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TGIF Teacher Newsletter
Today marks the end of my last full week before Winter Break.
To say this break is needed is an understatement. My goal is to head into my time off healthy, grateful, and with patience.
Have a great weekend and thank you for taking the time to read this week's newsletter!
Here are three things that I've been pondering this past week.
“Whenever we are unsure of how to act, we look to the group to guide our behavior" (James Clear, Atomic Habits). This is why it's so important to cultivate the best possible culture in a school setting. The culture becomes a teacher that doesn't tire easily.
We can't often control the pace of our day or life, for that matter. We can control when we choose to pause and reset. When we take time to reset, it becomes easier to see what is going well for us.
Take time to reflect over the holiday break. What lessons were learned during the first half of the school year that can make the second half better?
Please check out this free Yearly Review resource as my way of expressing gratitude for being a member of the Why Edify community.
In today’s newsletter…
- How to work with angry parents.
- Educators unpaid overtime.
- Humility and Leadership
Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.
- Angry Parents - Whether you are a teacher or an administrator, dealing with angry parents is a necessary challenge to overcome. When confronted with an upset parent, try to actively listen, ask clarifying questions to understand their concerns, investigate their concerns, and make sure to follow up. Of these suggestions, listening might be the most powerful. People want to know that their concerns have been heard. This can go a long way to diffuse a tense situation.
- I’m Sorry - Teaching kids the right way to say "I'm sorry" is crucial, as common mistakes made by adults can hinder their understanding of a genuine apology. These mistakes include not modeling good apologies, scolding children after they've apologized, and requiring physical affection as part of an apology. Instead, teach children to acknowledge why their actions were wrong, offer to repair the harm done and promise not to repeat the same behavior. By teaching students the elements of a good apology and providing real-life examples, you can help students develop crucial social-emotional skills and add some much-needed empathy to the world.
- Time and Money - A new report reveals that U.S. teachers work 1.75 billion hours of unpaid overtime annually, costing them $84 billion. However, adopting AI tools could reduce this figure by over 85%. The report suggests that teachers could regain up to 13 hours per week by utilizing AI, which can eliminate time-consuming administrative tasks and alleviate teacher burnout. Although I am excited about the possibility of using AI to save time, I am also recovering from the fact that teachers, on average, work 15.1 hours a week above what they are contracted to work - but they are exempt from receiving overtime pay under current Department of Labor regulations.
- Resource - Playlists in the Classroom: A Pathway to Personalized Learning - Explore 8 benefits of using playlists in the classroom, along with links to resources and examples.
- Resource - STEAM Project LED Holiday Cards - We just kicked off our annual Holiday Card STEAM project this past week. Our 8th graders make cards for their third-grade buddies. Each of the cards needs to have at least one working LED light. They are always a big hit and a lesson in true grit.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Actions and Truth - Musonius Rufus was an ancient Stoic philosopher known for his teachings on ethics and the philosophy of education. He emphasized the importance of aligning one's words with one's actions and believed that teachers should not only speak helpful words but also embody those words through their behavior. His teachings emphasized the role of teachers in shaping the minds and character of their students.
- Be Humble - Humility is an essential component of leadership. Unfortunately, narcissism is on the rise. Embracing humility can result in greater satisfaction and commitment in relationships, enhance leadership skills, and enable you to approach conflicts with the right mindset.
- Power of the Pen - Writing serves as a gateway to reflection and connection. It enables you to process your thoughts, inspire others, and when shared, has the potential to make a positive difference in the world. Read about this reflective group of educators who describe why they write.
"The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either – or both – when needed?" — Gordon B. Hinckley (Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes)
Teacher Commuter Playlist - Christmas of Love by Little Isidor and the Inquisitors - This makes me smile each time I hear it.
- Good News - A street in Detroit can now charge your car while you drive over it. A wireless-charging public roadway would go a long way in weaning the public off of fossil fuels.
- Teacher Gadget - Last Nerve Lavender Scented Candle *
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