Dolly's Good Deeds

Topics for this week include simple ways to lessen teacher stress, building trust with students, and protecting your attention span.

Dolly's Good Deeds
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Happy Friday

T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #78

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This week’s newsletter comes from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. I guess you could say that this is the last family vacation hurrah of the summer. It’s been a week full of beautiful scenery, hiking, bear watching, a trip to Dollywood, and heavy doses of family fun.

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Have a great weekend!

In today’s newsletter…

  • Dolly’s Good Deeds
  • A simple way to lessen teacher stress
  • The wisdom of Mr. Rogers

The News

Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.

  • Dolly’s Good Deeds - It only seems fitting that I mention Dolly Parton in this week’s newsletter as I vacation in her home state. Dolly Parton has donated millions to support various philanthropic efforts throughout her career. Her most recent contribution of $1 million helped fund Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. Parton's charitable efforts also include launching the Imagination Library and the Dollywood Foundation, both aimed at improving education and decreasing high school dropout rates. She has also been recognized for her work in preserving the bald eagle and her ongoing support for various communities, including the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. I have to say that I’m a fan.
  • Stress and Subs - It’s well-established that teachers are under too much stress. Teachers are often asked to cover classes because there are no subs available. One simple thing that can help is to use technology to help build a stable and reliable pool of qualified substitute teachers.
  • Building Trust - Sometimes it’s the small things that pay the biggest dividends. "Daily Dedications" take only a few minutes but can have significant impacts on building trust and community among students. The ritual involves sharing personal stories or inspirations, and it fosters a sense of belonging, respect, and empathy in the classroom. This daily routine can lead to deeper student engagement, relationship building, and motivation.
  • Resource - The Benefits of Quizizz: A Powerful Tool for Formative Assessments in the Classroom. Quizizz is easily in my top three as far as formative assessment tools.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Dear Mr. Rogers - Mr. Rogers offers an antidote for the anxiety of parenting and teaching. He suggests that the most important gifts we can give a child are unconditional love and respect for their uniqueness. Replacing the pursuit of perfection with appreciation and grace can add a little more calm to your week. This article is written with parents in mind but also applies to teachers.
  • Squirrel - Are you struggling to concentrate in an age of constant digital distractions? Research has shown that interruptions and distractions are robbing us of our ability to concentrate, which affects our productivity and mental health. Here are some tips to help you reclaim control over your attention and cognitive health.
  • Mix It Up - Fun is a vital ingredient of a well-lived life, and research-proven ways exist to get more of it. Get curious and adopt the mindset of an explorer. Don't be afraid to break from your routines and mix things up occasionally. A small dose of adventure and chaos may increase smile-induced wrinkles.


"They think I’m simpleminded because I seem to be happy. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more. Maybe I am simple-minded. Maybe that’s the key: simple." — Dolly Parton (Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business)*

Favorite Things

  • My Wife -I can't think of anyone with whom I'd rather road trip across the country. She does the millions of little things that make traveling (and life) better. Dolly said best, "Why shouldn't I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more.”
  • Wildlife - We’ve been fortunate enough to see a mama bear and its four cubs on multiple occasions this week. It’s better viewing than anything on t.v. The natural world is amazing and sometimes mischievous.
  • Shower Thought - “The older you get, the more of an inconvenience it becomes to select your date of birth out of a drop-down menu.” [source]
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