Editor's note: Bullying is a serious issue, and Choices teacher-advisor Amy Lauren Smith--a 6th to 8th grade health teacher at the Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China, and the brilliant mind behind our Teacher's Guide each month--understands this from a personal perspective. Her advice will help you understand what students may be going through and which bullying-prevention steps can be effective.

This month's Life Skills Made Easy column (and free classroom poster!) will help your students navigate the important social skill of declining an invite.

Editor's Note: Andrew Simmons is an English teacher in San Rafael, California, and—along with his colleagues—the founder of a brand new civic engagement project called First Tuesdays Students Speak. In this guest post, we've asked him to share his inspiration and instructions for this fantastic ongoing advocacy activity.

This week in teen news, we discuss teen talk, using kindness to fight bullying and more!

Illness outbreaks can overtake a classroom during the winter (aka sick season). These tips will help you get your classroom ready to repel all of the germs!

Editor's note: How much homework are your students really getting? Choices Teacher-Advisor Amy Lauren Smith--a sixth through eighth grade health teacher at the Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China, and the brilliant mind behind our Teacher's Guide each month--explains all the different factors you need to consider while tracking your students' homework load.