Elementary school teacher demonstrates the power of empathizing with students
via @mrmonroeandnala / TikTok

Josh Monroe has become one of the most popular educators on social media because of his unique TikTok videos that demonstrate how he supports his students' emotional well-being. The fifth-grade teacher at Bryan Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska first went mega-viral after posting a video demonstrating how he handles sleepy children in his classroom.

The video is unique because it's shot from the student's perspective. It was a response to another teacher who shared a video about how they rudely wake up tired students.

"I watched it and it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way," Monroe told Omaha.com. "So I created the same video but [showed] the way that I would react."



@mrmonroeandnala

Know the situation before you react #teachersoftiktok #pov #boostyourmood


Monroe's videos show that being a teacher isn't just about teaching the three Rs. It's about supporting the student as a whole person.

"In a time when teachers are criticized for nearly everything that we do, I think it's important we put out the awesome things we do and ways we help students as a whole," he said. "Not in the academic sense and just focusing on test scores, but how we help students be ready to inherit society."

However, Mr. Monroe doesn't do it all by himself. He has help from his dog Nala who provides emotional support for his students as well. "She's my dog, but she's there for the kids. She's there for emotional support for kids who are having a rough time or a rough day," he said.

A lot of Monroe's videos show how problems in the classroom are often symptoms of something happening in the child's life at home. So he urges his students to express their emotions and to work with him to find ways to correct their behavior, instead of simply issuing punishments.

He credits his approach to teaching to his wife.

"She's kind of the reason I changed a lot of the ways I've viewed things over the years by the way she approaches people," he said. "The way she looks for the good in people and loves people — that's what caused me and my life to change."

Here are some of Mr. Monroe's most popular videos. They're a great resource for teachers and a reminder for all of us to put compassion first.

Here's how to handle a child who's experiencing anxiety.


@mrmonroeandnala

Students need permission, not suppression, to feel big feelings #pov #teachersoftiktok #boostyourmood



Here are some strategies for helping kids with ADHD.


@mrmonroeandnala

We need to teach kids how to move and stay focused, not punish them for NEEDING movement #teachersoftiktok #pov #showyourtruecolors


How do you deal with a hungry student? Feed them.


@mrmonroeandnala

Food drawers are an awesome thing #pov #teachersoftiktok #TimeWarpScan

How do you deal with a disrespectful student?


@mrmonroeandnala

You can tell kids to stop in respectful ways that don’t embarrass them #POV #teachersoftiktok #ProblemSolved


What do you do when students are always late?


@mrmonroeandnala

Partnerships and trust are key #teachersoftiktok #momsoftiktok #foryou #parents #dadsoftiktok #l


Even when he's off work, he's still thinking about his class.


@mrmonroeandnala

Our job doesn’t end when the bell rings #teachersoftiktok #bettertogether #FindYourCore #fyp


The can opener story.


@mrmonroeandnala

Bless you kinder teachers ❤️ #teachersoftiktok #storytime #fyp


Nala enjoys her summer break.


@mrmonroeandnala

Reply to @rockyb842 it’s sparkling water, Karen 😏 #teachersoftiktok #NightDoneRight #besties #fypシ #dogsoftiktok

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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