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.

What can be done to reduce unhealthy eating among adolescents? Here, in a guest post for the Ideabook blog, a researcher explains her group's groundbreaking findings—and how to apply this new approach to health education in your classroom. (Psst: Our January cover story can help—big-time!)

Social media may not always be a distraction for teens! It can serve as a wonderful way to get your entire classroom rallied behind a cause--and we've got a list of Choices-approved campaigns and hashtags to inspire action.