Notes from the Backpack

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Notes from the Backpack

A Podcast for Parents, by Parents

PTA is working to ensure our public schools provide a high-quality and equitable education for every child to reach their full potential. Notes from the Backpack is a PTA podcast designed for millions of parents and the decisionmakers they influence.

Through the unique combination of expert, parent and educator guests, each episode features engaging conversations that offer real-life advice and ideas on how to support children’s learning and development—all in parent-friendly language.


Real Experts. Real Parents. Real Conversations.

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Current Episode

Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021

Back to School with the CDC

45 | Back to School with the CDC

Captain Erin Sauber-Schatz

As we enter our second Back-to-School season filled with COVID-19 safety precautions, it’s vital that you stay informed. We invited a special guest, Captain Erin Sauber-Schatz, community guidance subject matter expert for CDC's  COVID-19 Response, to share the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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Previous Episodes

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44 | Are You Practicing Parent Self-Care?

Dr. Shefali

Did your last power struggle with your child leave you feeling burnt out? What if we shifted our mindset around parenting and stopped trying to make our kids happy all the time? Clinical psychologist and author, Dr. Shefali—whose work has been endorsed by Oprah—joins us to discuss parent self-care. She shares her own parenting experiences and philosophy, and offers advice on letting go and learning to live in the now.
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43 | How Can We Normalize Talking about Mental Health?

Allison Raskin

Let’s start talking about mental health! For too long, we’ve stigmatized mental health issues and it’s time to have open conversations with our friends and family. We talked to mental health advocate, Allison Raskin, about her personal journey and work to destigmatize these topics. She offers advice for normalizing discussions of mental health in your family and community!
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42 | How Can I Help My Teen Manage Stress?

Dr. John Duffy

Is your teenager so stressed you worry they’re on the brink of burning out? Teens are still facing the typical pressures of navigating friendships, relationships, college admissions and now a pandemic. Our hosts spoke with adolescent psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. John Duffy, about how families can support their teens during this challenging time. He offers advice and shares how parents can distinguish between typical teenage stress and when it is time to seek help.
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41 | How Can We Prioritize Wellness at School?

Chandrai Jackson-Saunders

How can we prepare to meet every child’s needs as they return to school? We spoke with National School Psychologist of the Year, Chandrai Jackson-Saunders to learn how schools can set children up for success and how families can help by focusing on the whole child. She offers concrete strategies school communities should implement to meet the variety of needs children will have in the wake of the pandemic.
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40 | Is My Teen Having a Mental Health Crisis?

Dr. Doreen Marshall

Teens experience mental health issues at alarming rates. How can you tell if it’s typical teenage angst or something more serious? If your teen is experiencing depression, how can you best support them? We sat down with Dr. Doreen Marshall, VP of Mission Engagement at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP) to get answers to these questions and more.
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39 | Best of Seasons 1-3

Helen & LaWanda

It’s time to rewind! Join our hosts Helen and LaWanda as they look back on highlights from the first three seasons of Notes from the Backpack: A PTA Podcast. They discuss some of their favorite pieces of advice and share a sneak peek at our upcoming mini-series.
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