physical education teacher from Cyber Village Academy in Minnesota. She’s also a longtime friend to us here at RE@L. Well, of course, it’s the end of the school year. And we wanted to hear final insights from a high quality classroom practitioner about RE@L’s 1Up ON Vaping™. We also wanted to talk about how we celebrate the end of another school year? And of course, we want to hear more about Rebecca’s decision to step away from her classroom now to pursue new opportunities with similar interests in the health and physical education sector. Rebecca, thank you so much for joining me for this edition of RE@LCast™.
Rebecca M: [00:00:57] Hello again. Thank you for having me.
Randy N: [00:00:59] You’ve been working with us here at RE@L for some time now, and we have come to know you as an outstanding advocate for students and healthy decision making. And that’s been so evident in your support of RE@L’s, anti nicotine, anti vaping, anti smoking, educational curriculum, 1Up On Vaping™. What is it that you and students like about 1Up On Vaping™?
Rebecca M: [00:01:25] One of the pieces of 1Up On Vaping™ that the students have always enjoyed has been the fact that there’s an opportunity to make their own choices. They’re able to pick their own character, they’re able to change their hair and their t shirt color. But in general, they really enjoy changing what the response is going to be. And it’s not always about the right response or the incorrect response. It’s the fact that sometimes they’re a little silly. And because you’re working with middle schoolers, that’s extremely helpful to have things that are just a little bit silly and fun.
Randy N: [00:01:59] I’ll be back with more from Rebecca Main, health and physical education teacher at Cyber Village Academy in Minnesota right after this.
[1up On Vaping™ Advertisement Begins]
RE@L: [00:02:08] We have a huge vaping epidemic in our country right now with unprecedented numbers of youth using these products. And really, we need to be focusing on education and prevention.
RE@L: [00:02:20] Introducing 1Up On Vaping™. What’s your hurry? Have one. An innovative new online product geared to middle school students.
RE@L: [00:02:29] I’ve tried it already. They don’t like.
RE@L: [00:02:31] It, but it makes you feel so good you should try it again. That engages them in learning about the dangers of nicotine use, especially vaping. The content is presented in a narrative story format that enhances information retention.
RE@L: [00:02:45] What’s the relationship between nicotine and dopamine levels?
RE@L: [00:02:48] The brain needs a constant supply and encourages student participation. RE@L: 1Up On Vaping™ includes games that reinforce learning points from chapters that students play on their own. Also featured teacher orientation videos that outline and show ways to present the material.
RE@L: [00:03:10] That’s the pod.
RE@L: [00:03:11] So along with expert interviews that provide additional facts and insights. RE@L: 1Up On Vaping™ gives students the tools they need to make smart, healthy decisions for themselves.
[1up On Vaping™ Advertisement Concludes]
Randy N: [00:03:24] My guest today on RE@LCast™ is Rebecca Main, a secondary health and physical education teacher from Cyber Village Academy in Minnesota. Thanks again for joining me, Rebecca. Aside from the great work that you’ve done in your classroom to teach students about healthy decision making is the end of the year is here. It’s upon us. And it’s about time for reflection. And I’m hoping you can give us some peeks into the current school year as it’s coming to a close. Certainly there’s been ups, there’s been downs. And let’s kind of start with the ups. As you think about this past school year and all of the challenges associated with being an educator today. What stands out to you as the most positive takeaways this year?
Rebecca M: [00:04:09] I would say one of the biggest, most positive takeaways is that students were able to come back into the classroom after having been away and do it in such a way that was pretty different. They stepped into a classroom where they had to be around other people cleaning, spaced out, wearing masks. And all of this that they’re doing is so different from before. But they were able to navigate all of these differences pretty well. And then also coming back to working with other people and understanding other students and staff socially, that could not have been easy for all of our students, especially our students that have disabilities. They were able to come back into the classroom, work with other people and navigate just being social again after being away for so long. So that was really, really positive. The other thing that I found is a really, really big bright spot was that students were willing to try even if they hadn’t done it for a long time. So they put that maybe that fear or anxiety aside, and they were willing to try because they weren’t sure they were going to get it, but they wanted to at least give it a shot. So it was really cool to see.
Randy N: [00:05:20] You know, we’d be fooling ourselves and we would not be realexperiencesatlife if we didn’t acknowledge, at the same time, that the challenges of being an educator today are significant. As a matter of fact, some estimates suggest that 20 to 30% of teachers will quit at the end of this school year. And indeed, Rebecca, you’ve announced to us here at RE@L that you’ll be one of those educators moving on from your current teaching position as well. Can you talk to us a little bit about your decision not to return to the classroom? What’s next for you and what circumstances have prompted you to step away at this time in your career?
Rebecca M: [00:05:59] Well, thanks for asking that question. It is true I will be stepping away from teaching, and I’ve been teaching for a little bit over 11 years. And most of the decision came down to the passions that I have for my own life. Most of what I did as a teacher was help other people try to learn what was best for themselves, for their bodies, and for their health, whether it be physical, mental or emotional. And in doing that, I realized some of my own passions and wanted to make the best alignment with what I’ve always wanted to do my goals, my dreams, and some of the things that I put on the back burner because I wanted to help other people and be a teacher. And in that right, I’m stepping into some things that will be coaching and instructing and still very similar to being a teacher. But now I’ll be doing it with a little bit different clientele. More specifically, I’ll be working with athletes exclusively, so I’m stepping into something that was always my dream and something I’ve always wanted to do. But taking all of the experience over the years, all of the things that were challenges over the years, those will actually set me up to be even more productive and successful because I’ve been through them. So I never really take it as a negative, I take it as a positive, and in fact a bunch of positives, the things that could have been difficult in the past.
Rebecca M: [00:07:27] Now I’m using those to be something that I can learn from and use in the future. If anything crops up, I will most likely know exactly what to do to overcome that circumstance. The other piece of stepping away. It is true most teachers would probably not want to deny or gloss over that that more administrative side of things, the grading, keeping up with all of the little pieces of being a teacher, you know, teacher learning extras, all of that eventually becomes a little bit too much in the grand scheme of things when you’re trying to do your best to keep up with students and their behavior and other little pieces, all of it just comes together to be something that’s not cohesive anymore, and it feels like there’s too many tests to get done in a day. And then with my job, I was teaching kindergarten through 12th. And it was a lot and it’s a big position. And for one person to do it, it just felt like I was trying to do too much and I decided to take a step towards the dream and step away from actually teaching anymore. But on top of all of that, I love my students and the staff that I’ve worked with have been extremely helpful. Even the administration at every turn have been super supportive and they want to see good things happen. So I take it all as really, really good things.
Randy N: [00:08:56] Rebecca, on behalf of everyone here at RE@L, we want to thank you for bringing your classroom expertise to our product RE@L’s 1Up On Vaping™ and we know that you’ll continue to be with us and support us here at RE@L in our journey as well. And to all of our educators, thank you for your commitment to students despite the difficult challenges that are being thrown your way every day. It’s a sincere thank you from all of us here at RE@L. And again, Rebecca, thank you for your years of dedicated service as an educator and also in support of our children and their families and their communities. Our best to you, Rebecca. Thank you so much. And that’s RE@LCast™ featuring real insights from our RE@L special guest, Rebecca Main, a RE@L classroom practitioner from Minnesota. For realexperiencesatlife.com. I’m Randy Nelson.